IT was a scorcher of a sale at Boyanup last Friday, when the Elders Supreme Springing heifer sale grossed just under a spectacular $1.8 million making it the biggest sale ever for the Elders team.
The Elders South-West team yarded an impressive 1433 heifers, selling 1431 under the hammer - an increase 271 females on last year - at a very healthy average of $1256, down only $68 on last year.
Given the state of the cattle market compared with the same time last year and the much larger offering, many expected the average to be down quite a bit more, but this was not the case and the very strong final result showed that there is still plenty of confidence in the WA cattle industry.
The sale which is renowned for its quality bucket reared heifers out of Friesian dams and all vendor guaranteed for a 10 week joining period and a 12 week mating period was red hot from the outset, helping to achieve the sale's best ever result history.
Once again the quality females on offer grabbed the attention of buyers from not only the South-West area but also the south-coast and the Midlands areas of the state.
Elders South-West livestock manager Darren Chatley was very happy with the result.
"All the cattle sold above expectation," Mr Chatley said.
"The yarding was up by around 250 head and the average was only slightly down on last year.
"The quality of the offering was very good and the better bred cattle sold particularly well.
"Compliments should go to the vendors for the presentation of the cattle offered in the sale."
Sale organisers Robert Gibbings, Elders Capel and Don Page, Elders Margaret River were equally as happy.
"It was a very pleasing result and above our expectations, the presentation of the cattle was very good and purchasers can buy with confidence at this sale because the cattle are backed with a vendor guarantee," Mr Gibbings said.
Mr Page said the quality of the yarding was excellent and the support from buyers was very strong.
"Both Angus and Hereford first cross heifers met with the greatest support on the day, even though the market was slightly down on last year it was still a very good result given the increased size of the offering," Mr Page said.
After losing the top price mantle last year the Angus-Friesian heifers came back with a powerful display and turned the tables this year to top the sale at $1500 when a pen of eight soft roomy black heifers entered the ring.
Offered by LA & EM Mullins, Waroona, these heifers made an impact on the crowd as soon as they entered the ring, quickly passing the day's previous top price made only the pen before, before finally peaking at $1500, only down $20 on last year.
The eight extremely quiet heifers which had been mated to Angus bulls and due to calve from January 10 to April 4 were bought by Gingin cattle producer Alan Greenwell.
Mr Greenwell also bought the $1480 second top price pen of the day when he secured a pen of six roomy heifers (mated to Angus) offered by Jim Brooks, JA & NA Brooks & Son, Witchcliffe.
Later on Mr Greenwell finished topping up his load buying nine heifers, mated to Angus bulls and consigned by MAM & PR Martin, Karridale, for $1300.
The sale began with this category under the control of Elders auctioneer Rusty Miller, who told buyers that the vendors had once again put together a magnificent line-up of females, which have continued to improve every year.
Numerically and in monetary terms this was by far the biggest offering with 1121 heifers offered and sold for a gross of over $1.4 million, which makes this section of this year's sale nearly as big as last year's total sale that grossed $1.54 million for 1160 heifers.
The 1121 heifers sold averaged an impressive $1280 down only $30 on last year and ended up being up $24 above the sale average.
The next best (third best price) price in this category was $1440, which was achieved twice.
The first was when a pen of eight heifers synchronized mated to Blackrock Angus bulls, offered by the biggest vendor in this category Brunswick farmer David Togenla, Tognela Dairies, were knocked down to regular buyers Tempra Bros, Pemberton.
The heifers are guaranteed to calve within a three week period from January 6 to January 24 and this marked the first time in the sale's history that heifers had been sold with this type of guarantee.
In total Tognela Dairies sold 68 synchronised mated heifers at an average of $1315 and 61 traditionally mated heifers at an average of $1316.
The $1440 mark was reached for a second time when eight quiet females consigned by Mike Fry, Crendon Downs, Donnybrook, were bought by Mrs E Dellagusino, Manjimup, with the help of Michael Campbell, Elders Manjimup.
Denmark cattleman Graham Ayres, was a volume buyer in the Angus section of the sale buying 45 females an an average of $1345 and a top of $1360 (three times) for a draft of nine heifers offered by TJ Reilly & Son, Boyanup, and two pens offered by KS & EN Roberts & Son, Elgin, which contained nine and 10 heifers respectively.
