Lot feeders and steer finishers were out in force at the Wodonga Premier Hereford/Euro and Other Breeds grown and weaner sale, paying to 345c/kg for whiteface weaners.
Selling agents Elders, Corcoran Parker and Landmark Paull & Scollard yarded 6200 Herefords, black baldies and Euro cross steers and heifers on January 10.
Topping the purebred weaner offering on a dollars per head basis was David and Vicki McCallum, Tooma, Vic, with a pen of 20 Yavenvale blood autumn drop steers, 418kg, selling for $1230 or 294c/kg to Ladysmith feedlot.
J M Hiscock & Sons topped the yarding on a cents per kilogram basis at 331c/kg for Glendan Park and Tarcombe blood steers weighing 302kg.
In the purebred yearling and heavy grown steers over 350kg, prices settled at $1065-$1465 or 278-297c/kg.
Moving into the autumn drop 2018 weaners, Hereford steers weighing over 350kg were $940-$1230 or 273-311c/kg
Steers weighing 250-350kg finished at $640-$1055 or 249-331c/kg and the lighter weights under 250kg settled at $530-$760 or 246-307c/kg.
In the black baldy pens, steers over 350kg made $1070-$1270 or 297-345c/kg, and those under 350kg sold for $485-$1050 or 243-316c/kg.
In the heifer pens, joinable age Hereford females sold for $935-$1135 or 251-276c/kg while younger heifers under 350kg made $455-$875 or 212-273c/kg.
Grown black baldy females sold for $960-$1035, or 246-269c/kg, while the weaners under 350kg made $580-$895 or 214-280c/kg.
Cattle were booked to Narrabri, Bathurst, Wagga, Ladysmith, Stockinbingal, Holbrook, Hay, Albury-Wodonga, Corryong, Myrtleford, Wangaratta, Oxley, Leongatha, South Australia and Tasmania.
Commission buyers operating included Andrew Lowe, Graham Ward, Duncan Brown and Damian Whyte, while Teys Australia’s Jindalee feedlot and JBS Australia were active on the grown cattle.
Todd Clements, Bowyer and Livermore, Bathurst, NSW, judged the Herefords Australia champion pen of steers, awarding the sash to David Sleigh, Sleigh Pastoral, Ruffy, Victoria.
The pen of 30 Bayunga bred and blood steers weighed 359kg and sold for $1070 or 298c/kg to Upper Murray steer finisher David Braniff, Corryong.
Mr Clements described the steers as even with plenty of bone and weight for age.
He had sourced 800 head over the past week at an average of 306kg and 301c/kg for backgrounders in the NSW central tablelands.
At Wodonga, Mr Clements was buying whiteface cattle weighing 270-320kg.
David Sleigh offered 110 steers at Wodonga, with liveweights down on the back of late spring rain.
He had hoped to average 300c/kg as “everyone’s making money at that price’’
Opening the run of yearling and heavy grown steers was A L Heinecke, Tumbarumba, with a pen of Yavenvale blood steers, 521kg, snapped up by Peter Steer, JBS Australia, for $1465 or 281c/kg.
McKillop Pastoral, Dederang, Vic, topped the overall weaner yarding on a cents per kilogram basis with a pen of 17 black baldies, nine to 10 months, 368kg, and sold to Corcoran Parker Wodonga at 345c/kg or $1270
Elders Albury auctioneer Brett Shea said the steer weaners had exceeded agents’ expectations.
“We had strong feeder competition on the heavy end of the grown steers and weaners,’’ Mr Shea said.
“This is an indication as we go forward into 2019 there will be a lack of supply of heavier cattle suitable to go straight on feed.
“it is good to see those backgrounders and fatteners stepping in to buy today – they sold cattle for $1800-$2000 in the last six to eight weeks and are able to step in at the front end to buy cattle with weight for finishing next January .
“The cattle look to be reasonable buying for those fellows to put away – it’s fair to say there is a bit in it for everyone at the moment.
“Tasmanian buyers made their presence felt in the heavy end of the heifer run, plus lighter heifers to put away for a 12 to 18 month period.’’
Mr Shea said there was an opportunity in the middle run of steers at 275-301c/kg on the lighter end.
He said the sale drew solid competition for females suited to feed, with isolated sales of heavy joinable heifers.
“If we have a break in the season, good quality females will be hard to procure.’’
Hunter Harley, Davidson & Cameron, Narrabri, NSW, sourced whiteface cattle to go onto feed in northern NSW.
He bought 96 head averaging 355kg and described the sale as “solid’’.
“The quality of the cattle is good considering the late spring in this region,’’ Mr Harley said.
Peter and Robyn Sandy, Swifts Creek, were among the high country producers turning off cattle early before the mountain calf sales in March.
Their top pen of Hereford and Shorthorn-Hereford cross steers, Mawarra and Injemira blood, 291kg, sold for 326c/kg or $950.
