A quality run of autumn drop Hereford weaners brought out those supplying grass fed programs with bids to 655c/kg for the steers at the final day of the week-long January weaner sales at Wodonga.
Selling agents Rodwells Peter Ruaro, Brian Unthank Rural, Corcoran Parker and Schubert Boers yarded 3677 for the Premier Hereford, Hereford Cross and Euro Grown and Weaner Sale on January 6.
Grossing $5.672 million, the sale resulted in an overall average of 463c/kg or $1639 for steers and 430c/kg or $1391 for heifers.
The sale opened on the heavy grown Hereford steers which sold for $1510-$2040 or 392-494c/kg – a fall of $260 on the previous day’s sale.
With the focus again on the autumn drop weaners, the purebred calves over 350kg rose $40 on Thursday’s sale to finished at $1690-$1965 or 465-494c/kg while those weighing 280-350kg finished at $1480-$1680 or 482-529c/kg.
It was the lighter cattle under 280kg making the big moves with a jump of $200 or 106c/kg on Thursday to make $930-$1600 or 460-655c/kg.
The black baldy steers over 350kg made $1630-$2000 or 418-495c/kg and those pens under 350kg made $1490-$1680 or 444-488c/kg.
In the heifers, those grown females over 350kg sold for $1300-$1710 or 343-449c/kg – down $125 on the previous day – and the lighter heifers under 350kg were the big movers at $910-$1440 or 368-497c/kg – up 67c/kg.
The black baldy heifers sold for $1400-$1520 or 433-466c/kg and were $40 dearer.
Buyers operating included PRL, Corcoran Parker Wangaratta, Grant Daniel Long Toowoomba, Nutrien Ag, Elders Shepparton, Elders Goulburn, Brian Unthank Rural, Jeff Cooper Agencies, Ken Sylvester, Malcolm Carson, and commission buyers Graham Ward and Andrew Lowe.
Hunter Valley grass fed steer finisher Ken Sylvester, Scone, judged the Herefords Australia champion pen, awarding the sash to David Trethowan, Cookardinia, for his pen of 20 Wentworth blood steers weighing 397kg.
The March/April drop calves were snapped up by Barry Peel for $1965 or 494c/kg, the top steer weaner price in the Hereford run.
Mr Sylvester described the steers as an even line with plenty of stretch, frame and bone, and ability to grow into good bullocks.
He had bought 82 Hereford steers the previous day weighing 360-420kg for 430-470c/kg to grass finish for Greenhams Never Ever, JBS and NH Foods.
“Herefords are one breed where you can always sell yourself out of trouble – they hold up in the bad times and do well on grass,” he said.
David Trethowan offered 130 March/April drop steers at the sale.
“Between 2020 and 2021 the averages went up $800 and 2021-2022 up another $500 – if they average $1900 over 10 months that’s $190 a month, which you can make money on,” he said.
Topping the Hereford run on a cents per kilogram basis was Albury-Wodonga builder Gary Zauner, Bungil, with steers weighing 215kg and making 655c/kg or $1410 to Brian Unthank Rural.
Trevor Ralston, “Hollywood”, Euroa, presented a quality line-up of Rosstulla and Kanimbla steers, with the tops weighing 371kg and making $1800 or 485c/kg. Trevor offered 57 steers and 20 heifers – with memories of last year’s top steer price of $2220, he was hoping for $1850 this year.
“I can make money at that price but it is still pretty tight – I paid fair money for bulls of $12,000 last year and there will be repercussions on bull prices with the cost of fuel, fertiliser and steel,” he said.
“Floods wiped out 50 per cent of my crops and I didn’t cut any hay.”
David McCormack, Bullioh, had sold spring drop steers in November for $2100 and while his weaners topped at $2470 in 2022, this year he pocketed $670 a head less at $1800. The 10-month-old Mawarra blood calves weighed 340kg and made 529c/kg.
“When the farmers were making big money they passed it on in improved fencing and fertiliser but this (price correction) will impact bull prices,” Mr McCormack said.
Adrian Rowe, Glenrowe Pastoral, Yarck, was selling his Glendan Park and Yavenvale blood Hereford steers for the first time at Wodonga. The tops of the steers were Never Ever Accredited and were grass fed only, weighed 340kg and aged eight to 10 months.
“They made $1650 and when compared to the average for Angus steers of $1622 at yesterday’s sale, I’m happy,” Mr Rowe said.
“We had a long, wet winter which went up until December so it was challenging just to get the steers into the yards.”
Adrian offered 25 black baldy and 20 Hereford steers. He likes the docility and doing ability of the Herefords and also runs a black baldy program to take advantage of hybrid vigour.
“The black baldies come out like peas and grow like spuds,” he said.
“We aim for 400-day weights and calving ease and eye pigmentation is important.”
In the grown females, Mundoora Pastoral, Jerilderie, topped the Hereford offering with 12- to 15-month-old Glentrevor blood heifers, 389kg, selling for $1710 or 439c/kg.
