Andrew Sleigh and son Tom, of Sleigh Pastoral Company, Jerilderie, with their Herefords Australia champion pen of Bayunga blood, Kooringal-bred steers, 413kg, and bought by Gippsland steer finisher Graeme Osborne for $1270.

Wodonga weaners satisfy demand

Local restockers keen to replace finished stock with quality grown and weaner cattle competed very strongly with northern finishers and feedlots during the second week of the annual Blue Ribbon calf sales at Wodonga.

Local restockers keen to replace finished stock with quality grown and weaner cattle competed very strongly with northern finishers and feedlots during the second week of the annual Blue Ribbon calf sales at Wodonga.

The yarding, over the three days of 8,577 head featured many lines of quality Herefords, along with black baldies, Shorthorns and Euro breeds especially prepared for these sales.

The greater majority of the cattle yarded during the three days were in excellent condition, with many vendors reporting heavier weights than last year, although values were lower.

Noticeable over the three days was the demand for EU-accredited lines along with those cattle which could enter premium grass-fed programs.

Elders Wodonga auctioneer Brett Shea said the sale “exceeded our expectations” for all lines, but especially those that will fit into selected markets.

Mr Shea noted good local competition from restockers for pens of Hereford cattle which could be backgrounded for premium grassfed programs.

“Commission buyers from the north were strong and we had EU heifers to go to the Princess Royal feedlot in SA,” he said.

The series of Blue Ribbon sales has featured leading lines of Hereford cattle for many years, and Mr Shea pointed out buyers would drive for a long time to be able to purchase as good a selection of Hereford calves as was presented last week.

Also noticeable was a shortage of EU-accredited cattle and Mr Shea thought more producers could expand their exposure to buyers and receive premiums for their stock by becoming accredited.   

Justin Keane, auctioneer with Wodonga agents Corcoran Parker concurred with Brett Shea and thought the sale featured a “very nice run of cattle.”

“The vendors should be very proud of what they have put up,” Mr Keane said at the conclusion of the first day.

He thought the values were comparable with the prices paid for Angus cattle last week.

“The majority of cattle were bought by local finishers who had sold bullocks before Christmas,” he said.

“These people want the first pick of the breeder’s calves, so they can have a proper bullock out the end.”

Mr Keane noted plenty of competition in the $800-$900 range for younger stock with values over 400c/kg a “hell of a result for the person selling.”

During the second week of the annual weaner sales at Wodonga, feeder and restocker competition kept values for quality heifers on par with current sales, with Elders, Wodonga auctioneer Brett Shea reporting a firm market for young breeders.

“There was really solid support for good quality joinable heifers as there is a shortage of them,” he said.

Paull and Scollard, Wodonga agent Tim Robinson agreed and was further impressed with the quality of the young females on offer, especially those with EU-accreditation.

“A lot of vendors are putting a lot of effort into accreditation and filling the criteria for buyers so they can get the best return possible,” Mr Robinson said.

Andrew Sleigh, Jerilderie, was pleased with the 413kg weight of his top pen after a difficult year.

Mr Sleigh (pictured above with his son Tom) offered 70 steers and sold 20 to top $1270.

“Last year our tops weighed 369kg so we are 40kg up – we had no great expectations around the prices as we understand the industry,’’ he said.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Thanks for providing feedback.