Mother Nature might not be supporting Sugarloaf Angus at Dungog but the local community certainly did when the Tickle family held their annual sale.
Defying the wet conditions, Sugarloaf Angus sold 44 Angus bulls of the 46 in the arena for an average of $14,418 and a top of $26,000. The two remaining bulls sold straight after the sale.
There was strong competition for females that went as far south as Braidwood and north into Queensland with stud heifers topping $18,000 to an average of $14,400 while 16 commercial heifers averaged $7156 and 25 weaner heifers averaged $4456.
"We were really happy with prices of the commercial heifers and the cows with calves at foot sold extremely well," vendor Jim Tickle said.
"You can't get your hands on good quality females at ordinary sales ... they are a good foundation for producers.
"I though the bulls were perhaps under a bit but maybe that's the the weather conditions that had something to do with it."
Mr Tickle said the season had been hard on the cattle as it had been so wet in the past six months, with the region recording more than it's yearly rainfall.
"It's taken it's toll but considering the weather conditions, the bulls have come up good," he said.
The top-priced bull was Sugarloaf Moe R111, purchased by Rory Farragher of Banamba Angus, Seaham.
The two-year-old son of Chiltern Park Moe M6 from Sugarloaf N157 weighed 896 kilograms, with eye muscle area (EMA) figure of +7.9 and intra-muscular fat figure of +1.4.
Birthweight and good growth was what Mr Farragher was looking for when he purchased the bull.
"I liked the balance of him," Mr Farragher said.
"Mum and dad have been long-time supporters of Sugarloaf, so I wanted to support them as they have good quality heifers and bulls."
He plans to use the bull along with others he has purchased this season in his commercial heifer operation to get the 'birthweight down".
"We have 250 cows at the moment, we are looking at 500 breeders in the next 18 months," he said.
Mr Farragher also purchased stud heifer Sugarloaf Burnett R39 for $12,000 as well as three commercial cows for $7000/head
Volume purchaser was Robert Mackenzie of Macka's Australian Black Angus Beef, a repeat buyer of Sugarloaf who snapped up seven bulls for his operation.
"We have always been big supporters of Jim, he a gentleman in the game," Mr Mackenzie said.
"My dad loves his bulls, they are always consistent and structure wise they hold up in our conditions...they are good workers."
He plans to send them to his coastal block at Port Stephens.
Barry and Germaine Hannaford of Hannaford Cattle Company at Braidwood purchased three cows with calves at foot for $11,000/unit.
"We wanted to improve our own herd and thought this was a good place to start," Mr Hannaford said.
"We have noticed this stud getting progressive, Jim does a great job with the cattle.
"We like the quality of the cattle, the depth in breeding and the cattle themselves are wide, well muscled and free flowing and they will fit nicely into our program
Selling agents were Bowe and Lidbury Pty Ltd, and Dillon and Sons, with auctioneer Paul Dooley.
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