Brett Linke, Mount Napier, Hamilton is not a man that quits his entire drop of young heifers without serious thought.
But the sale of his complete drop of Angus heifers on the final day of the Hamilton weaner sale last week was well planned.
The move paid dividends, with the 376 kilogram top heifers attracted intense competition to be knocked down at 324 cents a kilogram, or $1218/head.
The second pen of 60, 341kg, made a sale high of 342c/kg, or $1166.
“It was a numbers thing. We had our last year’s joined heifers coming home from agistment and we had a great pregnancy testing result losing only six per cent as empties,” Mr Linke said.
“Something had to go.
“We decided on selling all the heifer-drop because sometimes it can be an incentive for buyers when they know your keepers are included in the sale.”
He was surprised in the interest they generated, given so few people showed interest in heifers at the previous day’s sale.
“When you read the information regarding the percentage of the females in the national herd that have been slaughtered, it makes you wonder if building females in an area where we do have grass wouldn’t be a better project opportunity than buying steers,” he said.
“There is real opportunity and good money to be made with heifers, which will be ready to join when the weather does breaks in the north.
“The national herd will need females when the north get back on its feet.
“We thought along those lines when making our decision to sell and next year, if things go as planned, we may have to buy joined heifers back to restock another property we hope to acquire.
“Hamilton was a good reputation for selling quality bred cattle at its weaner and other special sales so when the weather does turn in the north we would hope they might consider the area when rebuilding their herds.”
Looking back, Mr Linke said only two years ago he paid $2700 for quality breed pregnancy tested in calf heifers to top-up his numbers.
“I was happy outlaying that amount of money because it added value to my rest of my herd,” he said.
Providing it rains, he said buying tucking away a few extra heifers to join should prove to be a smart move.
Mr Linke said he was now looking forward to Beef Week where he will tour the local Western Districts studs with his neighbours, where he inspects the latest genetics on offer.
“There is a group of us all keen to improve our herds and Beef Week is the perfect opportunity to inspect bulls prior to sales,” he said.