Cows are proving a steady money earner in the markets at the moment with top weights being rewarded with top prices.
NSW cow prices averaged 285 cents a kilogram (liveweight) this week which was steady on prices a week ago. At the same time, average prices were 70c/kg higher than this time last year.
Cow prices slipped 5c/kg to 8c/kg at Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange (CTLX) on Tuesday, but generally the market had been strong in the past few weeks.
Some of the cow weights coming into the market have been extraordinary.
At CTLX a 1004kg Charolais went through the sale and topped the category at $3112/head. It was sold by Rosedale Livestock Partnership through Bowyer and Livermore, Bathurst, and averaged 310c/kg. The average cow made 294.1c/kg at the CTLX sale last week.
Michael Millner, Boambee, said he was pleasantly surprised his partnership's cow had not only put on so much weight in a good season "but she went well over the $3000". They'd previously sold a cow about 980kg about 12 years ago when the Carcoar complex was kicking off but hadn't seen such a heavy cow since then.
"She'd got herself into very good nick, probably a bit heavier than you need. The whole cattle market internationally is incredibly strong at the moment all driven by grass."
Mr Millner's son James, Rosedale, said she was an old stud cow who hadn't had a calf for a year-and-a-half, "so she owed us a bit of rent". She was at Rosedale, Blayney, and it was the heaviest cow he'd seen by at least 150kg in his time at Rosedale.
Another notable sale at Wagga Wagga was a pen of four Angus cows that averaged 790kg. It sold for 310c/kg and average of $2449 a head, sold by Gerald and Lynden Spry, Spry's Shorthorn and Angus Stud, Mangoplah.
At Wagga Wagga, cows were holding strong, according to Wagga Regional Livestock agent Isaac Hill.
Cow weights were consistently at least 50kg heavier than this time last year.
"Cows have been showing up in excellent condition here at Wagga," Mr Hill said.
"It's been good for vendors with a price increase accompanied by significant weight gain in the good season.
"We're seeing cows consistently at about 600kg, while normally they'd be in the 500kg to 550kg range.
"People have been taking advantage of the seasons and culling cows as they often do in spring."
Buyers have been from across the spectrum.
Yardings generally were down at Wagga this week (2500), but were expected to increase to the 3500 level in October.
Bill Davis, Elders Bathurst, said cow prices were lower at CTLX on Tuesday, but generally the market was strong.
"Heavy cows were 5c/kg to 8c/kg cheaper, but trade cows were firm," he said.
"There's a lot of good cows coming in. The cow market is good, nobody would be disappointed."
He said people had bought into plainer cows a year ago and were now seeing the benefit of a good season. He wouldn't say there were a lot of cows on the market.
Chris Paterson Stock and Station Agents director Chris Paterson said at Tamworth cows were a bit dearer, looking at 308c/kg for top cows.
A lot of the cows were selling in the 285c/kg to 300c/kg range, Mr Paterson said.
They were generally in the 500kg to 600kg range at Tamworth.
Scott Newberry, Davidson Cameron and Company, Tamworth, said store cows sold pretty well at Tamworth, getting to 300c/kg tops.
There weren't a lot of cows coming through, he said.
Cows also did well this week at the South Eastern Livestock Exchange (SELX) this week. At SELX on Thursday, cows averaged firm but a few of the high yielding cows were up to 10c stronger.