A yarding of about 4000 high quality females at the Gunnedah Stock and Station Agents Special Female Store Sale on Thursday were met by a large buyer's gallery craving the opportunity to restock as the season continues to fire.
Buyers had only shuffled along to the 16th pen when the benchmark of $3400 a head was set for Angus cows with calves on account of LJE Farming Pty Ltd, North Neranghi, Barraba, who offloaded 220 females in a herd dispersal.
Cow and calf prices started as low as $1700 but averaged at $2788 while cows sold from $800 to $3100 and averaged at $1871. More specifically PTIC cows averaged $1931 while empty cows averaged $1493.
It wasn't just local cattle on offer with a large draft of Wagyu pregnancy-tested-in-calf cows from Bryant Beef, Marlborough, Qld, offloaded after being on agistment at Narrabri.
A number of the pens were secured in one go with three- to five -year-old second-cross cows back in calf to registered Wagyu bulls peaking at $2450/head.
PTIC heifers also commanded a solid price with a pen of 14 Ultrablack females from Coventry Partnership, Nundle, making $2150/head.
Sisters to the Palgrove blood females were recently slaughtered and returned marble scores of 2-6 after 150 days on feed.
The majority of the yarding was heifers which were as cheap as $760/head but averaged $1359/head in total. More specifically PTIC heifers averaged $1656/head while empty heifers averaged $1195/head and EU heifers averaged $1462/head.
Davidson Cameron and Co agents were kept busy selling a good portion of the yarding, with the majority of the cattle staying locally at Quirindi, Gunnedah, Tamworth and Coolah.
Buyers from Goondiwindi, Forbes and further north into the New England were also present, according to Luke Scicluna of Davidson Cameron.
"It was a very good quality yarding," he said.
"To come to a sale and see 4000 genuine cattle account of the breeder or nice lines of cattle that have been pregnancy tested and all the jobs have been done properly with them - it was a good opportunity for buyers to step into some quality breeders."
Among the local vendors at the sale was Roger McDowell, Tregoen, Pilliga, who decided to cash in on his 106 Shorthorn and Angus cows PTIC with their third and fourth calf.
The 64 Shorthorns topped at $2150/head and averaged $2058/head while the 45 Angus cows reached $2000/head and averaged $1916/head.
Mr McDowell is fortunate to have one of the property's biggest crops of wheat and oats in the ground stretching 2023 hectares.
In a situation many people didn't think would happen, he now had too many cattle on hand and opted to retain the heifers over the cows.
The females were part of an original mob of 124 with only two testing empty.
"The only reason I'm selling is we have got a lot of cattle on and we have got about 400 heifers coming through to calve, which will give us a few sleepless nights, but these should be at their peak value now and we will grow the heifers and breed them out," he said.
"There is such a big area in good conditions and there has been rain out west as well but the biggest problem is probably people taking a big hit in the drought if they can get the money to restock."
Mr McDowell said fertility was the main driver of profit and the yard presented plenty of quality.
"We normally strip the oats and we strip it low and leave the wind rows out the back of the header and bale it up and it's terrific feed in the drought where you have only got to have the energy like the dry lick to keep the rumen active," he said.
"Wean the calves early, put them on pellets and the cows, until about three months off calving, can live on dry stubble with the dry lick and a bit of white cotton seed; that's how we got through it."
The sale was interfaced with Elite Livestock Auctions.