Millions for the coast and a million for the country. Magic Millions was again a great success with Exhilarates winning the big race. Spotted mingling and mixing were a number of rural identities. Graham and Linda Huddy, Peachester Lodge were busy purchasing a number of yearlings, as we go to print to a top of $725,000. Allan Acton secured a filly for $550,000 and Queensland’s largest pork processor Darren Wilson with his trainer Kelly Schweida secured a couple as well. Former QTC committman Lex Heinemean, who has become a regular at the event, attended with Elders Blackall manager Des Cuffe and Brisbane-based Blackall identity Dick Banks. Jan Clark, Daandine Pastoral Co, paraded a few yearlings successfully as always and has previously produced a MM winner in Capitalist.
Western Queensland golfers could become millionaires with a single shot. Queensland’s Minister for Tourism and other things Kate Jones has announced an innovative new multi-location golf event for Outback Queensland, which includes a million dollar hole in one challenge. The Outback Queensland Masters will tee off in 2019 with golf tournaments at six locations in the winter months. The event will start in Roma and will take in Charleville, Longreach, Winton, Boulia and concluding in Mt Isa.
I have no doubt this will attract an elevated number of tourists to regional and rural Queensland and with 2019 declared by the government, as “The Year of Outback Tourism”, the benefit to the nominated towns hosting the tournaments and those along the way, will be generous. Have no doubt people in the city who play golf multiple times a week will jump at the chance to compete in this type of event. The event is expected to contribute more than 7000 visitor nights to the west with a spend to approach close to $2 million.
“Not only will it shine a spotlight on some great regional Queensland centres, but also on some golf courses that have great appeal, if not the fame to match” Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said. “Whether they’re on sand or grass greens, the courses the Outback Queensland Masters field will play are unique and a great representation of golf being a welcoming cornerstone of communities around Australia.”
Weaner sales in Victoria have been in full flight over the past few weeks. While not setting the place alight with high prices, they have been solid. Support has been limited from restockers compared to previous years. A solid base provided by Russian and Tasmanian support with most markets achieving averages around 300 – 320c/kg liveweight for steers and heifer equivalents 260 – 280c/kg liveweight.
The top end of March drop weaners last week sold to $1280 in dollar terms for 406kg Angus steer calves equating to 316c/kg liveweight, however select lines of steers made up to $1200 or $3.59c/kg liveweight for lighter types
Heifers are an interesting study with averages down $205 year on year in a market that is underpinned with live export orders and solid grain finishing demand from lot feeders. Quality Angus heifers topped at $1250 being 394kg to top at 318c/kg liveweight with restockers chasing quality, however that was short lived when lotfeeders stepped in to absorb the majority paying from 250 – 280c/kg.
Year on year averages from one major north eastern centre last week witnessed a downturn in weaner averages. January 2018 sale steers averaged $1135, last week $981, whilst the heifers in the sale averaged $907 in 2018 compared to last week $702.
The take out for mine is the number of quality replacement females exiting the breeding programmes and either landing in Russia, other countries or custom feedlots. This trend will be evident again, when weaner sales commence in NSW in the autumn months and as we are fully aware in Queensland, exporters in the North of the state and feedlots have underpinned our store markets for a considerable length of time. Quality replacement breeding females will be difficult to secure in years to come.