Gooch Agencies' female sale at Gloucester saleyards captured a rising market, with big framed Angus cows with calves by John and Margaret Clithero, Stroud, topping the bids at $2850, going to David Slack, Gloucester, who made the winning bid as he did at this sale two years ago, when prices reached similar money.
Older sisters of the same, part of the Clithero family's complete herd dispersal, made $2550.
Buyers came from Bingera and Tamworth to Maitland, with active agents from Armidale and Dorrigo keen to bid for some of the 600 head, which averaged $1650 for cows with calves
Until Australia Day the district had struggled with burnt Kikuyu paddocks desiccated by the worst drought in living memory, with the ever gurgling Barrington River failing to flow. More than 200mm with up to 500mm in places has turned the place around.
Maureen Lowrey, Stroud, with progeny reflected throughout the sale, sold Angus first calvers for $2650.
The complete herd dispersal of Angus cows and calves by Lowry bulls from Craig Robson, Noss Mayo, Allworth, made $2400 going through Nutrien | Landmark agents, Tamworth. Cows by the same topped that section of the sale at $1900 going to Singleton processor Edward Throsby.
Second calf Brangus, back to the black bull, made $2250 going to Michael Burke, Wauchope, who was chasing a bit of Brahman infusion. Best Brangus made $100 more.
The only pen of Brahman cows with Hereford calves made $1625 going through Dorrigo agent Tim Bayliss, who bought a number of Angus and cross breds for local clients, including Marengo Station above Guy Fawkes.
Black baldy cows with black calves made $1950. Charolais-cross cows with calves made $1650 going to the Bingera district. Devon cows with calves made $1650, going the same way.
Best Angus heifers PTIC from Dal and Alan Andrews, Weemilah, by Knowla bulls, sold to $1950.
There were plenty of buyers who made the decision to sell in the tough times and were now paying the big money to step back in but James Higgins, Curricabark, who bought Hereford cross heifers for $1400, said he held no grudges.
"We sold half our herd in the dry but we were happy with the prices at the time. We were pleased that they mostly stayed in the breeding herd," he said.
NSW co-ordinator for the Rural Marketing Agents Network, John Peden, said prices were strong right across the state, which contrasted sharply with the recovery out of droughts in 1982 and 2002. "It's a different world now," he said. "It is hard to see a drop in prices any time soon."