Among the 4064 head of cattle sold at Blackall on Thursday were 182 No 8 and 9 Droughtmaster steers and heifers being offloaded by the Bettridge family, Mt Wilga, Alpha.
These cattle, though bred at Mt Wilga, were taken to the family's Aramac country, Leebrook, 12 months ago when conditions were extremely poor at Alpha.
As the season lightens off after 90mm of rain at Leebrook in February and March rain at Alpha, Brant Bettridge said they had no choice but to sell off.
"We'd love to keep these heifers - we usually give them two years with a bull - but we have to lighten off," he said.
The youngest pens of steers were freshly weaned, and the heifers had been preg tested empty.
The heifers sold to a top of 275c/kg, weighing 482kg to return $1327 per head, while the steers sold to a top of 279c/kg weighing 302kg to return $844 per head.
They met very strong competition from Downs feedlotters, restockers from Hughenden, Winton and Cloncurry, and NSW and Queensland processors, including a representative from Stanbroke.
Cattle were sourced from Blackall, Barcaldine Longreach and Winton along with consignments from Boulia, Aramac, Muttaburra, Quilpie and Stonehenge.
Ray White Rural Longreach's Bill Seeney said restockers were replacing grown-out cattle with young ones and taking a punt on rain not being too far away.
"There's a general shortage of well-finished cattle around at the moment and the ones coming in to Blackall are in as good an order as you'll see anywhere.
"They're weighing well - the herbage from the late rain has got them through again."
Mr Bettridge said he would prefer to sell 400kg steers but that hadn't been possible for a number of years, and there was now good money in younger cattle.
"This is part of our normal program, we've finished our muster," he said, adding that preg testing rates were better than expected with first calf heifers at 85 per cent.
Mandy Curran, Talleyrand, Longreach sold Santa cows for 226.2c/kg averaging 500kg to return a head value of $1131.00, Mandy also sold Santa bulls for 278c/kg with an average weight of 645kg returning $1793.10 p/h
Trinidad Pastoral Co, Tinidad, Quilpie sold Shorthorn steers for 250.2c/kg averaging 273.3 kg to return a head value of $683.88
RS & AM Windsor, Innerdale, Blackall sold Brahman cross steers for 299.2 c/kg with an average weight of 453.2kg returning $1355.92 p/h
LW , MJ & EL Deem, Cambeela, Winton sold a run of cows that topped at 241.2c/g weighing 516kg to return $1244/hd
Batts Bros Eldwick,Stonehenge sold bullocks topping at 305c/kg weighing 583kg to return $1778/hd. They also sold heifers at 282c/kg weighing 530kg to return $1495/hd
J Jackson & K Anderson, Belleburra, Longreach had cows top at 245.2c/kg weighing 568kg to return $1394/hd and also sold Angus Santa cross heifers averaging 223.2c/kg weighing 287kg to return $642/hd.
MT & SW Pidgeon, Ventry, Longreach sold milk/2 tooth heifers at a top 281.2c/kg weighing 440kg to return $1237/hd.
Moonbong Partnership, Ravensbourne, Blackall sold Santa steers to 288.2c kg weighing 627.5kg to return $1808.46 per head
Entriken Organisation, Wolston Station, Maxwelton sold Charbray cross steers to 293.2c kg weighing 398.4 to return $$1168.07 per head
Noel Dickson, The Lake,Aramac sold Braford steers to 286.2c kg weighing 580.8kg to return $$1662.16 per head
Bailey Properties, Paradise Downs, Blackall sold Angus cross heifers to 261.2c kg weighing 496.7kg $1297.29 per head
Elderslie Pastoral Co, Elderslie Station, Winton sold Droughtmaster mickeys to 290.2 weighing 540kg to return $1567.08 per head
Moonbong Partnership, Ravensbourne, Blackall sold Santa bulls to 280.2c kg weighing 800kg to return $2241.60
RE Neilson, Elvo Station, Winton sold cows and calves for $890 per hd
Ogg & Co, Ayshire Downs, Winton sold a top quality draft of Santa cross steers selling to a top of 300c weighing 509kg returning $1527.00.
Bungoona Pastoral Co, Bungoona, Longreach sold Charolais cross steers to a top of 300c weighing 507kg returning $1523.
CA Hauff & Sons, The Springs, Blackall sold a top quality draft of Hereford steers selling to a top of 300.2c weighing 499kg returning $1499.50.
Gillespie Grazing Co, Gillespie, Blackall sold heavy Santa cows for 248.2c weighing 665kg returning $1650.
CA Hauff & Sons, Colart, Blackall sold Droughtmaster cross for 242.2c weighing 595kg returning $1440.
A & K Day, Jaccondoll, Barcaldine sold Droughtmaster cross cows to a top of 242.2c weighing 593kg returning $1437.
CA Hauff & Sons, The Springs, Blackall sold Hereford cows to a top of 234.2c weighing 598kg returning $1400.
GJ & JM Bambling, Glenavon, Aramac sold Brahman cross cows to a top of 252c weighing 530kg returning $1335.
Bungoona Pastoral Co, Bungoona, Longreach sold Droughtmaster cross heifers to a top of 294.2c weighing 486kg returning $1430.
Robyn Arnold, Gelebele, Muttaburra sold Santa cross heifers to a top of 265c weighing 496kg returning $1315.
GJ & JM Bambling, Glenavon, Aramac sold a draft of Charbray cross steers selling to a top of 284.2c weighing 405kg returning $1151.
Duthie Park Grazing Co, Duthie Park, Blackall sold a to draft of Santa & Angus cross steers selling to a top of 296.2c weighing 311kg returning $922.
DR & KA Neilson, Two Rivers, Boulia sold a top quality draft of Charbray cross steers selling to a top of 276.2c weighing 340kg returning $941.
Maranda Pastoral, Maranda, Barcaldine sold Santa heifers to a top of 268 c/kg weighing 520 kg to return $1396 per head.
TM and KJ Joseland, Eltham, Isisford sold Angus cross cows to a top of 238 c/kg weighing 510 kg to return $1215 per head.
Hughes Pastoral, Tumbar, Jericho sold Angus cows to a top of 206 c/kg weighing 494 kg to return $1019 per head. They also sold Droughtmaster cross heifers to a top of 245 c/kg weighing 390 kg to return $955 per head.
B and J Hall Family Trust, Bibil, Muttaburra sold Brahman cows to a top of 242 c/kg weighing 605 kg to return $1464 per head. They also sold Droughtmaster steers to a top of 300 c/kg weighing 605 kg to return $1815 per head.
RJ Murphy, Everton, Aramac sold Droughtmaster cross steers to a top of 271 c/kg weighing 360 kg to return $976 per head.
The Davison Family, Blackall sold Droughtmaster cross heifers to a top of 275 c/kg weighing 450 kg to return $1237.50 per head.
JH and RG Banks, Granby, Blackall sold Santa heifers to a top of 278 c/kg weighing 467 kg to return $1300 per head. The lead of their cows topped at 242 c/kg weighing 544 kg to return $1318 per head.
Sunbury Pastoral Company, Lumley, Isisford sold Charolais cross cows and calves for $1000 per unit.