Pregnancy-tested-in-calf Angus heifers soared to an outstanding $3100 high at the Naracoorte combined agents' annual breeder sale last Thursday.
This was easily a record for the sale which only topped at $2300 in 2020.
In one of the smallest yardings for many years- 1362 head - there was strong demand from locals, as well as through AuctionsPlus from those interstate looking to rebuild their herds. These online bidders bought 109 head and had 112 bids.
The sale's top price honours went to Neil Engler, Engler Enterprises who sold 79 rising two year old, EU accredited Angus from his Maaoupe and Beachport properties for a $2596 average.
It was his first pen-18 which had a six week joining to his Engler blood bulls which made $3100.
These were bought by Miller Whan & John, Mount Gambier, who also secured the second pen of 18 head for $2600.
Bimbadeen Ag, Coonawarra, made a successful comeback to selling PTIC females in the sale after a five year hiatus due to farm succession.
Neil and Lisa Davis received $3000 for 14 EU Simmental-Red Angus heifers due to calve from early March to a Bimbadeen Red Angus bull, and $2950 for their next pen of 13 head.
"You have got to make the most of it while you can, these prices won't be around forever," Mr Davis said.
Specialist PTIC heifer sellers, the Hann family, Nampara Pastoral Company, Lucindale, also cracked a $3000 high.
Their 222 Angus, Simmental-Hereford and Hereford-Angus heifers averaged an outstanding $2657- more than $800 higher than their 2020 average.
Stuart Hann was rapt with the prices but did not see them as extreme on the current market.
"We are getting $2200 to $2300 for meat animals so it needs that $200-$300 on it for the effort," he said.
For many years the Hanns have been buying weaner heifers at western Vic and SE sales which they join to young bulls from their Nampara stud, which are due to be offered in their bull sale the following year.
"We are trying to buy beautiful lines of heifers so that we can join them up and sell them in even bigger lines, " Mr Hann said.
"We are getting to the stage that about half of them would be by our bulls."
Nampara will offer another 180 of its PTIC heifers in Mortlake, Vic, next week and a further 60 in the next Mount Gambier store sale on Monday, February 15.
Michael Mattei, Williup, Hynam, was also among the top vendors with his 175 Angus, Simmental-Angus and Hereford-Angus heifers which were joined to JB Angus bulls averaging $2594.
His highest price pen made $2900.
Beniagh Pastoral, Penola, received $2700 for the tops of their draft of 153 rising two year old EU Angus.
The heifers had been bought from Cooranga, Lucindale, last year as weaners and were in calf to low birth weight Lawson Angus bulls.
There were a few pens of cows with calves in the saleincluding six Banquet blood Angus first calvers from IE Leask, Penola, with five December 2020 drop Angus calves. They made $2900.
The dispersal of Penola producer Graham Auld's PTIC Angus cows provided one of the sale highlights with the 102 head topping at $3000, for a pen of second calvers, and averaging $2661.
The tops of Mr Auld's cows due on their third calf made $2640 and he secured $2480 for his oldest age group, seven to nine year old breeders. All of the females are due to calve in February-March to Angus Creek bulls.
PPHS Penola-based agent Ashley Braun said it was an "outstanding result".
"It sounds like a lot of money but if you have sold an old cow for $1800 and you have sold a weaner for $1600 to $1700 you can justify buying a young female that will plonk a calf on the ground in two months and you have that calf to sell in the coming year," he said.
Mr Braun said young females were making about $250 more than the PPS feature sale in mid December with plenty of "better end" heifers fetching $2500-$2800 and even the second and thirds in the draft making $2300-$2400.
"We have got a pretty good reputation in Naracoorte for quality, there are blokes that buy heifers each year to join and they have been rewarded for that," he said.
Elders Naracoorte livestock manager Josh Reeves said the sale was "extremely strong" with prices a reflection of the outstanding weaner sales and the strength of the cow market.
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