FARMERS were prepared to pay reasonable money of up to $1070 for select lines of young joined cows at Yea today.
But the market for the general line of PTIC heifers remained “tough enough’’.
Prices were around $750 for the bulk of the joined Angus and Hereford heifers, most due to start calving in the autumn, with auctioneers having to work hard to build-bids from restockers now wary of both the season and beef returns.
Hardest hit were the plainer and smaller framed heifers, with agents opting to pass some in when prices didn’t get beyond $600.
Contributing to vendor’s disappointment was the fact many of them had paid similar money for the heifers as weaners 12-months ago when the store market was at high levels.
Lancefield farmer Don Martin received $640 for PTIC Hereford heifers, due to start calving in February – a return which was below what he paid for them at Wangaratta last year.
“We’ve sold them for less than what we bought them for, but admittedly they were towards the smaller end,’’ he said.
On a more positive note, Mr Martin was able to invest again at $420 for young Hereford heifers at Yea, helping offset the poor result from last season’s draft.
“All you can do, I guess, is go in again and in a way you have your margin (with the replacement heifers being $200 below the PTIC price),’’ he said.
The 2200 head yarding at Yea was a specialist female line-up, comprising a laneway of cows and calves, PTIC heifers and cows, and unjoined heifer weaners.
Topping the sale at $1360 was a pen of 12 Angus heifers, rising three-years and with young calves aged to eight weeks, that were part of a feature draft of young breeding cattle from the Osborne family, Strathglen Pastoral.
A second pen of 12 sold for $1200, and another lot at $1100.
It was the only cow and calf sale to break the $1000 mark, with prices then ranging from $720 to $980 depending on quality.
The real feature of the sale, however, was PTIC females.
The top price of $1070 was for nine stand-out Angus cows, genuine second calvers, that were due to start calving February for seven weeks to an Angus bull.
They were sold by Larnoo, who received $1030 for a second pen.
Not far beind at $1000 was Duevan Pastoral’s 10 Angus, second and third calvers, which were PTIC to a Charolais bull for a March calving over 7-weeks.
A noticeable trend at the sale was that younger joined cows, second and third calvers, sold very well, with agents attributing to the safer calving of a proven female compared to a higher.
The other obvious trend that buyers wanted was a tight and early calving, with heifers not due to start calving until May generally making less money.