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Herefords Dominate Mountain Calf Sales

18 March 2011

AUSTRALIA - Whiteface cattle dominated Victoria’s 71st annual Mountain Calf Sales on March 15 and 16 when 2949 Hereford steer calves averaged a staggering $859 during frenetic selling at Benambra, Ensay and Omeo.

Angus were also included in the two day $6.1 million bonanza, but the 1776 black steers averaged $805, a clear $54 behind the Herefords.

A delighted Elders national livestock manager Chris Howie said ‘Herefords are back in vogue’ adding that Herefords were certainly in front with weight for age.

“It is now the turn of the breeder (to make money) and those who have stuck with the job and maintained quality are being rewarded for their efforts, “ he said.

The Hereford demand was also evident in the females where a record $1130 was paid for weaner Hereford heifers. The 1459 Hereford heifers averaged $799, a $28 margin above the $771 average paid for the 1265 black heifers.

Most cattle stayed in Victoria and the Riverina with feedlotters JBS Swift and Charlton taking 25% of the Hereford steers, concentrating on EU compliance indicating the preference for Herefords in the growing EU export market which now takes grain fed as well as grass fed cattle.

The top steer price was $1100 paid at Benambra for the tops in a line of 124 Aug-Sept 09 grown Hereford steers from JA Commins and Co that averaged $1019. All went to Wonthaggi bullock fattener Allan Mitchell who is also building his Hereford breeding herd.

“I’ve tried blacks but Herefords grow out better on my country.” he said.

A record tumbled when a pen of 18 Hereford calves, straight off their dams, made $1130 for Peter and Christine Faithfull who buy their bulls at the Wodonga National. This beat the previous top heifer weaner price of $1125 paid for Angus at Yea the previous week.

The Faithfulls had a big day at Omeo selling 60 heifers for an average $997 and 136 steers for an average $914.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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