Well-bred autumn calving heifers topped at $1860 and Black Baldy cows and calves at $2440 in a rapidly softening market at the Wodonga Annual Beef Bred Female store sale.
Whiteface vendors struggled to come to terms with the price correction, with quality PTIC autumn calving heifers tracking $250 behind last year, and the majority of cows and calves selling well below split value.
Selling agent Albury Wodonga Stock Agents Association yarded 2001 Hereford, Hereford cross, Black Baldy and Angus joined and unjoined females on Wednesday, January 17.
The majority of cattle sold locally to restockers with pens booked to Holbrook, Myrtleford, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton, Yea, Benalla, Everton and Wangaratta.
Hereford and Shorthorn-Hereford heifers PTIC to either Hereford or Angus bulls for a February-March calving sold for $1560-$1860 or 251-360c/kg.
Two-and-a-half-year-old heifers PTIC for a February-March calving made $1360-$2000 or 264-334c/kg.
The autumn calving Black Baldy heifers fetched $1560-$1800 or 320-340c/kg, while the Hereford heifers joined for a winter-spring calving made $970-$1340 or 226-277c/kg.
First calf Hereford heifers with calves and not rejoined sold for $1210-$1620, mixed age cows and calves, not rejoined, made $1260-$1650, and rejoined cows with calves sold for $1440-$2440.
Noel Passalaqua, Talgarno, bought May-June 2016 drop Shorthorn-Hereford heifers out of the 2017 Ensay sale and topped the PTIC autumn calving heifers at $1860.
Weighing 560kg, the Newcomen bred heifers were joined to low birthweight Angus bulls to calve February-March, and were bought by Elders Yea for 332c/kg.
The second pen, weighing 499kg, also sold to Elders Yea for $1800.
Mr Passalaqua bought the heifers for $1100 and had hoped to average $1800 at Wodonga.
“I have taken on three more leaseholds and am buying more steers and heifers,’’ he said.
“I’m looking for 280-320kg cattle but have bought up to 390kg steers, finishing them for Greenhams, Tasmania, Coles or Thomas Foods International.’’
Topping the purebred PTIC heifer pens was Paul Rogers, Holbrook, with Centennial blood and bred heifers, 560kg, AIed and paddock joined to Churchill, Centennial and Tarcombe sires, selling to Landmark Shepparton for $1700.
Mr Rogers offered 25 quality PTIC heifers as part of a plan to reduce stud cattle numbers and increase the commercial herd.
Bill and Mary Goldsworthy, Eurobin, sold the tops of their drop at Wodonga – two-and-a-half-year-old Kaludah and Cloverbank heifers, PTIC to Hereford bulls for a February calving.
They weighed 636kg and were bought by Stephen Street, Elders Myrtleford, for $1600.
“These heifers were 40-50kg heavier than last year’s and have had no supplementary feeding,’’ Mr Goldsworthy said.
Mr Street purchased other joined Hereford heifers for Ovens Valley restockers.
Tony Reardon, Brooklyn Pastoral, Mansfield, was on hand to see his Black Baldy heifers, Mawarra blood, 22 months, 545kg and joined for an autumn calving to an Angus bull, sell for $1800 to Elders Wangaratta, account Scott Stow.
The seconds, weighing 504kg, also sold for $1800 to Scott Stow, Warrenbayne.
Mr Reardon said the heifers sold bang on his expected price of $1800.
“These are heifer’s calves and I aimed to value add them,’’ he said.
“Our steers last week averaged $1050 which was $200 down on last year.’’
Mr Stow, a Limousin breeder, has bought additional land and is restocking.
“I’m after 25-30 cows to join to Limousin bulls and have blown my budget today,’’ he said.
“If these price settle where they are now, everyone is getting a bit.’’
Neville Watkins, Charlock Partnership, Charleroi, sold PTIC Black Baldy heifers which he had sourced out of the Wodonga weaner sales last year.
They were AIed to a low birthweight bull in a synchronised joining to calve over a week, and sold for $2000 to Brian Unthank Rural.
“I had bought these well last September and took a risk on them,’’ Mr Watkins said.
At the Wodonga F1 female sale on Wednesday, he had topped at $2600 for Hereford-Friesian heifers and averaged $2200.
