A solid turnout on a fine North Coast afternoon did not hide the fact that the sharpest drought in living memory west of the divide has reduced the priority of genetic improvement in many beef production systems.
Nevertheless, quality bulls continue to sell and at Franco and Parson Hill Hereford studs’ annual sale on Friday top sire Franco Lawson L221 went for $10,000 to Chris Lyle, Tummel Hereford stud at Walcha.
Mr Lyle said this bull’s appearance – his outlook, thickness, carcase traits and “real sire appeal” ticked the boxes as much as his lineage going back to Ironbark blood through Damona Nashdale, and positive figures in growth (+60 at 400 days and + 88 at 600 days) and milk (+13) along with eye muscle area (+3.2).
The hammer fell on 17 bulls with 15 passed in to average $5588. Two sold immediately after the sale, before auctioneer Darren Perkins, George and Fuhrmann Casino, could leave the stand. Some buyers never got the chance to bid that second time around caught, as they were, talking to old friends.
Volume buyers Warren and Patricia Barnes, Tabulam, bought three “true to type” Franco bulls including Mister M410 for $8000, with that sire again by Damona Nashdale. The Barnes family will use the bull on their commercial herd.
Repeat buyers Bernie and Leanne Grogan, Tenterfield paid $8000 for Franco MacKenzie M725 by Damona Nashdale from a Franco Hillary saying they were well pleased with his weight for age, preferring bulls with horns, and based on previous purchases looked forward to more heavy weaners. The Grogans run a third Hereford and two thirds Santa Gertrudis/ Hereford.
Hereford breeder Jim and Jan Smith “Townview” Urbenville bought Franco Linesman L804 by Battalion Brunswick, going back to Battalion Cherry Ripe, from a Franco Prudence for $6000.
Brahman breeders Grant and Jo Bulmer, “Mountana” Kyogle bought Franco Lakewood L808 by Franco Grand from a Franco Maritana which will go towards the production of intently sought-after first cross females.
Bill Lee, Sherwood via Kempsey is another repeat buyer who has an eye for true horned lines of Hereford and paid $5000 for Franco Marbling M405 by Damona Nashdale from a Franco Hillary with the two year old bull displaying a handsome coat, which Mr Lee expects will contribute to striking weaners.
Chris and Shelly Golding,. 'Pickabooba', Tabulam bought Parson Hill Livelong L713 by Mawarra Vice Regal from a Parso Hill Camilla for $6000 along with Parson Hill Lodger L509 by Franco Grand from a Parson Hill Camilla for $4000.