Big NSW AuctionsPlus offering will test the market for quality cows & calves + VIDEO

Jon Condon, 18/11/2015

ONE of the biggest offerings of females out of New South Wales on AuctionsPlus this year will test the market for quality breeder replacements when it goes up for competition online on Friday, November 27.

Older Beef Central readers will remember the feisty former Australian Meat & Livestock Corporation chairman Dick Austen, who guided the red meat industry for a decade up to the mid-1990s. Now well into his 80s, but still as sharp as a tack, Mr Austen is dispersing his Hartley Grazing commercial herd following the sale last week of his property Glencoe Station near Mendooran, north of Dubbo.

On offer will be about 1000 high quality commercial breeders, mostly four to seven years, with calves at foot, and re-mated.

The only NSW offering of females that comes close this year in terms of size was the Macintyre Station dispersal back in July, but many of those females were PTIC only, and did not have calves at foot.

The Hartley Grazing offering is likely to be broken into about 20 mobs on Auctions Plus, each numbering about 60 cows, plus calves. Included will be about 700 quality Angus cows, and another 300 Euro cross breeders. Calves at foot will be mostly 160-180kg. The breeders have been re-mated to Limo bulls since 1 October (eight weeks joining by sale time), but will not be preg tested prior to sale.

As the images in this short video shows, the Angus cows, particularly, are big, roomy breeders in great condition, and they may well have an average liveweight at assessment time of around 700kg.

As much as it pains this reporter to say it, in a year like this where national herd decline is a big issue, liveweights like that would suggest competition is likely not only from restockers looking for high quality breeder replacements, but also from processors who have the capacity to handle the calves, through a separate production stream.

“These 1000 cows are the pick of the herd, following a sell-down of lesser cows earlier in the year, in the knowledge that the property was going on the market,” agent Simon McKittrick from Logical Livestock Marketing in Mudgee said.

Hartley 1Hartley 2

He said Glencoe had the capacity in a normal season to run up to 2800 cows, with the main focus being on using Limousin bulls over Angus type females. All replacement Angus breeders are brought in, mostly via herd dispersals, with bred heifer calves sold as terminals.

The Glencoe cattle, mostly sold as weaners around 300-320kg, are highly regarded in southern showcase weaner sales, and the annual Powerhouse weaner sale at Gunnedah. Other lines are sold via AuctionsPlus. Most of the breeders are mated from October, for a June-August calving period.

The Glencoe Station enterprise has been astutely managed and developed by Norton Crane over the past 25 years. The holding covers around 10,000ha of highly-improved basalt country, well pastured and fertilised each year for optimum production.

Heavy fertility selection pressure is applied through preg testing each year, with any empties meatworksed, and replacements brought in to fill the gap.

Given the volume of cattle involved, Mr McKittrick said delivery would be staggered, possibly into the new year, which could be of advantage to some buyers wishing to get rid of older cows in order to make room for a mob or two from the Hartley Grazing herd.

Strong recent market for cows and calves

Followers of AuctionsPLus weekly sale reports on Beef Central recently would have noted the extremely strong market for three-way cow/calf/pregnancy units across Eastern Australia.

Last week, a top price of $2305 was paid for Shorthorn cows/calves out of the Riverina, while a week earlier, Angus cow/calf units made to $2400. Numerous three-way breeder packages have made +$2000 over the past six weeks.

Agent Simon McKittrick is finalising the Auctions Plus assessment in coming days, and the full listing will be posted on the AuctionsPlus website by Monday.





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  1. Anna Speer, 18/11/2015

    It is inspiring to see and a privilege to be a part of an organisation that truly demonstrates the determination and essence of Australian culture. Over the past twelve months I have met many of the people who are responsible for where AuctionsPlus is today – a primary tool, or mainstream tool for buying and selling livestock. AuctionsPlus would not exist if it were not for those whose tireless passion, determination and innovation drove the business to success. Electronic marketing before the Internet!! Good luck on the 27th Dick, they are a beautiful mob of cows!

  2. Dennis Scanlon, 18/11/2015

    Well done, Mr Dick Austen – as Chairman of AMLC you led the charge of Marketing reform in Cattle, Sheep and Pigs in taking the New England Livestock Computer Market (NELCM) trial into a full blown sale of livestock by description – Computer Aided Livestock Market (CALM.) in 1987.
    Now, as Auctions Plus, Producers, Agents and Buyers have options in marketing which proved both early systems commercial worth.

    No surprise then, Dick, that nearly 30 years on, you are still supporting what we all knew could prove to be a great asset for the total Livestock industry.

    I am sure those of us who were part of the beginning of what has become Auctions Plus, will well remember and acknowledge your vision and energy – which still has you committed to what we always knew could be achieved.

    On Friday you will take the vision full circle – and I trust those who are doing such a great job in Auctions Plus, will acknowledge what has been achieved from such modest beginnings.

    Dennis Scanlon. National Livestock Manager, CALM Services, 1986-1991.

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