$995 averaged at trade sale
Trade cattle values were back 11 per cent on average from last year at last week's IGA Perth Royal Show led and prime steer and heifer sale.
A total of 159 head were offered and sold, including 16 broad ribbon winners.
Judge Roger Evans, who earlier awarded both the led and prime beef cattle their respective placings, said the prime steers and heifers were exhibiting the best yields.
With a bachelor of science in animal production, Mr Evans said producers should seriously aim for consistency.
"Beef cattle producers also need to align with what the consumer is asking for," he said.
"All things taken into account, we only get paid for what's hanging up on the hook."
The sale grossed $158,250, with an average price of $995, compared with 2012 when 150 head sold for an average of $1179.
The grand champion led and supreme exhibit of the trade cattle section, which was earlier judged champion heavyweight, was offered by Lockridge Senior High School and sold for the $3750 top price.
The Charolais-Angus cross steer, fed for 118 days, had a live weight of 514kg, and was bought by Harvey Beef livestock general manager Kim McDougall on behalf of Coles.
Coles national livestock manager Dale Pemberton said he was pleased to attend the sale and support local beef producers.
Mr McDougall bought 25 head for Coles at an average price of $1226.
He bought another 11 head for Harvey Beef at an average of $1082.
"I selected for consistency based on exacting supermarket standards," he said.
The grand champion of the prime steers and heifers, exhibited by WA College of Agriculture, Denmark, sold for $2600 to Swansea Meats, of Victoria Park.
The school's Murray Grey-Charolais cross steer had a live weight of 399kg.
A first for the sale was the offering of two purebred cattle from the Speckle Park breed, which originated from Canada.
Offered in partnership by Garry Thomas, of Tungamah stud, Gingin, and Manjimup cattle producers John Barber and Lone Chorley, the steer and heifer entries were well received.
The Beef Shop principal Kevin Armstrong paid $2100 for the 454kg heifer, while the 425kg steer was bought by Swansea Meats.
"I am very keen to see how the Speckle Park dresses out on the hook," Mr Armstrong said.
Goodchild Meat Trading principal Jimmy Goodchild bought 26 head for an average of $917.
He said there was very good quality, but overall standard was down.
Mr Goodchild, who has supported the sale for 45 years, said he was looking for shape and muscle, but not too much fat.
"It was an easier trade sale this year, somewhat lacking in buyer competition," he said.
Strong bidding support did, however, help to raise $3000 for the Black Dog Ride charity appeal.
Michael Borrello, of Borrello Beef, paid the second top price for the charity steer, which was kindly donated by the WA Blonde D'Aquitaine Society group.
The Blonde-Angus cross was fed for 100 days and prepared by Blonde D'Aquitaine's Henry Strating.
Mr Borrello also paid $500 for a Brahman-Salers cross steer, prepared by Alan Penfold, with funds donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
In total, Borrello Beef bought 13 head for an average price of $1119.
At the completion of the sale, all cattle were scheduled for processing with carcase points awarded under the Australian Beef Carcase Appraisal System.
Led and prime steers, and heifers sale * *Offered * *Sold * *Top price * *Average * *Led steers and heifers * 96 96 $3750 $1047 *Prime steers and heifers * 63 63 $3000 $917
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