Wauchope Stock and Estate Agents' annual steer and bullock sale delivered proper prices with a bevvy of buyers competing for quality cattle.
Numbers penned were back on previous years, amounting to just over 500, with good rain in the Hastings Valley the week prior encouraging producers to keep cattle at home.
Milk tooth steers averaged 294 cents a kilogram and made to 310c/kg for the best blacks. Two tooth averaged 288c/kg reaching 300c/kg. Weaners averaged 283c/kg and rose to 320c/kg for Angus by John Barnes, Ellenborough.
John Clayworth, Yarras, struggled in the drought before 800 hectares were burnt in last year's fires but last week collected 150mm in rain - so much at once that one of his bullocks drowned when Rushes Creek lived up to its name.
"I'll send 70 bullocks to Wingham in a fortnight so I'm back in the market," he said, paying the most money for black baldy and Hereford steers, 582 kilograms at 250.2 cents kilogram, or $1469, and will fatten them further for a ready profit, considering the change of season.
Producer Michael Aitken, Pipeclay, said he was happy with the price, and more pleased with a very much needed 118mm of rain last week, which has turned the place around.
A pen of ten Charolais cross, 362kg, produced by Beau Spencer, Beechwood, brought 296c/kg or $1072 going to Bindaree Beef.
A pen of 11 six tooth Hereford, 509kg, produced by Bob Mullott, Pappinbarra, made 268.2c/kg or $1365 going to Bob Lynch, Beechwood, who will finish them on grass and grain.
Jillian Blackett, Johns River, sold seven milk tooth Angus, 356kg, bringing 298.2c/kg or $1062 and going to Bindaree Beef. Another pen of six made 310.2c/kg or $904 going onto grass at Dorrigo.
A pen of nine milk tooth Angus, 252kg, produced by Sean Costigan, Toms Creek, made 300c/kg or $758, also going to Dorrigo, as did a pen of Angus, 325kg, produced by Mary Hollis, Byabarra, making $975.
Black baldy steers, milk tooth, 343kg, from the Fletcher family, Little Port Lane, made 298.2c/kg or $1025, going to the Robinson family, Byabarra.
A pen of milk tooth Speckle Park, 260kg, from David and Donna Coombes, Comboyne, made 280.2c/kg or $728, going through GJ Kennedy, Macksville.
Another Comboyne producer, the Armstrong family, sold two tooth Hereford, 345kg, for 278.2c/kg or $961.
Ryan Dixon, Yarras, sold Angus steers for 238c/kg and bought a cow and calf for $700 to take advantage of short green grass following 156mm of rain last weekend.
Simon Diecke, Upper Rollands Plains, recorded 260mm in five days.
"Before that we had no water in our dams and no water in the river. Now their full," he said. "But we need follow up rain."