The second biggest vendor in this category Murray Harris, MJ & HE Harris, Paradise Country, Dardanup, sold 84 heifers at an average of $1307 and a top of $1400 (three times). Two of the three pens, which contained nine and eight heifers, sold to Howard Griffiths, Ferguson Valley, while the third pen of nine heifers sold to Rickett Gate, Denmark.
After topping the sale last year the Murray Grey-Friesian heifers, again had a good sale this year when prices peaked at $1400.
The 48 heifers sold in this section averaged $1178, down $230 on last year.
This year's $1400 top price pen of eight smooth heifers were offered by Michael and Loretta Roberts, KS & EN Roberts & Son, Elgin, and were bought by Wesfarmers Landmark Capel agent Paul Roberts.
The pen of heifers had been mated to Limousin bulls and due to calve from January 28 to April 22.
Last year's top price vendor Murray Harris, MJ & HE Harris, Paradise Country, Dardanup, had another good sale this year selling 10 heifers, which had been mated to Angus bulls, for $1260 to Denmark producer George Williams, GH & KL Williams, while KD Power Pastoral Co, Busselton, paid $1220 for four heifers offered by Rayland Farm, Capel.
Elders Midland auctioneer Mel Morris took over auctioneering and started on the 219 Hereford-Friesian offering - the next biggest presentation- which averaged $1195, down $177 on last year.
Prices peaked in this section at $1400 twice, and on both occasions the heifers had been mated to Angus bulls and due to calve from January 17 to April 11 and were offered by regular and largest vendor in this section Jim Brooks, JA & NA Brooks & Son, Witchcliffe.
The $1400 price was reached for the first time when return buyer Alan and Shane Kamman, AB & GL Kamman, Manjimup, secured a pen of eight big roomy black and white heifers, while Les Melvin, Busselton, pushed the price to the $1400 mark for a second time when he had the final bid on a pen of five big red and white heifers.
Second largest vendor in this category Neil Jilley, NC & AM Jilley, Busselton, in his last springing heifer sale had a great sale selling 51 Hereford-Friesian heifers to an average of $1196, and a top of $1360.
The $1360 pen of 10 heifers mated to Blackrock Angus bulls and due to calve from January 9 to April 3, were bought by A & K Bashford, Northcliffe, who also bought a second pen of 10 females for $1320 from Mr Jilley.
KD Power Pastoral Co, Busselton, was the biggest buyer on the day buying 64 heifers from a variety of breeds and topped up its numbers buying eight Hereford-Friesian heifers offered by RC & CD Barbetti, Waterloo, for $1380, second top price in this section. The well grown heifers had been mated to Limousin bulls and due to calve from January 27 to April 21.
Karridale vendors Paul, Donna and Margaret Martin, MAM & PR Martin, who have been selling heifers for 15 years topped this category of the sale at $1340.
The $1340 pen of six quiet heifers, which had been mated to Diamond Tree Angus bulls and due to calve from January 11 to April 6, were bought by Bill Leiper, Glenluce Livestock, Cowaramup.
Mr Leiper also paid $1200 for one heifer in this section offered by KJ & MM Dilley, Pinjarra, and $1100 for a draft of three heifers offered by Rayland Farm, Capel.
Regular vendor in the sale Robbie Lewis, RJ Lewis, Roelands, sold the only six Charolais-Friesian heifers in the sale.
The six big roomy grey heifers mated to Limousin bulls and due to calve from January 22 to March 26 were bought by BR & DR Marsh, Karridale, for $1280.
Thirteen Santa Gertrudis-Friesian heifers all mated to Angus and due to calve starting February 1 to April 26 were offered in the sale by regular vendors in this category Vin and Gay Scott, Ashvale Pastoral Co, Elgin.
Although this category didn't reach the heights like last year's $1440 top it was still a solid sale with the top price pen of nine quiet heifers selling for $1300 to JL & CL Parsons, Donnybrook.
The remaining four heifers were knocked down to WJ & JM Wringe, Kirup, for $1220.
With only a small offering of nine Limousin-Friesian heifers on offer competition on the heifers was always going to be tight and in the end Donnybrook producers RM & LM Kirkpatrick took home the $1220 top priced pen.
The pen of two heifers (mated to a Murray Grey bull and due to calve from January 28 to April 22) were consigned by KS & EN Roberts & Son, Elgin.
KW Armstrong, Benger, sold four heifers (mated to Angus and due from January 9 to March 13) to AW & BK Turner, Capel, for $1040.