The proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow could be a reality for vendors at this week’s Roma store sale with a hint of rain on the horizon and continuing strong prices keeping optimism high.
Ian and Joy Macallister and their grandson Ben Whip, Roma Downs, Roma, sold 313 Angus and Angus Brangus cross steers this morning to a rewarding top of 366c/kg.
The steers averaged 354c/kg at 367kg to return $1296/hd.
In line with the family’s management plan, Mr Whip, his partner Belinda McLean, St George, and two additional workmen walked the cattle 15km to the saleyards yesterday with worthwhile savings.
Mr Macallister said he no longer took part in the “walk to town” but seeing his product penned at the sale was reward enough.
“We tend to walk our bigger drafts of cattle to the saleyards purely to save money- there’s no transport fees and no shrinkage in the cattle,” he said.
“We find the cattle are fuller when they arrive because they get a good feed on the way in.”
Mr Whip said the steers had been held longer this year on account of a good season.
“They’re probably a bit heavier this year because we had a bit of extra grass and it’s cheaper to feed them on pasture and get paid on weight than to sell them lighter,” he said.
The Macallister family run breeders on Struan and Drumfern, both 100km south of Roma, and bring the progeny back to Roma Downs for growing.
Mr Macallister said weaners were paddock reared on forage, native grasses and buffel grass with herbage abundant in winter.
“If this change delivers and we get another good fall of rain it will turn into a huge season for us,” he said.
“We’ve got about 200 hectares of oats out about six inches and it’s in need of a drink at the moment.
“The place is covered in early herbage so if we get the rain it will be just marvellous.”
Landmark Roma livestock agent Rod Turner said prices were similar to last week while quality was mixed.
“Good lines of cattle are holding firm and we’re starting to see a few northern lines from Charters Towers making their way down to Roma,” he said.
“The majority of today’s yarding come from a line from Charleville through to Roma and Chinchilla and south to St George and Cunnamulla.”
Mr Macallister and his grandson said they were thrilled with their results and Mr Whip said he believed their gradual move into Palgrove Ultrablack genetics was a large contributor.
“We’re increasing the Angus content for better eating quality and they’re worth more money on the hooks,” he said.
“With the blend of weather, strong prices and the increasing breed focus on black cattle, now was the right time to sell.”