Yarram Park, Willaura, Ardno Herefords, Mt Gambier, and Injemira Beef Genetics, Book Book, were sourcing quality heifers to return to the paddock for joining, and/or finishing.
The softening market produced averages $180 down on last year for vendors, or an average c/kg close to 2016 rates.
Selling agents Elders & Landmark Casterton yarded 2400 March-April drop Hereford, Hereford cross, Angus and Angus cross heifer weaners for the sale on January 18.
Landmark and Elders Hamilton held their All Breeds Heifer Sale at the Hamilton yards in the afternoon.
Cattle were mainly booked to J M Ellis & Co, Yarram Park, Injemira Beef Genetics, Miller Whan & John, Ardno Herefords, LMB Livestock, Hardwicks, Elders Kyneton, and Ray White Rural Lavington.
In the purebred Hereford heifers at Casterton, a single pen over 350kg sold for 260c/kg or $910.
Those heifers weighing 250-350kg sold for 263-331c/kg or $670-$1046.
A small selection of Hereford heifers over 350kg at Hamilton sold for 278-318c/kg or $1001-$1154.
Heifers weighing 250-350kg were 3c/kg or $32 up on the morning’s Casterton sale to finish at 251-334c/kg or $694-$1078, while a single pen under 250kg sold for 250c/kg or $575.
The middle run of heifers were 6c/kg up on the previous day’s sale at Hamilton.
Shorthorn-Hereford cross heifers made 251-300c/kg or $761-$1071 and Black Baldies 288-292c/kg or $806-$893.
A vendor at Casterton and Hamilton over the two days, Bill Lambert, Taronga, Paschendale, quoted Casterton on Thursday as 10c/kg easier than Hamilton on Wednesday.
“While, the middle run of heifers at Hamilton today were back 5-10c/kg on (Wednesday) unless you had Yarram Park or Injemira competing,’’ Mr Lambert said.
“Those two buyers paid up to 334c/kg.
“It was a reasonable crowd today but the heat of 41 degrees did not help the market.’’
Manny Carlin, Butchers, Casterton, topped the Casterton sale on a dollars per head basis with a pen of 22 Taronga blood, EU accredited heifers, weighing 342kg, and selling for $1046 or 306c/kg.
The Stark family, Blink Bonnie, Lake Mundi, topped on a cents per kilogram basis at 331c/kg or $960 for a pen of 30 Injemira blood heifers, 290kg, selling to John Ellis & Co, Hamilton.
Ian Ross, Trevellas Park, won the champion pen award with 21 Hereford heifers, 296kg, and selling for 275c/kg or $814.
Seedstock producer Andrew Bennett, Bundulla stud, Bordertown, SA, was sourcing restocker heifers, and paid 291c/kg or $850 for the top pen of Bill and Geoff Lambert, Taronga.
Mr Bennett also bought the seconds, weighing 288kg, for 291c/kg or $838.
Miller Whan & John, Mt Gambier, bought the thirds, 268kg, for 280c/kg or $750.
“We averaged 289c/kg or $841 this year compared to $1021 and 364c/kg last year,’’ Bill said.
“This compares to an average of 297c/kg in 2016.’’
Long time vendor Kevin Upton, Glencairn, Casterton, sold his top pen of Hereford heifers, 287kg, for 280c/kg or $804 to Yarram Park.
Alan and Kevin McDonald, Sunningdale, claimed the heaviest pen at 350kg and sold them for 260c/kg or $950.
At Hamilton, the Mibus family, Sandy Camp, Mount Richmond, sold the top pen on a dollars per head basis of $1154.
The Roeston blood, European Union accredited, and 363kg February-March drop heifers sold to Elders Kyneton for 318c/kg.
The McClure family, Beerik, Coleraine, rang the bell on a cents per kilogram basis at 334c/kg to LMB Livestock, Hamilton.
The Yarram Park, Melville and Injemira blood heifers were EU accredited, weighed 286kg and made $955.
Yarram Park manager Jeremy Upton bought 430 Yarram Park blood heifers across the two days at an average weight of 320kg and average price of $963 or 310c/kg.
The heifers will be joined to Yarram Park bulls in May for the company’s Western District Pastoral commercial herd in South Australia.
“There was an extremely good line-up of heifers over the two days with quality and plenty of weight,’’ Mr Upton said.
“On pricing, Casterton was a tougher sale with smaller lines lacking the depth, and most cattle weighing 290-330kg sold for 280-330c/kg.’’
Mr Upton bought 108 heifers at Casterton weighing over 300kg.
“We were paying 280-334c/kg and for the heavier weights, 310-320c/kg,’’ he said.
“I thought the sale was fair as last year’s results were exceptional – this year anything with quality and weight to join sold well, making it a good return for females at realistic prices.
“Many of our clients were happy with the returns on their steers, saying it was the best return on a per head basis they had ever had, if last year was taken out of the equation.
“To put it into perspective, it was good buying for the processors, lot feeders and steer finishers with a margin in it for them.’’
Mr Upton said the seedstock support was a huge help to the market but wouldn’t always be available each year.
“It’s important as a stud to show our support but we can’t always do it – we legitimately need numbers to expand our program,’’ he said.
“We are a breeding operation, not a trader – trading is a different game driven by the season, and can be hard to sustain in the tough years.
“While the prices last year were fantastic for the vendors, there was not a lot of joy for the feedlots and traders, and throw in a crook season as well, it’s hard.
“Buying heifers provides options as far as joining, breeding and fattening goes.’’
Butchers: 22, 342kg, 306c/kg or $1046
Karingal: 16, 305kg, 321c/kg or $979
Blink Bonnie: 30, 290kg, 331c/kg or $960
Sunningdale: 16, 350kg, 260c/kg or $950
Taronga: 20, 292kg, 291c/kg or $850
Shallum: 23, 298kg, 285c/kg or $849
Melville Park: 20, 299kg, 282c/kg or $843
Welbanite: 22, 296kg, 284c/kg or $841
Glencairn: 21, 287kg, 280c/kg or $804
Rosebank: 8, 303kg, 270c/kg or $818
Trevallas Park: 21, 296kg, 275c/kg or $814
Sandy Camp: 14, 363kg, 318c/kg or $1154
Inverell: 32, 337kg, 320c/kg or $1078; 20, 296kg, 285c/kg or $844
Seymour Park: 10, Shorthorn-Hereford, 357kg, 300c/kg or $1071
Peppers Partnership: 37, 321kg, 320c/kg or $1027; 27, 286kg, 282c/kg or $806
R Beaton: 20, 31kg, 318c/kg or $1005; 28, 283kg, 292c/kg or $826
Glenerin: 10, 360kg, 278c/kg or $1001
Beerik: 30, 286kg, 334c/kg or $955; 32, 299kg, 330c/kg or $986
Green Gully: 21, 313kg, 270c/kg or $845
Wootong Vale: 8, 313kg, 265c/kg or $829
S Ferrier: 28, Shorthorn-Hereford, 324kg, 253c/kg or $820
Bells Hill: 10, 326kg, 251c/kg or $818
Smokey River: 12, 310kg, 256c/kg or $794