Armidale's third Top of the Range weaner sale topped at $1525 for a pen of 20 Angus steers, while a pen of 13 heifers made $1015 in a yarding of 3100 head.
Almost two-thirds of the yarding were steers, with 1925 head that averaged 332 cents a kilogram - or in dollar terms, $918 a head.
The impact of a drying off in conditions emerged in the prices, even though there were active numbers of buyers with orders to fill. On March 20, just two months ago, the steers in the 200kg to 280kg range averaged 455c/kg or $1119, while on Monday, the same quality steers averaged 333c/kg, for a dollar average of $802.
Steers in the 280kg to 330kg ranged in price from 224c/kg to 410c/kg, averaging 336c/kg for the 730 head offered. Steers in the 330kg to 400kg range were priced from 162c/kg to 402c/kg, averaging 325c/kg.
Some of the vendors The Land spoke with seemed philosophical in their remarks, that 'this is the market', but the prices of two months, especially 12 months ago, were a comforting memory for some.
John and Cath Farrar, Noolabi, Uralla sold the top-priced pen of 20 Angus steers, averaging 404 kg and making 376c/kg.
Chris Gibbins, Avondale, North Dorrigo attending the sale with Tim Bayliss of Ray White Rural, Dorrigo, bought the steers, and he said their weight and quality were his critical selection choices.
Mr Gibbins said he had laid down a large amount of corn silage two seasons ago and planned to put more weight into the cattle he bought at the weaner sale before trading them on later in the year. Mr Gibbins also bought a pen of 15 Angus cross steers early in the sale, weighing 361kg for 326c/kg, offered by BR and RB Menzies, Dangarsleigh, Armidale.
One of the quality lines penned came from Terry and Matthew Fahey, Wongalea Pastoral Company, Mt Mitchell, with three pens of steers averaging 291kg, 316kg and 337kg. The pen of 22 lightest steers made 376c/kg, a pen of 21, 316kg steers averaged 374c/kg, and the heaviest steers made 368c/kg.
The Faheys use Bald Blair Angus bulls exclusively in their strategic plan. "We use quality bulls and super," Terry Fahey said. "Normally, we sell on AuctionsPlus, but this year on our agent's advice (Nutrien Armidale's Cody Van Heerwaarden), we decided to sell through the yards. We're pretty happy with the result," he added.
Diana and Ross Stewart, trading as Pipearange Holdings, Vale View, Wellington Vale, near Glen Innes, offered a line of 70 Cara and Lotus blood Hereford steers. A pen of 29, averaging 282kg, made 282c/kg, a pen of 25, averaging 318kg, made 320c/kg and a pen of 16, averaging 352kg, made 310c/kg.
Willow View Rural Pty Ltd, Uralla, sold 19 Angus steers averaging 296kg for 406c/kg, while another pen of 13, averaging 251kg, made 396c/kg. DS and MC Gleeson, Bundarra sold a pen of Charolais/Hereford cross steers averaging 351kg for 306c/kg and a pen of 22 steers of the same description, averaging 309kg for 302c/kg. H and J Fraser, Wollomombi, sold a pen of eight Angus cross steers, averaging 250kg, at 280c/kg, while a pen of 22 Speckle Park steers from the same vendor, averaging 229kg made 278c/kg.
Heifers between 200kg and 280kg ranged in price from 152c/kg to 356c/kg, averaging 263c/kg, or $637/hd for the 665 offered. Heifers in the weight range from 280kg to 330kg were priced from 190c/kg to 344c/kg, averaging 279c/kg or $829/head for the 321 offered. There were only 92 heifers in the 330kg to 400kg range, averaging 256c/kg and ranging between 180c/kg to 302c/kg.