Mr Sandy said seasonal conditions had dictated an early turn-off and he was “over the moon’’ with the price.
“We have been low on feed for a long time and water will be an issue.
“In 2018, we had 498mm but it was a mixed bag – however there will be fresh calves out of Omeo and Benambra for the sales.
“I thought we would average $650 today and we killed that – these calves would be up to 360-380kg by March.
“They were nice and quiet as they have been fed all winter.
“For what could be around the corner, the buyers were ambitious today.’’
Richard Long, Howitt Plains, offered 50 Yavenvale blood steers with the tops weighing 307kg – down 35-50kg on last year.
“I had been hoping for 300c/kg – Herefords always seem to sell better at Wodonga than Euroa,’’ he said.
“I like the Hereford temperament as I have to do the cattle work on my own.
“I have tried other breeds but these are better to handle and I’m happy with how they presented today.’’
Upper Murray steer finisher David Braniff, Thougla Valley, paid $1070-$1225 or 298-311c/kg for 77 Hereford steers.
Mr Braniff turns off over 150 grassfed steers a year at 700kg liveweight to Teys Australia, Wagga.
“I like to buy them at 380kg – the Hereford is reliable, can store up growth for all seasons and has a beautiful temperament,’’ he said.
“The sale was dearer than anticipated as it was 290c/kg from the word go.’’
In the heifer pens, Gordon Paton, Maranoa Pastoral, Tallangatta, topped the sale with Newcomen and Bowmont blood females, 15-16 months, and 411kg, selling for $1135 or 276c/kg.
Loch Fraser, Mudgegonga, was happy to receive the second top price of $1130 for Rosstulla blood females weighing 427kg.
“Herefords are easy to handle, hold their condition in tough times and I like their temperament,’’ he said.
A L Heinecke, Tumbarumba: 14, Yavenvale blood, 521kg, $1465 (281c/kg); 21, 415kg, $1225 (295c/kg)
McKoy & Son, Holbrook: 8, Ohio blood, 509kg, $1440 (282c/kg)
Yallara South, Holbrook: 9, 468kg, $1390 (297c/kg)
D & V McCallum, Tooma: 20, Yavenvale blood, 418kg, $1230 (294c/kg)
A Odewhan, Walla Walla: 18, Rotherfield blood, 385kg, $1125 (292c/kg)
J M Hiscock & Sons: 26, Glendan Park and Tarcombe blood, 356kg, $1110 (311c/kg); 25, 302kg, $1000 (331c/kg).
Sleigh Pastoral, Ruffy: 30, Bayunga bred and blood, $1070 (298c/kg); 41, 331kg, $1010 (305c/kg)
M Cottam: Benalla: 25, Red Hill blood, EU, 342kg, $1055 (308c/kg)
J W Payne, Myrtleford: 28, Glendan Park blood, 369kg, $1050 (284c/kg)
D G Plante: 15, 369kg, South Boorook blood, $1010 (273c/kg)
P & R Sandy, Swifts Creek: 30, Hereford & Hereford/Shorthorn, 291kg, Mawarra and Injemira blood, $950 (326c/kg)
Koorong Pty Ltd, Holbrook: 11, Injemira blood, 315kg, $930 (295c/kg)
H & R Long, Howitt Plains: 23, Yavenvale and Glentrevor blood, 307kg, $920 (299c/kg)
Tony Marchese, Maindample: 16, 10-11 months, Rotherfield blood, 316kg, $910 (287c/kg)
Black Baldy steers
McKillop Pastoral, Dederang: 17, 9-10 months, 368kg, $1270 (345c/kg)
Raheen Partnership, Merrijig: 28, 10-11 months, 383kg, $1200 (313c/kg); 37, 332kg, $1050 (316c/kg)
Granite Flat, Mitta: 25, EU eligible, 364kg, $1145 (314c/kg)
Blue Range, Bridge Creek: 18, 9-10 months, 360kg, $1090 (302c/kg)
M Cottam, Benalla: 15, EU, 353kg, $1070 (303c/kg)
Maranoa Pastoral, Tallangatta: 31, 15-16 months, Newcomen and Bowmont blood, 411kg, $1135 (276c/kg)
G J Hore, Wymah: 15, Rotherfield blood, 425kg, $1130 (265c/kg)
Day Farms, Deniliquin: 23, 18 months, Ironbark and Yarram Park blood, 404kg, $1050 (259c/kg)
W & L Hurlston, Tumbarumba: 17, black baldies, Mawarra blood, 402kg, $1065 (264c/kg)
D & V McCallum, Tooma: 20, Yavenvale blood, 380kg, $1045 (290c/kg)
J & M Wallace, Porepunkah: 16, Glen Poll blood, 384kg, $1035 (269c/kg)