Saleyards primed for weaner bonanza

FARMERS hope for a multi-million windfall when 7000 cattle are auctioned at the Wodonga saleyards tomorrow and on Friday.

The annual premium weaner sale has attracted record entries.

It has forced stock agents to extend the auction at the Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange to two days.

The mostly year-old cattle are expected to be sold to “backgrounders” to fatten for feedlots.

Top weaners sold last year for about $800 a head but Bowna farmer Don Cameron said the price had come “back a bit since then”.

He will sell 20 hereford steers on Friday.

“This sale has a reputation for attracting a strong field of buyers and we need that,” Mr Cameron said.

“The market isn’t as good as it was last year but that has probably something to do with the dry weather and the dollar being high.

“Still, most farmers target this sale with their better weaners.”

The sale starts tomorrow with Angus cattle while Friday is reserved for herefords and other breeds.

Agent Michael Unthank said it was the start of a busy month with the sale the first in a series of weaner sales.

“This will be a huge couple of days,” Mr Unthank said.

“We are looking at selling about 4000 cattle on Thursday and then probably 3000 on Friday.

“The cattle at the moment look magnificent.

“But this is the premium weaner sale, a blue ribbon event.

“We have buyers from Toowoomba but you would expect the feedlots to be active and the backgrounders, people who buy the cattle and build them up to feedlot weight, will also be looking for stock.”

Agent Pat Kindellan said there was no choice but to make the sale a two-day event, or it would have been just too hard to manage and too hard on the cattle.

“Last year the best weaners fetched $800, but we expect perhaps $700,” he said.

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