NEARLY 20 years of intensive embryo flushing and transfer programs came to fruition last Thursday for Rick and Dawne Hunter and family with their inaugural Bald Ridge Wagyu sale at “Kaludabah”, Mudgee, when 52 full blood red and black bulls averaged $7712.
Five bulls topped the sale at $10,000 each while another nine sold at $9000 a head from the offering of 64 aged from 21 to 46 months with the 52 effecting an 81 per cent auction clearance to buyers as far afield as Queensland, Bourke, Bingara and Orange.
Five pregnancy tested in calf (PTIC) cows made $5000 each while four cows averaged $2750.
Eight embryos sold at $500 each.
Buyers of three bulls, two at $10,000, averaging $9667, Mark and Jane Holman, “Dargo”, Guyong, have been breeding Wagyu cattle for 10 years on their 930-hectare property, and have bought bulls from Bald Ridge for eight years.
“We breed first-cross Wagyus and sell them direct to feedlots,” Mr Holman said.
“High marbling is the most important criteria in our sire selection.”
The Holmans buy “big” Angus females to join with the Waygu sires in a production program similar to first-cross sheep production.
“We buy our replacements each year from a local producer and sell every calf we produce,” Mr Holman said.
Steers and heifers are grown out to 400 kilograms live at about 14 months, depending on the season.
One of the $10,000 bulls is sired by Bald Ridge F500 while the other is by Tumbledown Hirashi 975.
Bruce Hanson, Bowral, paid $10,000 for a son of Kalanga Kajikari BO125, while Paul McGirr, “Wongaboori”, Mendooran, secured three bulls, with two at $10,000 being sons of Bald Ridge F500 and Westvale Abel.
Peter Portelli, “Beaudesert” and “Kanimbla” between Mudgee and Gulgong and “Narrawa”, Cobbora, near Dunedoo, bought six bulls to $8000 and $7000 average.
He is crossing Wagyus with Angus females in a first-cross breeding program for feedlots.
The largest multi-lot buyer was Greg Gibbons, Dalby, Queensland who purchased nine bulls for Queensland and NSW clients while paying to $8000 three times and with an average of $6500.
Pinnacle Wagyu, Roma, Qld, paid $5000 each for four PTIC females and $2000 for Hermtiage K010 (AI), by World K’s Haruki 2.
Selling agents were Landmark, Mudgee and Dubbo with John Settree selling, and Elders Mudgee, with Brian Kennedy sharing auction duties.