DROUGHT and bushfires where behind a heavily reduced supply of Angus and Hereford cattle at the 80th annual Elders Mountain Calf sales, held on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Elders sold a total of 4649 head with 1919 Angus and Hereford/Angus steers and heifers sold Tuesday.
There were 916 steers sold, which averaged $1338.23, with R&A Crisp selling 15 steers for the top price of $1640.
Black Mountain Station was the largest vendor, selling 206 steers from $1290 to $1410.
These sales generally offer cattle of an age from 6-16 months, being early autumn to late spring drop calves.
While there is no weigh bridge at the sales, estimates put liveweight prices between 408c & 515 cents per kilogram for most sales.
Tuesday’s sale, and the two Hereford sales of Benambra and Omeo on Wednesday, all sold to very strong demand with close to 50 percent going to New South Wales and South Australia.
Feedlot buyers, and backgrounders for future grain feeding made up a large portion of the buyers.
South Gippsland bullock fatteners, flushed with high returns from recent sales, dominated the sale of Hereford steers.
The top price pen of steers, sold by C&Y Conley, Benambra, made $1750.
Most steers sold between $910 & $1530.
The highlight of the two days was the sale of the top pen of Shorthorn/Hereford heifers, which made $1810 for A&B AhSam, Omeo.
These “Strawberry Roan” heifers were purchased for breeding.
The average price of the 670 steers was $1365, and 670 heifers, $1090, with numerous younger heifers penned.
A highlight of Tuesday’s heifer sale was the 412 Hereford/Shorthorn heifers of F&D Boulton.
Frank and Dawn lost around 4000 acres in the recent bushfires at Gelantipy and Wulgulmerang, after the extended drought.
These heifers were small for their age, and of lighter weight, but sold from $940 to $1250, which was well over 420c/kg lwt.
Top of the black heifers was Meringo Pastoral Co, selling 37 Hereford/Angus yearling heifers for $1500, which were purchased for grain feeding near Gunnedah, NSW.
Overall, the two days of sales produced excellent results all round, with most cattle being $400 to $600 higher than the 2019 sales.