Top price for the right article

Record prices for cows with calves reflect desire for restocker quality

Beef News
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All it takes is two bidders determined to take home the right cow and calf combination to create record prices, as has been seen in recent weeks.

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Stud-bred commercial Charolais cows with big heifers at foot sold for $6600 at Grafton recently. Buyers are not hesitating at bidding up when the quality is correct. Photo: Helen Trustum

Stud-bred commercial Charolais cows with big heifers at foot sold for $6600 at Grafton recently. Buyers are not hesitating at bidding up when the quality is correct. Photo: Helen Trustum

"You paid how much for what?" You can almost hear the argument when an old bloke comes home with a second hand cow for money that no one in the history of the cattle game has dared to fork out. "You'll pay it back when?"

Along with the rest of the beef market prices for commercial cows with calves continue to rise as restockers climb over each other to win a bid, but when you look closely the cattle making the money are usually of exceptional quality considering they are marketed as commercial store breeders.

In the case of the recent $6600 paid for two Charolais cows with big six month old heifer calves at foot, there was no argument over money.

In fact, husband and wife were there on the day to buy them, at the last Grafton store sale, and their only complaint was having to wait until nearly 5pm to secure the deal!

In the case of these Bucca Charolais bred cows- nice and quiet - their outcross and phenotype was going to suit breeders Allan and Helen Trustum, Bentley Downs Charolais via Casino. It seems the under bidder was just as keen and away they went, grabbing onto the strands of a race horse tail as the bids really began to volley from $3600 on up.

There is no doubt the mind games playing tricks on the grazier are only becoming more surreal as the rain pours down in November. Who would have though December is around the corner and while the grain growers might be grumbling the graziers are whooping for joy.

"It gets in the psyche when people see what the season can do," says Patrick Plevey of Purtle Plevey Agencies at Manilla.

"They stand as tall as the summer grass and are bullet proof. But really, the grazing season is unbelievable."

The agency sold the new Tamworth record priced Angus cow with calf last week for $5075 - eclipsing the previous record for of $4440 a fortnight earlier. Those record cows had been purchased by Goonoo Goonoo's Killain Angus from Orange based stud Gilmandyke Angus and at that time set an Australian record for a pregnancy tested in calf commercial heifer.

"At the end of the day the best quality gets the best money," he said.

In the Hunter, Bowe and Lidbury agent Michael Easey said 16-month-old unjoined Angus heifers had cracked a Maitland saleyards record in its store sale on Saturday. Offered by Somerset Angus, Peats Ridge, the purebred heifers out of ex-stud cows returned $3500 a head.

"Our best sale before that was in the Spring Female sale a fortnight ago, at $3000. Heifers you thought couldn't get any dearer have made another $500 for a very similar article," he said. "Graziers are focusing more on the finer quality cattle and they're certainly reaping rewards. When weaner steers are making $2000 or better, and heifers $1800 you certainly can't argue with that."

Further reading:

More flooding to come

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Cropland prices unlikely to be influenced by rate rise

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