ALTHOUGH unseasonably late, the long-awaited rain has finally ended the dry spell, much to the delight of farmers throughout the region.
Crops that had been planted dry just prior to the rain are now coming through and those farmers who have been sowing into some moisture should get a good strike.
The news is not so good for farmers up north, who still need rain and are struggling to feed stock, with many being forced to off-load their animals in a cheaper market.
An increased yarding of 607 cattle at Mortlake this week saw the usual group of buyers attend as the market was dominated by approximately 388 cows that made up to three-quarters of the yarding which ranged from good heavy beef cows to plainer lots.
A limited supply of grown steers and a mixed quality offering of the younger cattle were also penned.
Grown steers were 10 to 15 cents per kilogram easier due to a lack of quality, and grown heifers sold equal to last sale.
The limited selection of young cattle varied in price depending on the quality with plainer lots selling weaker and the better quality firm to dearer due to extra demand.
Cows sold to consistent competition as the light E1 dairy cows sold 5 to 10 cents per kilogram higher.
D1 and D2 dairy bred cows were a few cents lower and medium to heavy beef cows sold firm to 3 cents dearer.
The best of the vealers made 240 to 276 cents per kilogram, with yearling trade C3 steers selling from 250 to 280 cents per kilogram.
Yearling C3 heifers made from 250 to 266 cents, with D2 and D3 yearling heifers selling from 220 to 255 cents, to feeders and restockers paid from 223 to 266 cents per kilogram.
Grown steers sold from 230 to 279 cents, with manufacturing steers selling from 212 to 250 cents and heavy grown heifers made from 220 to 245 cents per kilogram.
The D1 light beef bred cows sold from 160 to 170 cents, with the D2, D3 and D4 heavier weight cows making from 178 to 218 cents per kilogram.
The C3 and C4 cows made to a top of 220 cents with beef bulls selling from 200 cents to reach 235 cents per kilogram.
This week’s decreased yarding of 170 head at Ballarat saw quality mostly average with a few pens of nicely presented steers yarded.
The usual buying group attended and operated in a generally firm market on the young cattle with most again going to feeders and restockers.
Grown steers and heifers improved to 10 cents with the better covered cows also improving 5 to 10 cents per kilogram.
The yarding was made up of 41 cows, 73 steers, 31 heifers, 22 bulls and a few open auction cattle.
Vealers and yearlings sold to the trade from 200 to 264 cents with restockers and feeders paying from 210 to 267 cents per kilogram for young cattle.
A few light weight young cattle in plain condition sold from 176 to 196 cents per kilogram. Grown steers sold to stronger competition, with heavy C and D muscle steers selling from 240 to 256 cents and the light and medium weights selling from 210 to 269 cents per kilogram.
The grown heifers also improved and made from 200 to 230 cents with light and medium weight D muscle, 1 and 2 score beef cows sold from 115 to 152 cents and C muscle cows selling to 199 cents per kilogram.
Heavy C muscle cows sold from 190 to 222 while the D muscle cows made from 175 to 220 cents per kilogram.