Home' Smart Farmer : April 2013 Contents April 2013
By ALISTAIR LAWSON
ONGOING dry conditions
across South Australia are
driving a wedge between
prices of prime and store cattle.
As quality cattle fit for kill
become scarcer because of dwin-
dling feed, buyers are willing to pay
more to secure them.
But the store cattle job is going
the opposite way, also struggling
because of lack of feed.
Prostock Mount Compass direc-
tor Kym Endersby has seen this
trend at the town's weekly prime
"Fat cattle are slowly but truly
lifting and cows are doing the
same," he said.
"Any good cattle are lifting, but
store cattle are struggling desper-
Top-end trade calves are achiev-
ing close to $2 a kilogram while
those of better quality are fetching
between $1.70/kg and $2/kg on
heifers and steers.
Cows are reaching rates of about
$1.30/kg while heavy steers have
been making between $1.65/kg and
"Cows and calves are going for
anything between $550 and $800,
which is down by at least $350 a
unit on previous seasons," Mr
"There will be a bigger widening
in the price between store cattle
and prime cattle if we don't see
some rain soon.
"At the moment you can buy light
heifers for as low as $1.10/kg and
up to $1.50/kg, while steers are
"On the off chance you had feed,
now would be a grand opportunity
to buy because when it rains there
is no doubt the price will shift
Elders Strathalbyn territory sales
manager Danny Reynolds has seen
the same thing at prime sales and
store sales at Strathalbyn.
He said the Adelaide Hills were
getting drier as the season progress-
es, with paddock feed a real issue
and hay harder to come by.
"People carrying stock have to
make the decision now whether to
sell or take them through," he said.
"Lighter, plainer cattle are still
struggling while feeder and store
cattle are either holding firm or los-
"We have seen a slight improve-
Dry drives wedge between
prime, store cattle prices
Partacoona Station principals David and Jill Michael, pictured with agent Greg
Foster, Elders Port Augusta, had the biggest yarding at the Strathalbyn Feature
Cattle Sale in March, with 85 steers and 42 heifers from their property out of
Port Augusta. Their steers made $430 and heifers to $290.
Brett Sonntag, Mannum, was selling Hereford-cross steers and heifers at the
Mount Pleasant market in March.
Adelaide Hills getting drier
Prime cattle prices lifting
Cows, calves trending down
THE inaugural Sheaoak Log
Country Fair will showcase
the best of country living.
A major part of the event
event, presented by the Rotary
Club of Gawler, will feature
agricultural and trade dis-
plays, and an indoor market.
It will be held at the
Sheaoak Log Community
Museum at 5 William Street,
Sheaoak Log, just off the Sturt
Hughway on Saturday, April
27 and Sunday, April 28
between 10am and 4pm.
The country fair takes over
from the Rotary Club of
Gawler Tractor Pull event
which raised valuable funds
The Sheaoak Log fair will
have a extensive entertain-
ment program catering for all
members of the family.
Special guest celebrity
emcee will be Triple M
announcer and host of
Channel 9 show South Aussie
with Cosi Andrew Costello.
Vadoulis Garden Centre's
Milton Vadoulis, Gawler, will
present live gardening seg-
ments and be on hand to
answer any gardening ques-
The Kapunda Musical
Society will present some
Always popular with the
crowds -- children in particu-
lar -- is 'Dunstan' who featured
in the movie Red Dog. Visitors
can get their photograph
taken with this friendly
The Sheaoak Log Historical
Museum's vast range of vin-
tage machinery and engines
always attract a lot of atten-
Australian animals will keep
children entertained, and
there will be plenty to see by
way of fashion parades, pre-
sented by Target Gawler, and
The event is fully catered,
with a range of homemade
produce and craft stalls, and
includes bar facilities.
Barossa Valley helicopter
rides will be available, along
with V8 simulator rides.
Other attractions include
train rides, horse shoeing,
jumping castle, face painting,
shearing demonstrations, and
a tractor dismantle and
A grand parade of machin-
ery will be held at 2pm on
The proceeds from the
event will be shared by local,
national and international
• Details: Bill Adams 0408 811
Best of country living on
show at Sheaoak Log fair
Bill Adams is one of the driving forces behind the Sheaoak Log
ment in the meat job over the last
few weeks, but it's still a bit erratic."
Landmark Anderson & Fawcett's
monthly sheep, lamb and cattle sale
at Mount Pleasant in March saw the
cattle side generally strong, with a
lot more lighter store types than
At the sale, the best milk vealers
achieved $690, bulls to $960, lighter
trade cattle to $620, better trade
cows to $580, and store steers to
Meanwhile, the sheep and lamb
side of the sale saw the best cross-
bred lambs achieve $128 with agent
Colin Fawcett reporting plenty of
pens selling for more than $100.
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