One of the highlights of the weaner fair season is the Sue Brother’s sale, held at the Feilding sale yards. The Sue family religiously sell their annual draft Angus-Hereford calves at these yards and even last year’s lockdown did not affect that; the fair was simply delayed by a month until it was able to be held.
Each year around 800 calves are shipped down from Taihape and it is nothing short of a phenomenal sight to see such a volume of very consistent black and white calves yarded. They essentially come as one line and under PGG Wrightson’s guidance, are sex-drafted and then drafted into saleable line sizes. The calves' reputation precedes them and also a willingness from buyers to support a well-respected family means that this fair is always well-supported.
Wellsford weaner fairs
Wellsford penned just over 1400 weaners on Monday and Tuesday. There was plenty of quality throughout both yardings, and competition was strong for those that ticked the right boxes. As a result, heifers in some cases surpassed the males. On Monday steers accounted for 80% of the yarding and Angus and Angus-Hereford, 180-300kg, returned $550-$820 and varied from $2.78/kg to $3.28/kg. Hereford-Friesian, 126-222kg, realised $510-$755 and the lighter end exceeded $4.00/kg. Hereford-dairy and Murray Grey-Friesian, 160-234kg, held at $505-$590. Small lines of Hereford bulls, 188-291kg, earned $605-$700 whilst Friesian traded in two bands – 253-317kg managed $630-$825, $2.48-$2.53/kg and 175-184kg, $545-$585, $3.18-$3.23/kg. The balance of the two-day fair was offered on Tuesday, as 500 heifers were penned. They sold to solid demand and the better traditional lines were able to reach $3.12-$3.17/kg for good weights of 220-230kg, which meant more sold around the $700 mark. Lighter weights dropped in dollars per kilogram and most made $400-$600. Hereford-Friesian, 213-252kg, fetched $680-$740, $2.91-$3.19/kg with 128-164kg at $400-$500, for the same per kilogram levels.
Sue Brothers Weaner Fair
Close to 800 Angus-Hereford calves were offered at the Sue Brothers Weaner Fair on Wednesday. Line sizes were reduced to 20-40 head for most this year to suit more buyers, which proved worthwhile. Annual buyers returned, though new faces were also competitive. Steers sold to Putaruru and Taihape and made a slight premium on recent results as they averaged 220kg and $810, $3.67/kg. Top lines reached $900-$1160, second cuts $655-$750 and small steers, $400-$525. Heifer buyers also included Auckland and like their brothers, sold at a premium. They averaged 215kg and $595, $2.79/kg. The top line at 322kg sold for $890, while other top pens returned $690-$780. Second cuts made $510-$635 and small heifers, $345-$490.
Feilding Weaner Fair
The market rewarded quality on just under 1600 weaners at Feilding on Thursday. Large lines of late-born traditional steers, 220-265kg, usually made $730-$900, $3.45-$3.60/kg, but this eased to $3.20-$3.40/kg for those 185-220kg. Some 210-220kg South Devon-cross steers were $710-$790, $3.35-$3.55/kg. Good-sized lines of 200-255kg traditional heifers were strong at $560-$722, $2.75-$2.95/kg, with 220-240kg Charolais-cross heifers similar at $2.85-$3.00/kg. However, many small-numbered, light weight, or mixed-bred lines were pinned down at $2.20-$2.50/kg and on occasion less. Straight Hereford and Angus bulls, 260-290kg, returned $800-$860, $3.00-$3.10/kg.
Taranaki Second Run Weaner Fair
Good lines of calves sold on at least a steady market at the Taranaki Second Run Weaner Fair on Thursday. A large portion of the traditional steers, 230-263kg, made $790-$835 and second cuts, $650-$750. All sold within the $3.04/kg to $3.43/kg range. Top Charolais-cross steers, 275-300kg, achieved $920-$1000, $3.33-$3.39/kg. Nice dairy-beef steers above 190kg earned $610-$690, with most $2.95-$3.15/kg, and heifers $530-$605. Charolais-cross and Speckle Park, 277-283kg, took the top spot in the heifer pens at $805-$810, $2.86-$2.91/kg, and better traditional, 230-240kg, made $640-$700, $2.77-$2.88/kg. A small number of traditional bulls fetched $720-$820.
BLACK AND WHITE AFFAIR - The Sue Brothers offering of Angus-Hereford weaners easily impressed sale attendees at Feilding last Wednesday.