Heifers were the highlight on the second day of the Naracoorte Christmas Calf Sale with several pens of future breeders cracking $3 a kilogram- almost outselling the steers.
According to Elders auctioneer Ronnie Dix- whose company were the sole selling agent- the sale was about 20c/kg dearer than day one with at least 60 to 70 per cent of the heifers likely to be joined for breeding.
In contrast he said steers at last Friday's sale were 10-20 cents a kilogram cheaper than the opening day but extra weight- many steers being 400kg plus- made them comparable in dollars a head.
"We had some of the best weight for age in these calves that we have seen for many years even with the wet winter which is a credit to the guys that sell here each year," he said.
"We had a lot of heavy feeder cattle, probably more so than the previous day and with the feedlots mostly full and TFI and Teys hardly buying a pen it came down to the bullock fatteners.
"Three thousand six hundred cattle is a lot of cattle to be selling especially on top of more than 3000 the day before and nearly 4000 at Mount Gambier the same day as our sale."
He said vendors were very happy with the kick in the market.
"The last 12 months has been one of the worst trading 12 months in the cattle game for a long time so if you had told me we were going to see $2.80/kg to $3.10/kg we would have been ecstatic, three weeks ago we would have been lucky to get $2.20/kg to $2.30/kg," he said.
Overall 2679 steers averaged $1105 and 805 heifers averaged $877.
The sale was interfaced with AuctionsPlus and despite more than 1500 catalogue views there were no online bids.
WV James & Son, Cooranga, Lucindale, had an exceptional run of EU eligible, Angus and Speckle Park weaners and were rewarded with their 890 steers averaging $1070 and 420 heifers averaging $890.
Their two pens of Angus made the $1300 sale high selling to Princess Royal feedlot, Burra. The Mandayen bloods which were March/April drop weighed 432kg and 438kg.
Cooranga who have been breeding Speckle Parks for about eight years sold 220 steers for a average. It was a rare sight to see so many pens of the breed all together.
Justin Dickens, JAD Agriculture, Yeoval, NSW, who bred the bulls which sired the Cooranga calves bought 205 of the run through his agent Bowyer and Littlemore Livestock, including the $1100 top for the breed which were 393kg.
He says they performed well for them when they bought them in 2021 and he and his wife Amy are looking at creating a new branded product.
"We fed them two years ago and they did really well for us going into a Coles grassfed program, we killed them just shy of 15 months and they were 520kg and dressed 300kg," he said.
"That domestic short fed is where the breed has a great place as they are high yielding and have very good conversion rates
Princess Royal feedlot was also successful on an outstanding pen of Angus steers from CD&JL Muster Family Trust, Mundulla for $1280.
The 21 Granite Ridge and Roseleigh blds which were among the heaviest in the yards at 454kg had been weaned for a month.
The following pen belonging to CS&NA Muster, Mundulla, made the same money with the 12 447kg steers knocked down to Garrison feedlot, Swan Hill, Vic.
KM Sawers, Coonalpyn, sold the heaviest of the non EU steers which were bought by Teys Charlton feedlot. These 26 Angus which weighed 433kg made $1240.
LS Johnson & Son were another volume vendor with nearly 800 EU eligible steers from their Conmurra, Ross Plains and Springbank properties.
Their Simmental-Hereford steers were generally heavier than the Angus but demand saw the blacks from Conmurra top the Johnson run at $1220 for two pens of 420kg. These sold to Elders Lucindale account Woolabree Props.
Heifer top price honours in dollars a head of $1090 went to Bill River Cattle Co, Willalooka, with 16 383kg Angus.
The Nampara blood cattle were bought back by Nampara Pastoral Company to be joined up and offered as PTIC females in 12 months time.
Many of the top heifers were bought by Nutrien Deniliquin including 12 392kg Angus from Prairie Glen, Lucindale, which made $1060 and the tops of Cooranga's Angus which weighed 356kg and made $990.
Cheverton Partners, Furner, were the other stand out heifer vendor receiving up to $3/kg for their nearly 80 EU Simmental-Angus. The heaviest of these heifers which were 370kg made $1000.
It was clear that buyers, especially those trucking cattle long distances wanted weaned cattle, with about a 15c/kg discount on those straight off their dams.