Tamworth agents sourced one of their largest and highest quality yardings in recent times with weaner steers breaking the $2000 mark at the annual Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Tag A Calf feature weaner and breeder sale last Friday.
More than 4000 head were welcomed from vendors across the New England and Northern Tablelands districts with Elders Tamworth alone booking in 950 steers and 400 heifers, a large majority of them Angus bred.
The yarding was almost double the 2300 head the previous fortnight with the peak of all categories well up on the past results.
The top steer prices rose by $60 a head with eight-to-nine-month-old Angus steers from Dedes Pastoral at Guyra making $2010/hd.
It wasn't uncommon for the majority of steers to make from $1800 to $2000, with Angus and Charolais and Santa cross calves attracting those premiums.
Fellow Guyra vendors Brenda Pastoral received $1940/hd for eight-to-10-month-old Te Mania blood Angus steers while Glenavon Angus, also of Guyra, achieved $1920/hd.
Charolais cross calves from CTK Cattle Co at Barraba made $1550/hd as did Angus cross steers from Thurloo Grazing, Spring Ridge.
One of the biggest lines of cattle from a single vendor was 220 Angus, Santa and Charolais cross steers from renowned coastal breeding outfit, Kinchela Cattle Company weighing 380 to 420 kilograms.
The large-framed cattle were in forward store condition had been moved to agistment after the recent floods and were pre-weighed by McCulloch Agencies for one of the first times at the store sale.
"The buyers bid with a lot more confidence and they went into backgrounding and feedlotting operations," selling agent Daniel McCulloch said.
"We believe pre-weighing is the way of the future. People sell on a cents per kilogram basis and a lot of people want to buy on cents per kilogram.
"With the high prices if people are guessing weights it's not hard to be 50 kilogram out and 50 kilograms at $4 is $200. We want to ensure there isn't a cent left on the table for our vendors and they are getting the right price for their cattle."
Speaking on social media after the sale, Ian Morgan Livestock agent Ben Goodman said the quality of cattle was as good as agents had seen in Tamworth in some time.
But he said there was still cheaper cattle that people could operate on.
"There were still buyable cattle between $1000 and $1250; good little cattle to put away," he said.
The peak of the heifer market rose by $110/head but the majority were secured with $1500 to $1700 budgets.
Ready-to-join Hereford females from T and R Priestley of Joptom at Quirindi topped at $1920/hd with the next best prices of $1750 paid for EU accredited Angus steers from RJ and PC Post through Elders.
Santa heifers from the McNamaras made $1710/hd.
Cows and calves made $3350 ($3125 last sale) for two-year-old Rennylea and Landfall blood Angus heifers with Feb/March-born calves from Bellfields Grazing, Gowrie.
The pregnancy-tested-in-calf market was up $200 with 16-to-19-month-old heifers from Nalorac Pastoral, Tarwarri, Nundle making $2700 and back in calf to Gates Angus bulls to drop in July.
Wallabadah Station, Wallabadah, sold PTIC black baldy heifers for $2320.
Daniel McCulloch of McCulloch Agencies said buyers showed plenty of confidence.
"Elders Armidale had a lot of cattle down here and it's good to see that cattle are coming from further and further away to those major selling centres," he said.
"People (buying) have just come to the realisation that the height of the cattle market is here to stay for a while and if they want to buy some cattle they have got to meet the market.
"It's not going to get any cheaper until we get more numbers and that won't be until October. We are in that good of a season around here it doesn't take much rain at this time of year to keep things going."