Nutrien Ag South Gippsland Livestock auctioneer Jack Ginnivan said a good cross-section of buyers made for a very strong sale.
By the end of the day on October 3, 550 dairy cows had sold over three sales in a week at Koonwarra VLE.
On October 3, as well as 70 freshly calved and pregnancy-tested-in-calf Friesian and Jersey cows and heifers from the Cope farm, there were 40 freshly calved Friesian and Friesian-cross cows sent in by G. Grant of Glen Alvie, 15 freshly calved Friesian and Friesian-cross cows sent in by M. Bright of Yanakie, and 30 freshly calved Friesian, Jersey and Friesian-cross cows sold by P., H. and M. Thomson of Fish Creek.
The Cope autumn and spring calvers were the feature, and sold twice to a top of $3000, averaging $2100.
The first cow, a three-year-old Friesian producing 33 litres, sold at $2000, and prices went upwards from there, with Lot 9, a 2.5-year-old milking 35 litres, selling for $3000.
The first Jerseys in the ring, Lots 12 and 13, sold for $2500 and $2400 respectively. They were two-year-old heifers milking 25 and 27 litres each.
Lot 61, a six-year-old Jersey milking 26 litres, sold for $2900. Lot 23, a Jersey-cross two-year-old milking 34 litres, reached $3000.
P., H. and M. Thomson put up 35 cows with an average production of 35.8 litres/day, from a herd ranked number one by Burra Foods for BMCC.
The Thomson syndicate sold freshly calved Friesian cows to a top of $4400 for Lot 102, a three-year-old cow.
Lot 101, a five-year-old cow, sold at $4250, and 16 cows ranging in age from 2017 to a 2020-drop sold for $3000 to $3900. The entire cohort averaged $2970.
M. Bright sold 18 cows from a herd averaging 32 litres/cow, to a top of $4200 twice, for Lots 70 and 71. Lot 70 was a five-year-old cow and Lot 71 was three years old.
A further nine cows, ranging in age from 2016 to a 2019-drop, sold between $3300 and $4000 each. The entire cohort averaged $3300.
G. Grant sent in freshly calved first to third lactation heifers and cows, from a herd that averages 550kg of milk solids. Their sale peaked at $2800 for Lot 147, a four-year-old Friesian cow, and averaged $2200.
Two-year-old freshly calved heifers held their value, with 10 going under the hammer to a top of $2700 (twice), and most of them selling for $2300 to $2700.
Terry Ginnivan, principal livestock agent with Nutrien Ag South Gippsland Livestock, said all the cows on offer were sold because of workforce shortages.
“Herds are being reduced or sold because of the workforce shortage in the dairy industry,” he said.
In the SEJ dairy cow sale, three vendors put up 42 cows and heifers, ranging in age from first lactating heifers to mature cows.
Oakdale Dairies, of Longwarry, sent in 24 head, calved since August, of which six were heifers. They sold to a top of $2100 for a third-lactation Friesian cow.
Kaedem Dairies, Foster, sent in 10 spring-drop 2020 heifers, not rejoined, that sold to $2900 twice, averaging $2370. Most of the lot were bought by the same bidder.
Inlet Dairy, Foster, sent in seven spring-drop 2020 heifers and a 2017-drop cow, none rejoined, that sold to a top of $2700 twice, averaging $2287.