Yarram Park’s Western District Pastoral Company and Jigsaw Farms, Hamilton, were among the dominant players on the well-bred top end March/April 2017 drop heifers.
Selling agents, Hamilton Independent Stock Agents, yarded 1559 Hereford, Black Baldy, Hereford-cross and Angus autumn 2017-drop heifer weaners for the January 17 sale.
It fired the opening salvo in the run of Hereford weaner heifer feature sales for 2018.
Six pens of Herefords sold over $1000 to top at $1094, with the heaviest pen weighing 359kg.
A total of nine pens sold for over 300c/kg.
Major Hereford vendor Paul Malseed, “Orana’’, Breakaway Creek, described the sale as “ a bit tough’’, with the majority of heifers selling for 270-320c/kg
Paul and Carolyn Malseed’s draft of 99 March-April 2017 drop, Yarram Park blood and EU accredited, heifers averaged $902, compared to $1122 in 2017 for the consignment of 80.
“I was surprised by the result as I thought the average could have been $300 down on last year,’’ Mr Malseed said.
“We sold 160 steers this year to average $1085 and top at 321c/kg.’’
Orana’s top pen weighed 343kg and sold for 311c/kg or $1066 to Jeremy Upton, Yarram Park.
Mr Upton secured the seconds, weighing 309kg, for 323c/kg or $998.
The thirds, 286kg, sold to Jigsaw Farms for 291c/kg or $832, along with the fourths, 265kg, at 291c/kg or $771.
“A few people would have walked away disappointed with the prices of 270-280c/kg,’’ Mr Malseed said.
“Last year we topped at $1264 but I can remember selling heifers for $480 so it is still sustainable up around the 300c/kg.’’
Mr Malseed said liveweights in his top pen were up 25kg on last year despite a difficult, wet winter.
“Our steers averaged 11kg heavier across the draft and the seconds in the heifers were 309kg compared to last year’s 294kg,’’ he said.
“The heifers were weaned onto swamp country so they were a lot fresher.’’
Mr Malseed said the EU accreditation commanded a slight premium at this year’s sale.
A small selection of Hereford heifers weighing over 350kg sold for 298-311c/kg or $1066-$1094.
Heifers weighing 250-350kg made 269-328c/kg or $742-$1081 while a single pen under 250kg sold for 285c/kg or $701.
In the Shorthorn-Hereford and Black Baldy pens, heifers sold for 271-300c/kg or $851-$1131.
Topping the sale on a cents per kilogram basis was Bruce and Debbie Miller, Rowan, Carapook, with a pen of 25, Yarram Park and Injemira blood, EU accredited and 298kg, making 328c/kg or $977.
Leon and Sally Wheeler, Wallacedale, topped the sale on a dollars per head basis with a pen of 22, Yarram Park and Mawarra blood, 352kg and EU accredited, making $1094 or 311c/kg.
J & R McErvale, Cadell, rang the bell in the Hereford infused pens with 21 Black Baldies, 371kg, selling for $1131 or 300c/kg.
Bill and Geoff Lambert, Taronga, Paschendale, sold 15 EU accredited, Taronga blood, March-April drop heifers, 334kg, for $1015 or 304c/kg.
“Last year our top pen weighed 321kg and made 360c/kg, and in 2016, they weighed 306kg and sold for 294c/kg,’’ Bill said.
“We are down $150 but we were initially thinking of prices around 280c/kg and have accepted that is the way the market has become.
“The heifers went back for breeding and will be joined for a spring calving.’’
Craig Pertzel, Kerr & Co, Hamilton, described the sale as solid on the top end heifers and attracting a crowd comparable to the steer sale.
“There was a lot of local buying support with many heifers going back to the paddock to be rejoined, or into South Australia,’’ Mr Pertzel said.
“There was also some feedlot inquiry, restockers from Gippsland and heifers bought for fattening.’’
Mr Pertzel quoted the middle run of Hereford heifers selling for 285-300c/kg.
“They did make up to 320c/kg in isolated cases, and the lighter end sold for 270-280c/kg,’’ he said.
“This was on par with expectations and firm on recent sales.’’
At the Wodonga F1 female sale, also held on January 17, Hereford-Friesian cross first calf heifers were in steady demand.
Gino and Rita Mizzi, Genrik Park, Benalla, sold Hereford infused heifers, 2.5 years, with Limousin calves, aged two to six weeks, to $2240.
Neville Watkins, Charlock Partnership, Charleroi, sold Hereford-Friesian heifers with Limousin cross calves for the sale’s second top price of $2600.
Cadell: 21, Black Baldy, 371kg, $1113 or 300c/kg
L & S Wheeler: 22, Yarram Park and Mawarra blood, EU, 352kg, $1094 or 311c/kg; 23, 358kg, $1066 or 298c/kg; 19, 315kg, $970 or 308c/kg; 22, 298kg, $819 or 275c/kg
Orana: Yarram Park blood, 343kg, $1066 or 311c/kg; 309kg, $998 or 323c/kg; 286kg, $832 or 291c/kg; 265kg, $771 or 291c/kg
S Rundell & Sons: 9, Glendan Park blood, 334kg, EU, $902 or 270c/kg; 20, 297kg, $846 or 288c/kg; 9, 269kg, $742 or 276c/kg
Rowan: 25, Yarram Park and Injemira blood, EU, 298kg, $977 or 328c/kg; 24, 266kg, $744 or 280c/kg
Stoney Rises: 12, Bowmont blood, 349kg, $1081 or 310c/kg; 15, 321kg, $886 or 276c/kg; 10, 292kg, $806 or 276c/kg
Taronga: 15, 334kg, EU, Taronga blood, $1015 or 304c/kg
Murndal: 34, Yarram Park blood, EU, 297kg, $927 or 312c/kg; 7, 271kg, $748 or 276c/kg
Denhills: 13, Taronga blood, 295kg, $844 or 286c/kg; 10, 262kg, $760 or 290c/kg
Wannawong: 18, Yarram Park blood, EU, $976 or 304c/kg
R E Brown: 4, Black Baldy, 344kg, $960 or 279c/kg
The Wash, 8, 329kg, $888 or 270c/kg
Lone Star: 8, Yarram Park blood, 320kg, $867 or 271c/kg
Gledevlin P’ship: 8, Shorthorn-Hereford, 314kg, $851 or 271c/kg
Farena: 15, Taronga blood, 246kg, $701 or 285c/kg