Sizzling temperatures - 31C - and even hotter prices marked the first Dannevirke/Pahiatua cattle sale last Thursday.
It's been an excellent season, with ample grass and the more than 1200 head of cattle presented for sale were 25 to 30kg heavier than normal.
"If you don't do well this season you never will," Dannevirke's Barry Scott said. "These stock are in great condition."
Weighing in at 670kg, a line of 39 Angus steers, described by the Carrfields auctioneer as "outstanding", made $1775 a head for vendors Tom and Prue Deighton.
But it was a line of 20, 2.5-year-old steers from Wiha Farms at Oringi that topped the sale, bringing $2005 a head. This exceeded the top price of $1700 a head paid for top quality cattle from John and Jane Ellingham of Waitahora at last year's equivalent sale.
The Ellinghams had a large number of cattle through the sale last Thursday, with prices ranging from $1750 a head, $1670, $1620, $1600 and $1540, and John said he was happy.
"It's always a good day when you put money in the bank," he told the Dannevirke News.
Not so happy were the cattle as they became reluctant to move in the very hot conditions at the saleyards.
It was tough for the men working in the yards when cattle refused to move into the indoor sales arena and then were even more reluctant to make their way out again into the scorching sun.
When one decided to leg it over the gates, rather than go inside, it took a cool head from the yardmen to corral him and his three hefty mates to get them into the sales ring to complete line 32.
The sale was also strong for 18-month steers, with the top line of 27 of the "very best" from Simon Herbert, weighing in at 570kg, making $1680 a head.