A little over 500 head were auctioned on the day. Milk tooth steers dominated the sale and averaged 301kg at 278c/kg to bring $856.
Two tooth steers averaged 360kg at 252c/kg to bring $921.
Four tooth steers averaged 406kg at 242c/kg to make $1001. Six tooth steers, two pens, averaged 587kg at 237c/kg to bring $1393.
Compared to last year numbers were about a third back and that sale topped at $1761 for bullocks and 412c/kg or $1240 for young steers.
A stern talking-to by agent John O’Brien, Wauchope Stock and Estate Agents, tried to assuage buyers that a wet spell was on the way.
And the cloud maps seem to concur with forecasts, and a bit of uncommon knowledge – like the fact springs have opened up at Pembroke and Bagnoo.
Never-the-less, there was an anticipated fear of poor prices given climate conditions. The Hunter historically provides the keenest competition for cattle at Wauchope but their desperate dry cruelled any interest from that sector.
Instead prices for good cattle were quite alright.
“I think we got out of jail with this one,” confided Mr O’Brien, who will hold a second such sale in one month’s time.
The top price fell to the lower Macleay, where the past seasons have been kind. Brian and Charlie Kilmore were willing to pay the top dollar of $1500 for six-toothed Hereford bullocks, fattened by Ray Hillard, Wauchope.
“We were looking for something with more Brahman content,” admitted Brian. “That cross seems to grow more on the lower Macleay.”
But the excellent pen of straight-bred went their way despite the price because consistent turn-over is what the business is about.
Murray O’Keefe, Yarrowitch, bought steers, two, four and six tooth, which will be fattened to 700kg after 80 – 90 days on pasture and supplementary grain for 12 months ahead of killing at Wingham Beef Exports for export market with MSA accreditation.
Milk tooth steers judged the best on the day, a pen of straight Shorthorn, bred by Dallas Kirkman, Bagnoo, 328kg sold to Dennis Rumble, Rosewood, for backgrounding on grain for 292c/kg or $959.
Murray O’Keefe, Yarrowitch, paid top cents per dollar for milk tooth Angus cross, bred by the Schmitzer family, Toms Creek, 272kg at 312c/kg to bring $853.
Alan Griffin, Kempsey, bought a pen of two tooth Santa Gertrudis cross, bred by the Waldron family, Kindee, 405kg at 246c/g to bring $997.