Nankervis Nominees topped the weaned heifers with a pen of 28 weighing 298kg selling for $1420 or 476c/kg.
David Hocking, Mulwood, Mullengandra, topped the black baldy heifer weaners with a pen aged 9-11 months, weighing 343kg and making $1520 or 443c/kg.
Also selling 24 Hereford heifers and 34 steers were John and Jane Witherow, Murmungee.
Last year their steers topped at $2300 and this year their 323kg steers were $640 less at $1660.
“We knew the correction was coming but we didn’t expect it to be quite so savage – diesel and super doubling in price hasn’t helped,” John said.
Roseleigh Bungowannah: 14, Glenpoll and Peel blood, 18 months, 459kg, $2040 or 444c/kg
B & K Attree, Tallangatta Valley: 10, Glenellerslie and Wirruna blood, 14 months, 450kg, $2000 or 444c/kg
Mundoora Pastoral Co, Jerilderie: 34, Glentrevor blood, 12-15 months, 444kg, $1960 or 441c/kg
J & T Wright, Sandy Creek: 22, 12-14 months, Tarcombe and Mawarra blood, 432kg, $1950 or 451c/kg
R & S Hodgkin, Mitta Mitta: 26, Sugarloaf and Karoonda blood, 12 months, 413kg, $1940 or 469c/kg
K & D Peard, Ebden: 16, 18-20 months, 431kg, $1850 or 429c/kg
Scott Lewington, Uranquinty: 11, 437kg, $1830 or 418c/kg
Autumn drop steers
D & M Trethowan, Cookardinia: 20, Wentworth blood, 361kg, $1965 or 494c/kg; 47, 361kg, $1770 or 490c/kg
Trevor Ralston, Moglonenby: 27, Kanimbla and Rosstulla blood, 371kg, $1800 or 485c/kg; 30, 326kg, $1670 or 512c/kg
J McCormack, Bullioh: 18, Mawarra blood, 10 months, 340kg, $1800 or 529c/kg
S & I Jones, Huon: 10, Rosstulla and Kanimbla blood, 10 months, 359kg, $1700 or 473c/kg
Rinehard Mazurek, Berringama: 6, 10-11 months, 363kg, $1690 or 465c/kg
B & J Elliott, Talgarno: 24, Glenellerslie and Talgarno Park blood, 337kg, $1680 or 498c/kg
J Witherow, Murmungee: 24, Yavenvale blood, 8-9 months, 323kg, $1660 or 513c/kg
B & K Thomas, Tallangatta: 8, Wyeebo blood, 8-10 months, 338kg, $1660 or 491c/kg
M & J McNamara, Nariel Valley: 29, 9-10 months, Newcomen blood, 339kg, $1660 or 489c/kg
Glenrowe Pastoral, Yarck: 18, 8-10 months, Glendan Park and Yavenvale blood, 340kg, $1650 or 485c/kg
H M Campbell, Koetong: 16, Yavenvale blood, 327kg, $1620 or 495c/kg
R & G Zauner, Bungil: 24, 321kg, Yavenvale blood, $1550 or 482c/kg
Black baldy steers
House Creek, Wodonga: 12, 15-16 months, 478kg, $2000 or 418c/kg
Hocking, Mulwood, Mullengandra: 15, Rotherfield blood, 9-11 months, 399kg, $1950 or 488c/kg
J Atlass and C Seawright: 6, 15 months, 428kg, $1800 or 420c/kg
B & M Campbell: 45, 357kg, $1770 or 495c/kg
H M Campbell, Koetong: 22, Yavenvale and Mawarra blood, 353kg, $1680 or 475c/kg
M & J McNamara, Nariel Valley: 13, 10 months, 346kg, $1680 or 485c/kg
D Trethowan, Cookardinia: 14, Wentworth blood, 338kg, $1630 or 482c/kg
Mundoora Pastoral, Jerilderie: 26, 12-15 months, Glentrevor blood, 389kg, $1710 or 439c/kg
R & G Zauner, Bungil: 17, Yavenvale blood, 378kg, $1700 or 449c/kg; 24, 322kg, $1440 or 447c/kg
D & L Cameron & Sons: 9, Wirruna blood, 18-24 months, 482kg, $1690 or 350c/kg; 12, 18-24 months, 374kg, $1610 or 430c/kg
MJW Trust: 14, 364kg, $1610 or 442c/kg
Nankervis Nominees: 28, 298kg, $1420 or 476c/kg
Trevor Ralston: 20, 308kg, $1400 or 454c/kg
B & J Elliot: 27, 283kg, $1340 or 473c/kg
N& R Hodgkin: 11, 379kg, $1300 or 343c/kg
Black baldy heifers
Hocking Mulwood, Mullengandra: 18, 9-11 months, 343kg, $1520 or 443c/kg
N & R Hodgkin: 10, 348kg, $1510 or 433c/kg
Nankervis Nominees: 8, 309kg, $1440 or 466c/kg
James Marshall: 13, 309kg, $1400 or 453c/kg