The Smith family from Winton were among those taking advantage of Blackall’s final sale of 2018 to lighten off cattle numbers at home.
Jimmy and Sandra Smith, Cotswold Hills, and their son Gavin, had a mixed line of 115 Charolais Santa cross weaners among the yarding of 2685 head at the sale.
Their 68 heifers, weighing 267kg on average, averaged 223c/kg for $598/head.
The 45 steers, a little lighter at 257kg, averaged 268c/kg and returned an average $692/head.
“We were happy with the price on the day,” Jimmy said. “We’re only 25 per cent stocked at home – this is just a symptom of the ongoing drought.”
The couple benefited from the good rain around Winton in March but the feed from that has run out and they’ve been feeding stock for the last month.
“We just needed to lighten off and keep the breeders going,” Sandra said.
Winton agent, Jack Brodie, said it was the same for others in the district, who were all looking to lighten off before the 2018 selling season came to a close and with rain still looking a variable prospect.
“There was no rain at Winton in the last change, just isolated patchy falls towards Boulia,” he said.
The Smiths said they’d chosen Blackall to sell at to reduce their freight bill and it was a good chance for Gavin, who manages the Winton saleyards along with wife Jodie, to see the new selling complex at Blackall.
Blackall Combined Agents said the market on the day had followed the trends evident in other saleyards this week.
Feeder cattle continued to attract strong competition, while good quality store steers and heifers were in demand.
Buyers were however more selective with the lighter and poorer quality store steers and heifers attracting a marked price correction of between 15 and 20 cents from a fortnight ago.
Cattle were drawn from Blackall, Tambo and Barcaldine along with consignments of cattle from Jericho, Winton, Hughenden, Muttaburra, Aramac, Isisford and Longreach.
Bloomfield Pastoral Company, Bloomfield, Blackall sold Droughtmaster steers to a top of 262 c/kg weighing 244 k to return $642 per head.
Dale Davison, Glendale, Blackall sold Santa cross steers to a top of 265 c/kg weighing 240 kg to return $636 per head.
AW & JF Zischke, Brendallan, Aramac sold Brahman feeder heifers to a top of 218 c/kg weighing 355 kg to return $774 per head.
WG and GL Seeney off agistment at Bonnie Doon, Blackall sold Brahman cross feeder heifers to a top of 259 c/kg weighing 381 kg to return $1087 per head.
RJ Murphy and Everton Cattle Company, Everton, Aramac sold Santa bulls to a top of 241 c/kg weighing 765 kg to return $1845 per head.
They also sold Brahman cross cows to a top of 222 c/kg weighing 520 kg to return $1155 per head.
Matt Easton, Prospect, Barcaldine sold Droughtmaster cows to a top of 215 c/kg weighing 457 kg to return $984 per head.
Jeff Easton, Prospect, Barcaldine sold Droughtmaster steers to a top of 254 c/kg weighing 217 kg to return $553 per head.
N and R Balderson, Balonne, Barcaldine sold Charolais cross cows and calves for $950 per unit.
MJ & SE Cameron Romulus, Blackall sold Santa Gertrudis X Feeder Steers for 308.2c/kg weighing 457kg to return $1408/hd.