FORECAST rain, a fear of missing out on the last of the season’s weaners and the presence of buyers who had been absent from sales in recent times pushed prices up as much as 40 cents on the week prior at Kempsey Stock and Land's Annual Weaner Sale last Friday.
With 1140 head yarded, 744 weaner steers sold to an average of 309.9 cents a kilogram, topping at 346.2c/kg. The 397 heifers sold to an average of 270.6c/kg and topped at 304.2c/kg.
There was certainly a buzz around the ring, with the yarding sold to buyers in South Australia, Queensland and the New England, as well as local areas of Dorrigo and the Hunter.
The sale started very strong and saw the price lift up to 40c/kg or about $115 a head from the previous sale held the week before.
Heavier Angus steer weaners sold from 316c/kg to 336c/kg and the lighter ones made from 306c/kg to 346.2c/kg. Euro steers sold to a top of 330c/kg, while the best pen of other British-bred steers topped at 320c/kg.
The heifer portion topped at 304c/kg for a pen of Angus-cross weaners from Mick Flanagan.
When it came to prizes the best weaner steers and the runner-up steers and heifers all came off neighbouring properties at Sherwood just upriver from Kempsey where seasonal conditions have been made to order.
Barry and Gail Lee had the champion pen of steers which made 334c/kg or $915 a head.
“We had rain in February but not much in March; however, we received rain in April which allowed us to plant oats and rye,” Mr Lee said.
The area enjoyed drier than normal conditions which allowed the district’s producers to fatten calves.
Their neighbour Noel Irvine had the runner-up pen of steers and another neighbour, Tom Purcell, had the runner-up pen of heifers.
Bellamoo Pastoral Company from Gum Scrub had the champion pen of weaner heifers.
Dorrigo buyer Neil Stocks credited the hint of rain for rising prices, and the fact that days still contained enough warmth to grow pasture. Mr Stocks said prices were at least 20 cents higher than previous sales.
Coramba buyer Eliezer Robinson said he had received a “fair bit of inquiry” from the top of Victoria and southern NSW after the rain earlier this week was forecast and auctioneer Ian Argue, Kempsey Stock and Land, said in his experience it usually had to rain first before buyers jumped, but not this time.
In a round of charity, a Jersey steer donated by Noel Bannon was sold for $680 with the money donated to the Gladstone Biggest Morning Tea, in memory of Mr Bannon’s daughter Cheryl Sutherland and in support his wife Mavis. Another $1000 was donated by Kempsey Stock and Land.