Northern exposure at Hamilton as records tumble

Gregor Heard
By Gregor Heard
Updated January 17 2022 - 11:00pm, first published January 11 2022 - 8:00am
Stephen Robertson, 'Glenferrie' Paschendale, west of Hamilton and Janine Wombwell at the sale on Tuesday.

THE NORTHERN raids on the Western District weaner sales in Victoria continued, with an estimated 90 per cent of all cattle sold at Hamilton's all-breeds Elders and Nutrien sale on Tuesday heading over the Murray.

It led to a record sale, with initial estimates of prices a whopping $500 a head above last year, which was the previous record.

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"The demand from the north was very strong, there is a lot of grass, it hasn't stopped raining and they are still restocking after the drought," said Nutrien SLM Hamilton managing director Sam Savin.

"It has all added up to a fantastic result for vendors across all categories, we haven't done all the sums just as yet but it looks like it could be around $500 a head higher than last year when we averaged just shy of 500c/kg, which was a record," Mr Savin said.

"The sale was exceptional for its strength all the way through, the EU (European Union accredited) and non-EU Angus both went really well then the Herefords were also strong," he said.

"The highlight, though, was probably how strong things went all the way through, right to the tail end of the smaller heifers."

He said there was little variation in demand across the breeds.

"It was very even compared to what we have seen in the past, it didn't matter if it was red and white or black or white, there were buyers out there."

At the front end of the sale there were some good results for Doug Robertson, 'Nangana', Grassdale, west of Hamilton.

He sold the first two pens of the day, 60 Angus steers weighing 414kg at 629c/kg and then had 111 steers at 359kg go for 660c/kg while 29 lighter steers, 299kg, made 756c/kg.

"It was a great result, the strong demand from outside the area certainly helped things along," Mr Robertson said.

Mr Savin said before the sale expectations were around 580-600c/kg for the heavier lines, but added that figure was smashed out the park.

"We averaged around 630-40c/kg for the heavier lines, the middle runs were around 650-70c/kg and the little cattle made over 750c/kg in some cases."

Nr Savin said the northern buying splurge was not a common occurrence, especially on the heifer front.

"Generally all our really well bred heifers normally stay local but there was very good cash from interstate."

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"Outside the NSW and Queensland buyers we also saw some interest from South Gippsland, but it was those northern guys who really dominated."

'Athlone South', Penshurst, won the best presented pen of Angus steers.

Roland Cameron, from 'Athlone South' said it was a good day out.

He had one pen of 117 369kg steers make 660c/kg and another of 129 at 334kg make 702c/kg.

"It's a credit to the hard work everyone put in to bring the animals to market, we're very pleased," Mr Cameron said.

On the heifer side, Mr Savin said the award went to Harton Hills, who were also volume vendors on the day, offering multiple pens.

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Gregor Heard

Gregor Heard

National Grains Industry Reporter

Gregor Heard is Fairfax Ag Media's national grains industry reporter, based in Horsham, Victoria. He has a wealth of knowledge surrounding the cropping sector through his ten years in the role. Prior to that he was with the Fairfax network as a reporter with Stock & Land. Some of the major issues he has reported on during his time with the company include the deregulation of the export wheat market, the introduction of genetically modified crops and the fight to protect growers better from grain trader insolvencies. Still involved with the family farm he is passionate about rural Australia and its people and hopes to use his role to act as an advocate for those involved in the grain sector. Away from work, he is a keen traveller, having spent his long service leave last year in Spain learning the language.

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