A yarding of 2827 mainly British breed cattle met a solid market at the annual Alice Springs Show store cattle sale last week.
Bohne Saleyards manager Jim Willoughby said it was a high quality yarding of mainly weaner and yearling steers and heifers, reflecting the improved seasonal conditions that have been experienced throughout Central Australia this year.
The largest line of cattle was a 500 head draft of Droughtmaster steers offered by the Harris family, Rockhampton Downs on the Barkly Tableland . A line of Brahman cattle was also consigned from Newcastle Waters station, with the majority of the yarding comprising mainly crossbred British Bred cattle from local areas.
Meat and Livestock Australia’s market report described the market as solid when considered in relation to the freight component required to truck the cattle to eastern and southern states.
“It was quite noticeable that there was more weight offered this year, with steers under 375kg and of British breed attracting the strongest demand,” the report said.
EU-accredited yearling Hereford steers from the Cadzow family’s Mt Riddock Station topped the sale at 206c/kg.
Angus weaner steers and the Murray Grey lightweights sold for 201¢/kg lwt.
The Bos Indicus cross and the Droughtmasters sold from 125¢ to 166¢/kg lwt. The weaned Angus heifers sold at 164¢, with the Herefords at 166¢ to 170¢ and one pen of Black Baldies at 165¢/kg lwt. Santa Gertrudis and Bos Indicus cross heifers attracted prices from 149¢ to 160¢/kg lwt.
Most of the British bred Angus, Shorthorns, Red Angus and Murray Grey steers sold from 156¢ to 187¢/kg lwt.
The Brahmans, Droughtmasters, Bos Indicus crosses and Santa Gertrudis sold between 103¢ and 186¢/kg lwt. The Angus, Charolais, Hereford and Shorthorn heifers generally sold from 154¢ to 167¢/kg. The Droughtmasters, Santa Gertrudis and Bos Indicus crosses attracted prices from 100¢ to 155¢/kg lwt.
Overall, 192 weaner steers averaged 158¢/kg lwt or $359/head. The 141 heifers averaged 163¢/kg lwt at a $432/head average. The 2,086 yearling steers averaged 159¢/kg lwt or $596/head.
The 408 yearling heifers averaged 143¢/kg lwt at $548/head.
The majority of the cattle went to feeding and processing operations in Southern Australia. The major buyer was Simon Rowe, Princess Royal Station, Burra, South Australia, who bought just on 1000. T&R Pastoral from Murray Bridge in South Australia also bought a large number of local Hereford cattle for its feedlot.
Landmark Adelaide also bought large numbers to go onto stations along the Birdsville Track where there was “oodles of feed”, Mr Willoughby said.
Heavier steers from Jimmy Hayes, Undoolya Station at Alice Springs weighing 360-380k sold for 175c-179c/kg.
“Jimmy Hayes said me if you didn’t have good cattle this year there was something wrong,” Mr Willoughby said of the season.
Mr Willoughby said about 24,000 cattle had been spelled through the Bohne Yards since December. Normally about 30,000 cattle were spelled through the transit facility annually on the way to southern buyers , but this year he believed the number could reach 40,000.
“All the bigger spayed cows and fat cows and culled cows, a lot more of them are going south," he said.
“There is no boat cattle moving yet, but they will and there will be a flow on effect. We will get our fair share through here I would think.”
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