HUNGRY cattle have forced some graziers to auction, as dwindling feed pushes farmers to sell.

At the Landmark Sarina cattle sale today many sellers were resigned to a slightly lower price as they offloaded their stock as conditions begin to deteriorate.

John Erquiaga said he was selling six Brangus heifers to make life a little easier on his Sarina Range property where he has 250 cattle to feed.

"To sell to meatworks I would have to hold them for another six to eight months," Mr Erquiaga said.

It's a drain he said his property might not be able to handle.

"We're running short on grass," Mr Erquiaga said.

Grasstree Beach resident Kurt Zimmermann said he was looking to almost halve his herd, from 70 down to 40 head of cattle.


Grasstree Beach resident Kurt Zimmermann at the Landmark Sarina cattle sale.
Grasstree Beach resident Kurt Zimmermann at the Landmark Sarina cattle sale. Zizi Averill

"I'll restock when the rain comes back," Mr Zimmermann said.

Despite the limited feed, he said the price remained strong for some sellers.

"Quality cattle are selling for a pretty good price for the time of the year," he said.

But fellow Grasstree Beach resident and cattle seller Norma Shannon said the feed issues had put a cap on the price.

"No one has grass - it's all just dry," Ms Shannon said. "It's not a good time to be selling."


Nebo resident Tanya Hanrahan at the Landmark Sarina cattle sale.
Nebo resident Tanya Hanrahan at the Landmark Sarina cattle sale. Zizi Averill

Nebo resident Tanya Hanrahan said she was disappointed when her pen of five brahman steers sold for $310 a head.

"They're quite little steers - (but) they're worth more than that," Ms Hanrahan said.

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But Landmark Mackay livestock agent Paul Cooper said the price always came down to quality.

While Ms Hanrahan's weaner steers sold for $310, he said others had sold for nearly double that, at $600.


Bowen resident Joseph Teitzel took advantage of the cheaper prices, buying four cross-breed steers for $370 a head.

"There's some good buys. Some of the them are a bit dear. It's not good for sellers, but that's how the cookie crumbles," Mr Teitzel said.


With a crowd of only 50 people at today's auction, Landmark Mackay said there was a "smaller gathering of buyers" .

It said there was "selective buying" due to frost reducing feed in the district.

Bidders tended to favour older cattle, as Landmark Mackay said "with the older cattle holding more condition than the weaners".

Sarina Market Report

Supplied by Landmark Mackay

Landmark Mackay yarded 240 steers, 170 heifers, and 10 cows for a total of 420 head.


Older steers No. 7s and 8s: $600 - $1160

Weaner steers No 9s: $220 - $640

Older heifers No. 8s: $480 - $730

Weaner heifers No. 9s: $150 - $565


G and L Smith from Coppabella sold 20 droughtmaster cross steers No.7 to the top of $1160, to average $1135

T. Single from Netherdale sold a No 9 senepol steer weaner for $615.

W and T Berry from Koumala sold 15 No 8 Brangus heifers for $680.