SELECTIVE is the only way to describe the buying trend at the Landmark weaner sale at Boyanup last week.
With more than 1400 calves penned, quality was always going to vary but the range from outstanding to better-left-at-home was more marked than recent sales.
Some excellent drafts from breeders sold strongly under good competition, while the other end saw lower prices not seen for a season or two.
Steer calves topped at $1235 with lightweights reaching 364 cents a kilogram, with one pen of heifers making $1045 and 312c/kg.
The sale gross of $1.337 million and average of $954 speaks volumes for the top-end result.
Most of the usual supporters were out although a couple of lotfeeders were absent.
Landmark commercial cattle manager Darren Chatley was active buying for Landmark International on the top steers while Ben Cooper, Landmark Bridgetown, struggled valiantly to keep the lower end heifers to a reasonable value and bought many pens.
Richard Pollock, Landmark Waroona, helped out and secured numbers for clients.
The top steer price was not realised until pen 67 when Harvey Beef Farms paid $1235 for 10 Charolais steers weighing 451 kilograms from Tandar Pty Ltd that sold at 274c/kg.
The sale started with a pen of five Angus steers weighing 422kg from Paul Thompson, Boyup Brook, going to volume buyer Kevin Armstrong, Willowbank, Benger, at 290c/kg to cost $1224.
The next 10 weighing 396kg from E & C Russell joined those at $1148 and 290c/kg.
Few pens sold under $1100 until the top at pen 67, with early sales from Rim Rock Grazing making $1215 and $1112, going to Willowbank and Landmark International respectively.
Errol Gardiner, Landmark Brunswick, took the two pens of Angus from JS Stowe, Dardanup, paying $1130 and $1109.
Frank Tomasi Nominees, Karridale, had several pens of quality calves that topped at $1139 to average very close to $1100.
Landmark International, Willowbank and Kalgrains shared the spoils.
The annual draft of Mordallup Angus from GD Muir & Co attracted strong support to top at $1147 and 334c/kg for lighterweights.
Landmark International, RA Rogers, Kalgrains, Mal Barrett, Elders Boyanup and Natures Valley Grass all secured pens, mostly for more than $1100.
South West Pastoral, Pinjarra, sold several pens of Angus with a top of $1149 bought by Landmark International.
RA Rogers paid $1140 for 11 weighing 364kg at 308c/kg.
Rodney Galati wore several different hats, buying for Livestock Shipping Service (LSS) and Galati Family Trust, paying $1029 for 15 Angus sold by Paul Thompson at 338c/kg.
Reenmore Grazing carried the Murray Grey flag, selling 12 weighing 382kg for $1123 and 294c/kg to Kalgrains.
Another 10 from WJ Layng made $1091 when bought by Landmark International at 310c/kg.
Simmental calves from Don Partridge sold for $1126 when Jamie Abbs, Landmark Boyup Brook, bid to 308c/kg.
A single, 510kg Charolais sold by PT Alexander returned $1204 when bought by Willowbank at 236c/kg.
Silverlands, Bridgetown, had pens of Angus calves with the first of 11 going to RA Rogers for $1155 and 316c/kg.
The lighter end of these made the top of 364c/kg when the 252kg calves sold to Jock Embry, Landmark Margaret River, for $920.
LSS supported the Silverlands calves, buying several pens for up to 348c/kg.
LSS later dominated the very light calves at the end of the steer section.
Heifers were in lesser numbers and quality, although a single Charolais from S & WL Chisari, Waterloo, topped at $1045 when Willowbank bid to 220c/kg for the 475kg female.
Other higher priced heifers were 10 Charolais from BJ Jackson, McAlinden, with these also going to Willowbank for $1031 and 258c/kg.
Tandar Pty Ltd sold 12 weighing 416kg for $1041 and 250c/kg to this buyer also.
The top of 312c/kg was for seven Angus from Aird & Co bought by Mr Embry with the 348kg females costing $1085.
Four Murray Grey heifers weighing 457kg sold by Love & Son made $915 when Willowbank bid to 200c/kg.
Another 12 from WJ Layng weighed 355kg and sold to L & S Miaolo for $987 at one of the higher prices of 278c/kg.
A second pen of the BJ Jackson Charolais heifers weighing 357kg saw the start of the domination of Mr Cooper toward the end of the heifers, with these costing $986 and 276c/kg.
Mr Cooper went on to buy another 14 pens of heifers with Mr Pollock giving strong opposition to buy some pens of lightweight heifers also.