HEIFER drafts in numbers appealing to beef producers who can either fatten or keep to join, depending on weather conditions, were the centre of attention among the 2500 complete 2018 drop of Angus/Santa Gertrudis steers and heifers sold in the 3000 head yarding at Dubbo's store cattle sale last Friday.
Selling to a top of $880 for a pen of 80 head bought by a Geurie restocker, the heifer portion of the yarding had attracted much of the interest from near and far, according to selling agent, PT Lord Dakin and Associates' Paul Dakin.
Steers sold to a top of $950 for 110 head to an Echuca, Victoria, buyer, while Walker-bred youngsters from Turilla and Cashmere West, St George, Queensland and Notongong, Coonamble, sold to four states.
"Enquiry was wide-ranging with more interest in the line of females which set up positive auction results," Mr Dakin said. "We fielded more phone calls about heifers than steers, but buyers really drove the female market.
"Mind you, the steers were right up there with rates equal to what has been achieved throughout the year."
Overseeing the sale, Mick Walker said the family decided to sell the complete drop of calves at one centre on the one day.
"The drought has forced us to make the decision, and it was a big risk, but it's paid off and we appreciate such strong support as many buyers who know our cattle have backed up to purchase," Mr Walker said.
"We moved most of the cattle down to Coonamble six to seven months ago."
Notongong is normally the growing out and fattening ground for each of the Walker drops.
Buyers operating came from Longreach, Warwick, Blachall, Qld, Ballarat, Echuca, Shepparton, Vic, South Australia and NSW regions including Inverell, Coonamble feedlots, Dunedoo, Geurie, Bathurst, Orange, Forbes and Hillston.
Mr Dakin said there were good lines of steers for backgrounding, but also the runs of heifers went to both lot feeders and potential breeders.
MLA's National Livestock Reporting Service quoted weaner steers 280 to 330 kilograms sold from $910 to $950, while 200kg to 280kg $300 to $800.
Weaner heifers ranged from $170 to $880 to average $480.
A draft of 40 Santa Gertrudis steer weaners, 10 to 12 months of age, from Umagarlee, Wellington, sold to Shepparton, Vic, at $740 a head. A showy pen of Angus cows with calves-at-foot topped the cow/calf market at $1460 a unit while a run of Angus and Angus-cross cows presented from Moree made to $1080 a head.