Grafton yarded 1157 head on Friday, at a new sale slot in the monthly calendar which will encompass two store and as many prime sales - or one a week - until demand from vendors begins to chart a different direction.
The market was firm, with cows and calves to $2760 with continued extraordinary interest in light calves: Bids on steers reached 890.2 cents per kilogram - up 54c on last month's store sale - and heifers to 830.2c/kg - an increase of 44c.
Steers to 400kg, 453 head, averaged 618c/kg or $1429.42 ($1478 last sale) and peaked at $2036.90. Weightiest bullock, Simmental/Brahman, was backgrounded on grass by MSA certified producer Don Skarratt, Ulmarra, 630kg at 388c/kg or $2445.66 consigned to NH Foods at Wingham. Mr Skarratt also sold Hereford of Hereford/Brahman, first cross, originally bred by the Chapman family at Fineflower and sold on Thursday after 12 months as milk tooth 531kg for 444c/kg or $2361, going onto feed at Dubbo and destined for the supermarkets.
Mr Skarratt's heaviest bullock delivered a $2000 profit over two years but by buying-in he has already spent $1800 a head on replacements, bidding on Charolais cross, 320kg.
A full-mouthed speckle and roan cross-bred, 560kg, sold for 374c/kg or $2095.50 to Tracey Lawson, Grafton, who will keep him on kikuyu and clover until March, along with a four-tooth Charolais, 537.5kg which went for 384c/kg or $2065.
"I've got enough of my best crop of white clover that I think I'll bale some," she said.
Straight Angus, four tooth
Ray and Helen Donovan, LD Holdings at Kangaroo Creek, sold the tail end of their steers - Wakefield Charolais and Droughtmaster over cross bred cows, 381.3kg for 534c/kg or $2036.64, going onto feed. Their brothers made $1800 back in February and the lead of the drop brought $1400 one year ago. My, how things have changed!
Heifers to 540kg, 348 head, averaged 544.3c/kg or $1423.76 ($1272 last sale) and reached a top of $2101.45 for a pen of 19, making more than their brothers for the Donovan family.
Tony McLennan, Tyringham, bought six tooth black baldy heifers, red tagged to Hereford or Angus bulls, 390.6kg for $1860 liveweight and is confident that prices for light calves will remain long enough to capitalise on that opportunity while improving grass fed grids will reward him for future efforts.
Brangus Heifers not yet put to the bull by McGrath Cattle Co, Ulmarra, averaged 437.7c/kg or $1967 - some going to Gloucester district, other to Inverell and surrounds.
Cows with calves sold firm to a top of $2760 for Shorthorn and Angus first calvers going to Ivan Heldt, Braunstone, competing against Singleton processor EC Throsby. "If you want them you have got to pay for them," he said.
Marcus Chad, Upper Corindi, also had to fight his way to a winning bid, paying $2200 for Angus cows off Kangaroo Creek.
The sale was conducted by Farrell and McCrohan and Ray Donovan Stock and Station agents.
More details in next week's edition of The Land!
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