UNLIKE the freezing weather, the Nutrien Livestock store cattle sale at Boyanup last week was red hot, with the level of competition, crowd numbers and prices possibly never seen before in Western Australia.
Weights and condition on the entire yarding of 1533 head reflected the early break to the season, defying the recent cold and wet condition of paddocks.
Beef steers could only be described as magnificent, selling to $2894, with lighter weights reaching 640 cents a kilogram.
Beef heifers continued the quality, selling to $2466 for a pen and $2500 for a single heifer and a high of 546c/kg.
Beef cross steers were not overshadowed when topping at $2739 and 675c/kg.
Dairy cattle dominated the numbers and were of similar quality, selling to $2444 and 496c/kg, up 50c/kg on the most recent sale at Boyanup.
Friesian poddies were also popular selling to $1266 and 770c/kg.
An outstanding selection of unmated, vet checked, bucket-reared, first-cross heifers attracted the usual competition from mated heifer producers to reach $2350, while cows and calves topped at $3400.
Setting a benchmark average of $1660, vendors and agents can be justified in feeling proud of the result.
Early pens of beef steers had weight, resulting in a top of $2894 paid for three Angus weighing 613 kilograms from J Shine & Co, Brunswick, when bought through Auction Plus for Princess Royal Trading at 506c/kg.
Close behind was a single Hereford steer weighing 615kg that returned $2767 for AR Hall & Co, also going to Princess Royal Trading, which was dominant on heavy steers.
The Darke Trust sold Angus steers averaging 557kg to a top of $2609.
John Gallop, buying for O'Meehan & Co, put together numbers for the feedlot, paying to a top of $2249 for 12 steers weighing 407kg from AD & H Jenkins.
Ten grey steers sold account MK & RE Barnes, Waterloo, joined them at $2230 and 546c/kg.
Harvey Beef again secured numbers, starting with nine Hereford steers from F Slee & Co, Busselton, paying $1861 at 568c/kg for the 327kg steers.
The top of 640c/kg was paid for 11 Angus steers weighing 219kg offered by MJ & CS Scott, costing Lexden Park, Capel, $1405.
Beef heifers continued strongly with the first pen offered taking top price honours when eight older Murray Grey heifers of 560kg from Shorelands Pastoral, Wonnerup, went to Kookabrook Livestock Trust at $2466 and 440c/kg.
Shorelands Pastoral sold two other pens of seven in each, weighing 506kg and 505kg respectively, going to Princess Royal Trading for $2208 and $2171 at 436c/kg and 430c/kg.
A single Red Angus heifer weighing 625kg from Carters Farm, Marybrook, later sold for $2500 when snapped up by Kookabrook at 400c/kg.
Rodney Galati, Brunswick, cranked up the competition on lighter weight heifers, buying several pens including the top price of 546c/kg paid for 10 heifers averaging 311kg from D & J Morris, Boyanup, to cost $1698.
Beef cross steers were appreciated by buyers, with two Hereford cross steers sold by F Slee & Co topping at $2739 when the 640kg steers went to Kookabrook Livestock Trust.
This buyer added Angus cross steers from The Gow Family Trust at $2665, followed by all five pens from NL & E Haddon to a top of $2610 before adding Angus steers from F Slee & Co at $2409.
Harvey Beef added several pens to its tally, paying $2095 for seven steers from Kitchen Farms.
Nutrien Livestock, Margaret River agent Jock Embry was busy buying for clients, securing several pens for up to 462c/kg.
There were several lines of almost finished Friesian steers which met strong demand.
Greg Jones added competition on the heavier cattle, buying several pens for Western Meat Packers up to the top price of $2444 for steers weighing 698kg from CP Atkinson, along with a second pen for $2392 with both making 350c/kg.
DE Craigie & Son sold seven steers weighing 635kg for $2326 with another seven going to Kookabrook for $2364 at 380c/kg.
Nutrien Livestock agents competed strongly on the lighter weight steers with Waroona agent Richard Pollock buying both lines from N & R Scott to $1517 and 378c/kg.
Nutrien Livestock, Boyup Brook agent Jamie Abbs snapped up several lines of the young steers sold by NL & E Haddon, Yoongarillup, paying to $1827 and 380c/kg.
The top of 496c/kg was paid by Terry Tarbotton, Elders Nannup, for 16 just above poddie weight with these from Gundagai Dairy costing $1260.
The next 16 Gundagai Dairy calves topped the heavy end of the poddies when Nutrien Livestock, Harvey/Brunswick agent Errol Gardiner bid to $1203 and 512c/kg.
Stenelees Pastoral sold four pens, all going to Mr Gardiner to a top of $1162.
The top-priced poddies were from Casad Pty Ltd, making $1266 when Mr Gardiner bid to 560c/kg for the 226kg calves.
Lightweight poddies sold to 770c/kg, paid by Olsthoorn & Co for 20 entire bull calves weighing 115kg that cost $889.
An excellent run of bucket-reared heifers were presented by Laureldene Farms, Boyanup, with six Hereford cross topping at $2350 when bought by Mr Pollock.
Eight Angus cross sold to JVE Tuckey for $2300.
Elders, Capel representative Robert Gibbings bought two pens of Herefords, paying $2200 and $2150.
Mr Embry also paid $2150 for first cross heifers for his Nannup client.
Cows and calves saw a peak of $3400, paid for four Angus units from CA King and bought by J & C Fiorenza.