Victorian and NSW steer finishers, restockers and lot feeders converged on the Victorian High Country on Tuesday to bid for whiteface cattle at the 83rd annual Mountain Calf Sales circuit opener at the Hinnomunjie calf sales.
Selling agents Nutrien Ag Solutions yarded 1600 yearling and weaner Hereford, Hereford cross, Angus and Euro steers and heifers for the March 7 fixture at the Hinnomunjie yards.
Buyers attended from Warragul, Leongatha, Orbost, Korrumburra, Myrtleford, Euroa, Albury-Wodonga, Moss Vale and local districts.
Heavy yearling Hereford steers, spring drop 2021, sold for $1730-$2050 (362-375c/kg).
The overall run of autumn drop Hereford steers topped at $1870 and sold down to $600 for lighter weight calves.
Black Baldy steers returned $810-$2140 while Hereford/Shorthorn steers sold for $800-$1900 and Hereford/Brafords $880.
In the heifer pens, spring drop 2021 Hereford and Hereford/Shorthorn females sold for $1200 or 272c/kg while the autumn drop Hereford heifers returned $580-$1260 and the Black Baldy heifers made $590-$760.
Steer finisher Alan Mitchell, Wonthaggi, judged the Herefords Australia champion pen, awarding the sash to Gus and Sandra Crisp, Omeo, for their Mawarra and Newcomen blood steers.
The champion pen made $1780 purchased by Pat Cleary, Elders Moss Vale. The second place getter pen sold for $1700 to Elders Korrumburra.
Mr Mitchell described the pen as well grown, with depth of body, and well weaned.
He paid $1730-$1980 for the tops of the spring drop Hereford steers, aiming for a quick turn-around to supply the Greenham Never Ever program.
He runs 300 Hereford cows and likes to buy steers of known bloodlines and performance.
Jim Pendergast, Penderscort, Hinnomunjie, opened the sale with heavy grown Black Baldy steers, with a green weight of 609kg, and selling for $2140 or 370c/kg (curfew weight).
Topping the autumn drop Hereford steer weaners was R E Hutton with his pen of 12, Mawarra blood, 10- to 12-month-old steers for $1870, snapped up by SEJ Leongatha.
Peter Soutter, Benambra, sold a draft of 88 April/May drop steers, Karoonda, Nunniong and Newcomen blood, to a top of $1710 compared to last year’s top of $2450 and average of $2350.
In the females, Gus and Sandra Crisp sold the top priced purebred Hereford females with a pen of 17 making $1260 to Nutrien Ag Solutions. Gus and Sandra Crisp offered 60 steers and heifers from their spring and autumn calving herd.
Donald Betts, Bairnsdale, sold Yarram Park and Nunniong blood Hereford and Hereford/Shorthorn grown females 464kg returning 272c/kg or $1200.
Sharon Pendergast and son Stuart, Benambra, are carrying on the Hereford, Angus and Black Baldy herd following the untimely death of patriarch Louis Pendergast on November 29.
The family offered 155 March/April drop steers and heifers. Stuart is a fifth generation Hereford breeder and is proud to carry on the mantle, running 1100 Hereford, Angus and F1 breeders.
He estimated the steers at 250-260kg liveweight and had anticipated $1400. He finishes the tail enders on to 450kg to sell at Bairnsdale for cash flow.
Graeme Fullgrabe, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Bairnsdale, said the cheaper market trend was evident nation-wide.
“The market has come back nationwide reflecting lower over the hooks quotes for finished cattle, in saying that this market was just as good, if not dearer than anywhere else in Australia” Mr Fullgrabe said.
“The lighter heifers sold well at $600-$800 as they are a long program, but those top heifers were good buying as future breeders.
A small run of Black Baldy steers at the Omeo Angus and Black Baldy sale sold for $1300-$1640, with the heavy spring drop Angus steers topping at $1810.
Topping the Black Baldy offering were L and J Tomkins with a European Union pen selling to Gippsland steer finisher Graeme Osborne.
Penderscourt: 10, black baldy, 609kg, $2140
D Betts: 11, milk teeth, Yarram Park and Nunniong blood, 596kg, $2050
Munson & Coleman: 14, Hereford, Sugarloaf blood, $1980
B Dyer: 16, Hereford, Sugarloaf and Karoonda, $1960
R E Hutton: 17, Hereford, $1870
G & S Crisp: 16, Hereford, Mawarra blood, $1780
Ray and Max Pendergast: 14, Hereford, Sugarloaf blood, $1750
P & S Soutter: 18, Hereford, Karoonda blood, $1710
P & R Sandy: 8, Hereford, $1680
A Fitzgerald: 23, Hereford, Newcomen blood, $1560
G & S Crisp: 17, Hereford, $1260
D Betts: 8, Hereford and Hereford/Shorthorn, 464kg, $1200
B Dyer: 12, Hereford, Sugarloaf and Karoonda blood, $1210
A Fitzgerald: 13, Newcomen blood, $1140