Sober beef markets across the state are a feature of the moment with Grafton no exception on Thursday.
Some 513 head of store cattle were yarded with buyers pushing average prices back yet again.
Parts of the Clarence and Richmond valleys are drought declared so the issue of feed was front of mind for bidders, with the price of a springing cow making about as much as a round bale of silage. Meanwhile the morning whisper in the yards revolved around bad news that feedlot entry grids have taken a nose dive.
Steers 200 to 300 kilograms averaged 249 cents a kilogram or $570. Heavy steers sold to a top of $1428 for Angus cross 545kg, making 264c/kg. Quality two tooth Angus 380kg made 260c/kg or $988.
Angus steers weaned and vaccinated sold to $762 for 272kg at 280c/kg going to the Northern Tablelands. Another pen of their brothers 227.5kg made 296c/kg or $673 going for backgrounding on lower river country at Southgate.
Trevor and Susie Wingfield, The Gorge, sold Angus/Limousin cross steers 250kg for 256c/kg or $635 which paled in comparison to last year's top of $1600 for their older brothers.
However Mr Wingfield bought back on behalf of his twin brother, spending $732 on Herefords heifers pregnancy tested in calf to a Hereford bull, 385kg for 190c/kg.
Angus heifers, milk and two tooth at 380kg made 222c/kg or $844.
Pure Brahman heifers in calf to a Jomanda bull 265kg made 235c/kg or $623.
Heifers pregnancy tested in calf averaged 175.4c/kg or $831.
Cows with calves sold liveweight made to a top of $720 a unit for Hereford on their first calves, sired by a Minnie Vale Charolais bull.
Angus cows with cross bred calves made to $660.
Springing cows sold cents a kilogram reached a top of $1072 for red tagged Hereford, 601.7kg for 178c/kg, in calf to a poll Hereford bull from the dispersal of Allan Moran's property, Lowanna.
His best heifers 348kg made 206c/kg or $718.
Cows to the processors topped at $1451 for Angus, 725kg for 200c/kg.
The sale was hosted by Farrell and McCrohon stock and station agents of Ulmarra.