In the final stage of the Emu Park Pastoral heifer dispersal, Joyce McConnell, Deniliquin, offered 101 16-17-month-old Yarram Park blood females, depastured to a Yarram Park bull for a July calving.
The top pen of EU accredited heifers, 468kg, sold to Dennis Heywood, Everton, for $1300.
“This is the last of the heifers – we just have our flock sheep, and stud ewes and rams to disperse,’’ Mrs O’Connell said.
“The first and second calvers will be continuing under the new owners.
“Last week the tops of the heifers had the weight and sold to a feedlot while I was pleased the next two pens went to restockers.’’
J W Culican, Mansfield, rang the bell in the cows and calves with Black Baldy heifers, 2.5 years, with four to five month old calves, and rejoined to an Angus bull, topping the whiteface offering at $2440 to Elders Holbrook.
Elders Albury auctioneer Brett Shea said the small selection of well-bred autumn calving Hereford heifers drew limited buyers.
“The competition wasn’t as keen on the Herefords as what we saw on the Angus cattle,’’ Mr Shea said.
“Noel Passalaqua bought the tops of the Newcomen heifers out of Ensay last year, they presented well and we had good inquiry on them but $1860 was as far as we could go.
“In saying that, there is still a good margin for producers who have bought Hereford cattle and joined them.
“They may have been softer than the black cattle but there is still a good margin for our clients.’’
Mr Shea said the dual-purpose flexibility of the Black Baldy female drew demand.
“A big percentage of our vealer producers are buying a beef bred Black Baldy as opposed to a Friesian cross cow as it gives the opportunity to supply either vealer or store markets,’’ he said.
Mr Shea said the Emu Park dispersal marked a magnificent line up of young Hereford females.
“The cattle were for genuine sale and were classed-in heifers but the fact they weren’t autumn calving had an effect, making just above their feeder rate.
“People were wanting heifers calved out or on the point of a February/March calving.
“It was tough going unfortunately but the cattle were right.’’
Mr Shea said the top end cattle overall were strong without going over the top.
“Going forward, it is a reflection of what our end-product markets are doing – the prime market is having a big effect on these store cattle.
“We have had two good weeks with our weaner sales and it is a good thing we didn’t have them later as the fat market is having a detrimental affect.
“Historically, they are still pretty strong prices today but we are seeing a correction.’’
J W Culican, Mansfield: 18, Black Baldy, 2.5 years, calves, 4-5 months, dep Angus bull, $2440
Charlock Partnership, Charleroi: 19, Black Baldy, 2.5 years, 598kg, AI to Angus bull for synchronised calving, $2000
Seasonsong Pty Ltd, Talgarno: 24, Shorthorn/Hereford, May-June 2016 drop, 560kg, joined to Angus bull for Feb/March calving, $1860
Brooklyn Pastoral, Mansfield: 11, Black Baldies, 22 months, 545kg, dep to Angus bull for Feb calving, $1800
P & N Rogers, Holbrook: 7, March-April 16 drop, Centennial bred and blood, 560kg, PTIC to Churchill, Centennial and Tarcombe bulls to calve February/March, $1700
B & B Cundy, Myrtleford: 13, Black Baldies, 494kg, joined to calve March, $1680
Warramong, Moylullah: 14, Black Baldy, 512kg, joined for March calving, $1650
Spring Lawn Parternship: 9, cows, with calves, 3-4 months, redep Angus bull, $1650
Studley Park, Rand: 15 cows, second calvers, with calves, 2-3 months, not rejoined, $1640
J & F Kirley, Gundowring: 8, mixed age cows, Black Baldy calves, 2 months, $1610
D Dale & R McGown, Indigo Valley: 11, Mawarra blood, 2.5 years, 621kg, PTIC Angus bull to calve Feb/March, $1600
W & M Goldsworthy, Eurobin: 13, Kaludah and Cloverbank blood, 2.5 years, Feb/March calving, $1600
Emu Park Pastoral, Deniliquin: 41, Yarram Park blood, 16-17 months, 468kg, joined to Yarram Park bulls for winter calving, $1300
D & L Cameron, Bowna: 21, Wirruna blood, 15-18 months, 386kg, $925 or 239c/kg