Restockers and backgrounders from Victoria and South Australia dominated the weaner heifers at Casterton, pushing prices to $1568 or purebreds and $1633 for Hereford infused pens.
Selling agents Elders and Nutrien Ag Solutions, Casterton, yarded 2451 Hereford, Black Baldy and Angus heifer weaners for the Casterton Annual Heifer Weaner Sale on January 13.
The majority of the yarding was snapped up by Andrew Whan, Miller Whan & John, Mt Gambier, while other buyers were Elders Casterton, Elders Bordertown, Hardwicks and Ray White Albury Wodonga.
The autumn drop Hereford heifers weighing 380-350kg liveweight sold for $1228-$1568 or 430-464c/kg – a fall of $530 or 198c/kg on the dizzy heights of Hamilton the previous day.
Purebred heifers weighing 280kg or less were stronger than the previous day to finish at $885-$1427 or 426-498 – up $199 or 30c/kg.
In the Hereford infused pens, Limousin/Herefords sold for $1633 (420c/kg) and the Simmental/Herefords $1164-$1419 or 430-470c/kg.
In the Black Baldies, those weighing over 300kg sold for $1432-$1580 or 426-452c/kg – up $81 on the previous day – but those under 300kg fell by $24 or 17c/kg to finish at $1237-$1333 or 452-476c/kg.
Topping the purebred pens on a dollars per head basis was Glenside with a pen of 10 Ennerdale and Banemore blood heifers weighing 338kg, March/April drop, and bought by Miller Whan & John for $1568 (464c/kg).
Jeff and Jill Hortle, “Woranga” topped the sale on a cents per kilogram basis with a pen of 13 Bowmont and Yarram Park blood, 225kg and EU accredited, snapped up by Elders Bordertown for 498c/kg ($1422).
Scott Creek, Creek Livestock, Mount Gambier, SA, judged the Herefords Australia champion pen, awarding the sash to Bill and Kathy Lambert, Taronga Poll Herefords, Paschendale, for their pen of 22 weighing 297kg. The pen sold to Andrew Whan, Miller Whan & John, for $1354 or 456c/kg.
Mr Creek said the pen was well boned, had the weight for age, depth, length and were well presented with EU accreditation.
Bill and Kathy Lambert averaged $1293 or 463c/kg for their draft of 56 heifers weighing an average of 278kg.
In last year’s record market, their draft of 125 heifers averaged 677c/kg or $1906 at 276kg. In 2020, the Taronga draft averaged 268kg, $1446 and 539c/kg. This contrasts with 2021 when the Taronga heifers were heavier at 283kg and averaged 270c/kg or $768.
Jack and Mark Storer, Kleenview Pastoral, Hotspur, topped the Black Baldies with a pen of 26 November/December 2021 drop heifers, Mawarra blood and 371kg, returning $1580 or 426c/kg. Richmond Park sold the top pen of March/April Black Baldies, 330kg, for $1432 or 434c/kg.
Kevin and Alan McDonald, Sunningdale, Digby, sold the highest priced Hereford infused pen, Limousin/Hereford heifers, Banemore blood, March/April drop, and 389kg, for $1633 or 420c/kg.
Dale Sullivan, ‘Shallum”, Strathdownie, was back at the yards offering European Union accredited Melville Park, Taronga and Injemira blood heifers after selling 74 steers earlier in the week for 20c/kg more than expected.
He said the EU accreditation had resulted in no premium in 2022 and 2023 but had been 5-10c/kg in the past.
Although his average was back almost $600 this year, Dale has capital infrastructure items like fencing stockpiled to take him forward.
He selects his Hereford bulls on 600 day growth and likes the docility and doing ability in his 700mm rainfall environment.
Stephen Koch, “Rosebank” Casterton, offered 51 Hereford, Simmental and Simmental Angus heifers after retaining 58 Hereford heifers and 41 Simmental. The Hereford and Simmental cow herds are run separately across two properties.
Mr Koch said running the two breeds totalling 500 cows gave the family flexibility in marketing cattle.
He selects bulls with above average muscle from Injemira to go over his large, framed Hereford herd.
Graham Foster, Haven Park, Nareen, was also selling Simmental/Hereford heifers at Casterton. The pen weighed 330kg and sold for $1419 or 430c/k.
He usually grows the Hereford infused steers out to bullock weights and recently received $3300 for Black Baldy steers from JBS Brooklyn.
Glenside: 10, Ennerdale and Banemore blood, 338kg, March/April drop, $1568 or 464c/kg
Butchers: 17, Taronga and Melville Park blood, 335kg, $1514 or 452c/kg
Woranga: 13, Bowmont and Yarram Park blood, EU, $1422 or 498c/kg
Lambert: 9, Taronga blood, 309kg, $1427 or 462c/kg
Melville Park: 22, Warwick Court, Kidman, Guilford, Mawarra and Bowen blood, EU, 300kg, $1362 or 454c/kg
Taronga: 22, Taronga blood, EU, 297kg, $1354 or 456c/kg
Waterloo Ag: 15, 299kg, Injemira blood, March/April drop, $1327 or 444c/kg
Strathlea: 15, 325kg, Melville Park blood, $1462 or 450c/kg
Springbank: 17, Ennerdale blood, 265kg, $1250 or 472c/kg
Glencairn: 24, 267kg, Yarram Park and Injemira blood, $1228 or 460c/kg
Karingal: 14, Injemira blood, March/April drop, 263kg, $1220 or 464c/kg
Sunningdale: 7, Limousin/Hereford, Banemore blood, March/April drip, 389kg, $1633 or 420c/kg
Haven Park: 16, 330kg, Simmental/Hereford, $1419 or 430c/kg
Kleenview Pastoral: 26, 371kg, November/Dec 2021 drop, 323kg, $1459 or 452c/kg
Richmond Park: 9, March/April drop, 330kg, $1432 or 434c/kg
Fassifern: 12, 260kg, April/May drop, $1237 or 476c/kg