BULL buyers from as far as 1700 kilometres away provided plenty of consistent bidding during the inaugural Pharo Cattle Australia bull sale where 96 per cent of the grass-developed offering were sold on Monday.
Held at Furracabad Station outside of Glen Innes, 64 of 66 Angus bulls sold for a $4632 average to top at $10,000 twice.
A crowd of about 80 people, with buyers from as far as Yeppoon and Blackall in Queensland and Deep Creek in South Australia, filled the selling complex to witness the first Australian bull offering from the partnership of American grass-based seedstock producer Kit Pharo and Australian cattleman Geoff Putland, assisted by managers Ryan and Kate Usmar.
The offering was touted as early maturing and low maintenance and were selected for their lean growth and carcase traits from the 460 bull calves born in 2017.
Mr Pharo was pleased with the results, sighting plans to sell 250 bulls in five years time and incorporate a Queensland sale.
"I knew there was a lot of interest here but with the drought I wasn't sure the sale was going to be as good as it was," he said.
"We covered a big area (of buyers), that's typical. We do the same thing in America because we are the only ones in America doing this type of program, it didn't surprise me that they came from all over."
Among the traits Pharo select for is low maintenance, aimed at improving the way an animal lays down fat.
"The type of genetics here, they are very low maintenance, which means it doesn't take a lot of energy for them to maintain where they are and then start putting on fat," he said.
"The typical animal is higher maintenance and it's really hard for them to start putting on fat so in a drought situation it's critical to have the lower maintenance type.
"That's where the industry has gone wrong because the feedlot wants bigger, leaner, faster gaining and that's fine in the feedlot but it's not so fine in the pasture. It'll end up being smaller frame, thicker, easier fleshing."
Both of the $10,000 top price bulls were secured by Jason Meier, Danthonia, Inverell.
His first purchase, PCA Numero Uno N7445, was hailed by Mr Pharo as one of the best bulls he had ever seen anywhere.
Sired by PCC D-J Conquistador, the 20-month-old had a 35 centimetre scrotal circumference, 4/5 rating for calving ease and a perfect five star score for overall rating and disposition.
His second $10,000 purchase, PCA No Name N7363, was guaranteed for calving ease with a 40 centimetre scrotal circumference and a perfect rating for low maintenance and calving ease.
Mr Meier and family operate an Angus herd on 2347 hectares (5800 acres) and destocked a lot of their weaners and excess cattle early to keep their breeders.
In the last few years they have shifted from a trade to breeding operation and were interested in investing in the Pharo philosophy.
"We have been watching these bulls since the grading," Mr Meier said.
"Come back, had another look at them, got Ryan Usmar's input on them and the price is worth it for the progeny and the benefits it will give for us.
"We are keeping trade on the side to fill in, in good times. Eventually hopefully we will get our own brand out that is reliable, quality and start targeting those higher end markets."
In total Mr Meier returned home with six bulls averaging $8166
About 33 bidders registered on the day, including an AuctionsPlus representative, with 25 of those bid cards successful in making purchases.
Graham and Cathy Finlayson, Bokhara Diversified, Brewarrina, were assisted by their agent Greg Seiler, Landmark Walsh Hughes, Bourke, to take home the biggest order of 11 Pharo bulls, topping at $7000 and averaging $4772.
The couple recently secured agistment for 400 head of crossbred heifers at Blackall, Qld, and will send their Pharo bulls to work with them, having purchased them based on calving ease and disposition.
The Finlaysons have been following the Pharo story since they first visited Colorado in 2007.
"We have been interested in it for a long time and we just decided to step in and start getting something going hoping that this drought is over," Mr Finlayson said.
"We have had limited rain at home but it's a start.
"I'm just a big believer in what he (Kit Pharo) is trying to do. I think it certainly fits with our program as well.
"We need animals that are adapted to tough conditions, and it's tough conditions more often then it is good conditions, with limited inputs and we really are looking into managing for a profitability per hectare not per animal."
Mr Finlayson was impressed with the pressure the Furracabad Station team placed on their cow herd.
"It's a different program," he said.
"People have to buy into the philosophy and they will buy into the bulls. We bought into that philosophy a long time ago."
In other bulk buyer results; Steve Taylor, Rangelands Bulls, Chinchilla, Qld, secured six bulls at auction, while Dave White, Palomine Pastoral, Baldry, secured five bulls.
The sale was conducted by C.L. Squires and Co.