The Sumo Wagyu Foundation Sale held on farm at Southgate via Grafton on Tuesday saw prices top at $42,500 and average $21,000 for 12 bulls. Those at the sale honoured stud principal and Wagyu pioneer Simon Coates who passed away unexpectedly in November.
Unjoined heifers averaged $12,200. Cows tested in calf sold to an average $14,000. Of the 50 lots auctioned through GDL Stud Stock and Elite Livestock Auctions, 13 were passed in - most of them unjoined females. Two of the heifers lost calves during last month's major flood on the Clarence.
Top priced bull lot 45, the black dehorned fullblood Sumo Michifuku Q175 sired by industry leader and Simon Coates' own F154 went for $42,500 to repeat buyers Peter and Shai Knudsen, Chinchilla Qld, and will go into their full blood breeding operation. The family also bought lot 39 Sumo Michifuku Q161, sired by F154 for $14,000.
Highest priced female, lot 15 Sumo Fuku P296 by F154 and two years old in calf to proven carcase performer Goorambat Mr Marble K483 sold for $20,000 to Loch Rogers, Door Key Wagyu stud at Guyra.
Mr Rogers said he was pleased to continue the work carried out by Mr Coates.
"It was a great job Simon has done for the industry over the years with his balanced approach and thoughtful genetics," he said.
Mr Rogers first crossed Wagyu with Angus in 1993, said has used the F154 blood line heavily which now made it hard to place the new purchase, a clean heifer with a bit of horsepower. The fact Q161 was in calf to K483 really sealed the deal.
Mr Rogers said the first cross between full blood and Angus remained his favourite, for their resilience in the feedlot where mortality is "near zero", to the way they marble.
"Even during the drought when their was an oversupply the F1s were still expanding numbers on feed and selling more all the time," he said.
Scott de Bruin, Mayura Station Wagyu stud at Millicent, SA, bought lot 48 Sumo Itoshigenami R54 by Coates Itoshigenami G113 for $40,000 to be used over commercial females to improve carcase attributes for the end consumer.
"We're bringing diversity into the herd through the G113 genetics," he said. "If we use top carcases the industry can only go up. The key is continual development. Provided we continue to grow we add value."
Mr de Bruin also bought the top priced semen straws from Sumo Monjiro Q51 by Michifuku F154 for $3300. while underbidder Rob Cumine, Tyddewi Wagyu stud, Wales, UK, paid $3262 for a package of straws from the same bull. Mr Cumine yards cattle with Global Reproduction Solutions at Goorambat, Vic.
Seman straws averaged $1500 and reached $3300; embryos $2500 each.
Oyster and sea cucumber breeder David Williams, Hervey Bay Qld bid ferociously for red Wagyu genetics, particularly lot 29 HB Big Al Q502, who represents the best of the Akaushi line paying $1200 a straw. He uses them to progress the success of Red Wagyu over Holstein on New Zealand dairy farms.
"It's a hobby, but it's turning into a big one," he said. "Simon was my mentor. He thought outside the box. He didn't breed Wagyu for the money he did it for the animal. He was one of the most honest people in the industry."
Daniel Rae, Bluewater Cattle Co, Cairns, Qld, paid $26,000 for the bull Sumo Itoshigenami R60 also by Simon Coates' successful G113.
Bonnydoon Wagyu stud, Morven Vic paid $14,000 for two year old heifer Sumo Aizakura Q92 by F154 in calf to the GRS bred Mr Marble.
Hervey Weyman-Jones from GDL Stud Stock said the sudden passing of Mr Coats was a blow. "He was a gentleman and had respect from within the breed," he said.
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