THERE was a familiar buzz around Coonamble last Thursday 11 June as the Associated Agents hosted their first Fat & Store Cattle Sale in three long years.
“We yarded close to 1100 prime cattle – 900 fat and 150 store – and there was one of the biggest galleries of buyers I’ve seen since the late 1990s,” said Halcroft & Bennett’s David Thompson.
“The quality of the cattle was above expectations and shows what the Coonamble district is capable of producing in just a short period of time.”
“The market here was dearer than at the major centres last week, mainly due to the quality and condition of the stock on offer,” Mr Thompson said.
Selling kicked off at around 2pm with up to 20 professional buyers travelling to Coonamble after finishing the morning at the Dubbo Sale.
First off, Adam Robinson sold an exceptional line of Brahman cross cows weighing 546 kg to return $1640 going on to sell feedlot heifers for 398 cents 430 kg to return $1683.
Glendara Pastoral Co sold preg-tested Santa cross cows 301 cents 606 kg $1827.
Dean and Anita Murray sold butcher heifers 401 cents 430 kg $1728 and Alan Inglis sold heavy steers 399 cents 530 kg to return $2116.
Further up the road Paul Backhouse sold Angus cross steers 419 cents 468 kg $1961.
Paul Cleary had a good day out selling a pen of heavy steers for 400 cents 590 kg to return $2360.
Four Mile Venture presented a nice line of Angus cross heifers to the feedlotters for 391 cents 362 kg $1420 and Urungie partnership had a good line-up of heifers 390 cents 427 kg $1668.
There was strong local competition on any of the re-stocker lines but they were limited as most of the cattle had weight and condition.
Paul and Veronica Underwood sold Angus feeder steers to 423c returning $1407 and Rod Moxham offered Hereford heifers which realised 398.2c coming back at $1876.
Quabathoo Partnership sent in Angus cross bullocks which sold to 365c/kg returning $2110.
The Fisher family from Coorawong sold Hereford feeder steers to 385c/kg returning $1638.
Adam Brien sold older bullocks for 327c/kg coming back at $2500.
Henry and Rosie Moxham of “MoxAG” sold a run of cross bred feeder steers to average $395.7, weighing 396kg to return $1567 a head.
Adrian Lyons of “Caraminyah Pastoral Co” sold a pen of Angus milk and 2 tooth steers to $4.00 to weigh 561Kg and return $2245 a head.
He also sold a pen of Hereford cross steers, milk and 2 tooth, for $3.89 to weigh 570kg to return $2220 a head.
Ross and Tania Wills “Erdavale” sold a run of Angus and Angus cross heifers to average $3.94 for 265kg and return $1046 a head.
Dubbo-based David Monk was in Coonamble reporting on the sale
“It’s going very good, very very strong, the market is right up there,” he said
“These cattle have done so well, so quickly. It was not that long ago that it was still drought time, still full-on drought, so the cattle have done so well in such a short time, which is a testament to the quality of the country.
“There’s buyers from all up and down the eastern states – there’s a southern feedlot, all the major feedlotters are here giving it a crack,” he said.
Peter O’Connor of AJF Brien & Son, said cattle were drawn from all parts of the district, from Carinda to Baradine and down to Gular.
“One buyer who regularly attended when Coonamble sold on a weekly basis but hasn’t been here for over 15 years gave the thumbs up and said he would definitely be back,” Mr O’Connor said.
“The one thing that is common knowledge among the processors is that the Coonamble cattle yield well and there was great competition from butchers and feedlotters,” he sai
“If it wasn’t for the COVID restrictions we would have seen a huge turnout of spectators.”
Those sellers attending were clearly pleased with the sale.
“I think it’s wonderful, it’s a terrific thing for the town and it’s a shame its been closed for so long,” said Malcolm Lampe. “By the spring there should be a lot of cattle coming through.”
Tania Smith was there to see her father Les Trindall’s cattle sell.
“I think everyone’s excited about the saleyard starting up again,” she said. “It saves on freight. “
“The last cattle sale I went to would’ve been the last one here. We’ve sold cattle but we’ve had to send them away.”
“The cattle look really good, beats what we’ve been through for the past three years.””We aren’t in so much of a drought at the moment, there’s a bit of green stuff around, we’ve got fatter cattle which is good,” said yard worker Gabbi Smith.
“We’ll hopefully have one every once a month or something, get it back up and running, it’s good for the town.”
Despite not having a sale for nearly three years the sale process itself went extremely smoothly.
“We were able to sell and weigh over 1000 cattle in four and a half hours,” Mr O’Connor said.
“It was a good effort by agents and saleyard staff and great co-operation by the shire council staff.”
The economic injection from the sale was evident with around 20 people employed on the day and every local livestock transport company active.
The flow-on effect to local cafes as sellers and buyers arrived in town prior to the sale and afterwards to the Terminus Hotel as local agents and producers celebrated provided a glimpse of what can be possible.
“It was great to see so many people excited about the sale and with the support of the local producers this keeps small towns like Coonamble alive,” Mr Thompson said.
“At this stage we would be looking to have another sale late July and continue on through the year depending on numbers.”