The ability to put weight on naturally is behind Blackall grazier Ranald Noble’s venture into the saleyards in the last month.
Well-known for their Dorper lamb business at Tarbarah, south of Blackall, Ranald and wife Rachel bought 93 young Charolais and Simbrah steers weighing 293kg, paying 399c/kg, at last Thursday’s Blackall sale.
The bulk herbage and grass on their paddocks at home is providing an opportunity to stack weight on unheard of in spring months in western Queensland.
“Our rolling 12 month average is at 18 inches (450mm) and stock are putting the best weight on ever at this time of year,” Ranald said.
“We normally have zero per cent increase in these two months but it’s now close to one kilogram a day, and I’m gambling on better weight gains coming up.
“The big unknown is whether the market is going to come back, but my paddocks are empty and I’ve got to fill them.”
Thursday’s purchase came on top of 100 head of non-HGP softer steers in the 280-360kg weight range bought a few weeks earlier in the rain at Blackall.
Ranald said he was turning to cattle because sheep were even dearer to buy at the moment.
“Young Dorper lambs were sold on AuctionsPlus in August for $138. At Wilcannia this week a similar article sold for $170. That’s how much they’ve gone up in just a few weeks.”
He said he would have enough feed to get them through to a possible autumn sale, regardless of what rain he got in summer.
“We were early fencers so our grass hasn’t been completely scratched out,” he said.
Over 3200 head were sold by Blackall combined agents yarded 3218 head at their fat and store sale on Thursday.
Cattle were drawn from the Cloncurry, Winton, Longreach, Isisford and local districts.
A full panel of export buyers were present with six different processors operating.
The fat market followed the trends of other eastern Australia markets last week and trended slightly cheaper, but Blackall’s market was arguably the strongest in the state for fat cattle last week.
Local and near local re-stockers were active in that market.
In sale highlights, Maranda Pastoral Company, Barcaldine sold Charolais cross steers to a top of 409 c/kg weighing 272kg to return $1115 per head.
Their heavier brothers made 376 c/kg weighing 362kg to return $1362 per head, while their Charolais cross heifers topped at 378 c/kg weighing 308kg to return $1164 per head.
MHG and JJ O’Dell, Colorado, Jericho sold Brahman cows to a top of 256 c/kg weighing 577kg to return $1479 per head. Their Charolais cross heifers sold to a top of 368 c/kg weighing 413kg to return $1521 per head.
Ben and Jaye Hall, Bibil, Muttaburra sold Brangus heifers to a top of 390 c/kg weighing 256kg to return $1000 per head. They also sold Brahman cows to a top of 249 c/kg weighing 525 kg to return $1308 per head.
Chloe, Ben and Tom Seeney, Longreach sold Charolais steers to a top of 399 c/kg weighing 320kg to return $1277 per head.
Nardoo Pastoral NQ, Cloncurry sold Droughtmaster mickeys to a top of 406 c/kg weighing 227kg to return $925 per head. They also consigned 380 Brahman and Brahman cross heifers with the lead topping at 398 c/kg weighing 226 kg to return $901 per head. The whole run of 380 heifers averaged 382 c/kg weighing 211kg to return $807 per head.
Bullock Creek Investments of Rivington, Blackall sold Droughtmaster cross heifers to a top of 320 c/kg weighing 345kg to return $1104 per head.
Edkins Campbell and Company of Bimbah, Longreach sold Angus cross steers to a top of 352 c/kg weighing 350kg to return $1232 per head.
Roberts, Gow and Hopkins of Fermoy, Winton sold Droughtmaster steers to a top of 426 c/kg weighing 198kg to return $847 per head.
Mt Emu Pastoral of Beryl, Longreach sold Charolais cross heifers to a top of 334 c/kg weighing 378kg to return $1264 per head.
Drummondslope, Alpha sold steers for 290.2 c/kg averaging 515.0 kg returning $1494.53 per head.
Mt Enniskillen Pastoral Co, Blackall consigned Santa Bullocks selling to 302c/kg weighing 587kg to realise $1774, while Gunnawarra Pastoral Co, Crewkerne, Muttaburra sold Brahman Steers to 292c/kg weighing 490kg to return $1431.
The next Blackall sale will be a weaner and fat sale on Thursday, October 27.