Grafton Sale Yard weighs in on switch to cents per kilo

THE Grafton Sale Yard is moving towards cents per kilo auctions in its store cattle sales, which is used in most cattle auctions across Australia.

Ray Donovan Stock and Station Agents principal Ray Donovan said they could always move back to open auctions, but would try cents per kilo to suit larger buyers that preferred that method.

Casino cattle farmer Brian Farrell, father of auctioneer David Farrell, said they had to move on with the times.

Mr Farrell has farmed since the early '80s and used to have property at Newton Boyd, near Grafton.

"Cents per kilo is the way the markets are going," he said.

Mr Farrell said Grafton was one of the only yards that still used open auctions because they pre-weighed an animal and displayed the weight on a screen, whereas other yards did not weigh the animal until after the sale.

"The feed lot operators and processors are chasing the younger cattle at the moment," he said.

"They look for the four teeth and the two teeth and milk cattle, which are getting good prices."

"The vealer trade is doing a lot better under cents per kilo than the open auctions."

Mr Farrell said he believed the cents per kilo style had come in at the right moment for local producers to make the most of good prices in young cattle.

"I've got to be positive about this system," he said.

"I feel it is for the best."

TO MARKET: Cattle are led through the yards at the store cattle sale at the Grafton Saleyards. Photo: Adam Hourigan
TO MARKET: Cattle are led through the yards at the store cattle sale at the Grafton Saleyards. Photo: Adam Hourigan


Open or dollars per head is when the whole animal is bid on. Grafton used open auctions in its store cattle sales. The May 7 weaner sale was the first store cattle sale auctioned in cents per kilo.

Live weight or cents per kilo is when the price of a kilo of that animal is bid on. Most sale yards around Australia use cents per kilo for their auctions. Grafton uses cents per kilo in its Tuesday prime cattle sales.



A BIT of bad luck stopped the scales but not the sale at Tuesday's prime cattle sale.

The scales' readings were inconsistent and unreliable before the sale started.

Cattle farmer Mango Green said you couldn't help bad luck.

"The sales went to an open auction and everyone was fine with it," he said.

Clarence Valley Council works and civil director Troy Anderson said some problems started appearing with the scales last week. "They started working properly again in time for the Tuesday sale last week and since then we've had representatives of the company that installed them on site, as well as our own staff, to try to identify and fix the problem," he said.

"At this stage no-one has been able to find the fault.

"They seemed to work adequately for yesterday's sale."

He said they would look for the problem over the weekend.



NORTH Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarians have warned Clarence cattle farmers to watch out for Flood Mud Scours (Yersiniosis).

Flood Mud Scours are seen when cattle graze poorly drained pastures and around self-feeders with muddy surrounds.

It is seen after flooding and in winter.

Early symptoms are depression, lose of appetite, drooling and high temperatures (over 40 C).

Cattle then develop a watery, smelly scour, tinged with white casts and occasionally blood.

Just before death their temperature drops very low (under 37 C).

If it is confirmed or suspected move the cattle to a drier paddock and warn your neighbours.

Best results are achieved if treatment is given early using broad-spectrum antibiotics. For more information, phone 1300 795 299.

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