Trying seasonal conditions across much of New South Wales this year did little to discourage producers from paying top dollar for both beef and sheep genetics.
Bowen Angus and Hereford co-principal Stephen Peake was among the many vendors expecting their annual sale in July to see a dramatic cut in averages due to dry conditions.
Instead, his 25-month-old homozygous polled Hereford bull, Bowen Magistrate M241, became the top priced bull sold at a NSW auction in 2018, reaching $64,000.
More than 107 registered bidders from Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and Queensland filled the grandstand with David Lyons, Melville Park Poll Hereford stud, Vasey, Victoria, taking home the top price bull.
Purchased on his behalf by Landmark Stud Stock’s John Settree, the bull was in the top 15 per cent for estimated breeding values of 400-day weight, carcase weight and grass and grain indexes.
“This bull was selected because of his strong pedigree, a fantastic set of data, genetically and phenotypically he is very strong,” Mr Settree said.
Clearance and average rates were also high in the bull selling ring.
The Thompson family, Bathurst, broke another record at their stud bull sale in September when Millah Murrah Hallmark N266 sold for $54,000 to Robert Gill, Alexander Downs, Merriwa.
The bull was believed to have toppled the Angus yearling bull sale price record.
Demand for Angus genetics was evident at the Booroomooka sale at Bingara where the Munro family secured a $1.9 million gross for a full clearance of their 217 sires.
The sale averaged $9036 and topped at $28,000 to Tim Reid, Melon Pastoral Company, through Landmark Goulburn.
At Texas Angus’ bull sale in July, all 138 bulls were sold to average $11,508 and top at $32,000 to a yearling bull secured by John and Jennifer Hurley, Quellington, Goondiwindi, in partnership with Murderduke Angus stud, Winchelsea, Victoria.
RAM SALE RESULTS
The price was almost eclipsed in a private Merino ram sale in September when the Yarrawonga stud at Harden signed off on a $60,000 agreement with a NSW and Victorian syndicate.
In a pre-sale announcement most vendors would only ever dream about, the Phillips family offloaded their May 2017-drop Yaawonga Y20 son for what was believed to be the highest private Merino ram purchase of 2018.
A half possession of the ram was secured by David Zouch on behalf of Ken Wolf, Hollow Mount Merino stud, Bigga, while a quarter each went to shareholders Guy Evans, Tara Park Merino stud, Boorowa, and Paul Walton of Wurrook Merino stud, Rokewood, Victoria.
Hollow Mount will retain the rights of the ram, and full possession and semen rights, along with Yarrawonga stud principal Steve Phillips.
“He will be AI’d to 300 of our best ewes this year,” Mr Zouch said told Fairfax at the time.
“He won’t be paddock mated, and we will only be using live semen when performing AI, with frozen semen as a back-up.”
His fleece measurements read 18.7-micron, 2.9 standard deviation, 15.6 coefficient of variation and 99.5 comfort factor.
Success in the woolgrowing world didn’t depreciate throughout 2018 with renewed faith in the industry flowing into large scale stud stock clearances.
Yeoval woolgrowers Nigel and Kate Kerin’s on-property Kerin Poll Merino sale rewrote the record books in September when 400 rams were sold in less than three hours for a historic gross of $1.21 million.
Never before had a Merino stud surpassed $1 million, but the Kerin’s cleared their entire catalogue to average $3025.
An increased offering also met high demand for Australian Food and Agriculture’s Wanganella and Poll Boonoke Merino studs, with prices reaching $35,000.
A total of 216 rams were sold at auction of the 220 offered to record a $3292 average.
Poll Boonoke 170145 kicked off the sale and hit the top price paid by the Haddon Rig stud, Marthaguy, and the Cora Lynn stud, Peak Hill.
The year started strongly for the Merino breed with more than 350 sheep paraded during the Great Southern Supreme Merino show at Canberra in January.
Supreme exhibit was awarded to the Lette family’s Conrayn stud, Berridale, for their four-tooth March-shorn superfine ram.
Capping an illustrious career, John Williams, Thalabah stud, Crookwell, bred and exhibited the grand champion ewe, which had competed successfully in the fine/medium wool classes.
Fifty-two rams were penned for the annual multi-vendor sale.
Wal and George Merriman, Merryville, sold the $12,000 top-priced Merino to H.M. Barty and Sons, Beverley, Redesdale, Victoria.
The Kelley family from Currabubula in north west NSW claimed the holy grail of the Sydney show beef ring, the coveted Urquhart Trophy, with their Hereford bull, Warragundi Minnesota.
The 25-month-old bull was crowned supreme beef exhibit of the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show after brushing aside 300-plus entries in the Hereford judging and then outclassing the bull and female champions from all the major beef breeds.
Weighing 1078kg, Minnesota caught the eye of international judge, PJ Budler, Fort Worth, Texas, as soon as he strode into the Hereford ring for the 24-30 months class.
Minnesota went on to sell at the Kelly’s inaugural Poll Hereford and Wagyu bull sale, fetching $20,000 from buyer Marc Greening, Injemira Beef Genetics, Wagga Wagga.
In the interbreed pair competition, it was the Angus team from the Fuller family of Pine Creek Angus, Cowra, with Scott Myers and the Beresford family, Moss Vale, who rose to the top.
Queensland’s Moongool Charolais stud prevented an Angus and Hereford domination by taking the Breeders Group broad ribbon.
In the sheep ring, jubilation erupted all round for the Gilmore family from Tattykeel Poll Dorsets, Oberon, when they knew their name would be etched once more on the honour roll of the Peter Taylor Memorial Perpetual Trophy, the supreme accolade for the meat and dual purpose breeds.
A mature ram with stylish wool bred by the Lette family, Conrayn stud, Berridale, was awarded supreme Merino exhibit.