By James Nason, Eric Barker and Jon Condon, 15/12/2021 (extract)
240 Angus cows and calves make up to $5220
CENTRAL Victorian producer Mark Calvert-Jones’ yearly sale of surplus aged cows with calves really paid off in 2021, with the top priced lot making $5220 per head on AuctionsPlus recently.
Working under the Team Te Mania Angus program, Mr Calvert-Jones’ Tonga Station in the Victorian high country first started selling all his surplus cows and calves, pregnant cows and heifers at a single annual sale on AuctionsPlus in 2016 – developing a following of repeat buyers over the years since then.
“Where we are in Mansfield, our calving starts in late July and early August, so our surplus cattle look their best in late November or early December,” Mr Calvert-Jones said.
“Before 2016, we were still very much building up our numbers so we were weaning our calves in February and March – then we would sell the cows. But cows that have just had their calves weaned off them don’t look the best.”
This year, Tonga Station offered and sold 240 females in ten lots, with mobs of cows and calves and pregnant heifers. The top priced lot broke a record for Tonga Station at $5220 a head. The cattle were sold as far north as Nyngan in Northern NSW and south to Tasmania.
Mr Calvert-Jones said developing a following for the yearly one-time sale of surplus cattle was crucial to the station’s breeding program – with most of the cows six-and-a-half to seven-a-half years old.
“From our point of view, moving older cows out to bring the new genetics into our 1000 breeders, has proved a real success by holding this sale on the same date every year.”
“Our spring calving herd targets the high-end marbling market through Rangers Valley in NSW, which takes our steer portion.”
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