BUYERS selected bulls of choice in relaxed surroundings at the 11th annual Bandeeka on-property bull sale at Elgin last week, where values twice topped $7000.
Tony and Loreen Kitchen's Bandeeka Simmental and Red Angus studs, with guest vendors the Collard family's Tronar Red Angus stud, Gingin and the Wetherell family's Bandeeka Black Simmental stud, Boyanup, presented a top catalogue of 31 rising two-year-old bulls which were offered under the Helmsman auction system.
This allowed buyers to sit back, consider and place bids on selected lots while enjoying the Bandeeka team's hospitality.
While buyers went away happy with quality bulls at good values, unfortunately for the vendors the buying register needed a few extra buyers to generate more competition to boost values and clearances.
Under control of the Elders team, a total of 17 bulls were sold during the Helmsman auction time period to average $4926. When Farm Weekly left the property, two bulls had sold for their reserve values following the sale, with negotiations continuing.
The sale's overall average was back $324 compared to last year where 24 of 33 bulls sold during the auction to average $5250.
Bandeeka Simmentals cleared 12 of 20 bulls to average $4979, with two bulls sharing top-priced honours at $7000.
This was down $359 compared to last year where 17 of 21 bulls sold to average $5338.
The stable's Red Angus line-up saw four of seven bulls sell to average $4875 with two bulls also sharing the $6000 top price tag while Tronar Red Angus sold one of three bulls for $4500.
Two outstanding prizes were up for grabs for buyers prepared to bid up.
Buyer of the top-priced bull received a weekend for two at Caves House, Yallingup, while the biggest total spender at the sale received an all-expenses paid, three-day professionally guided fishing and hunting trip in Arnhem Land.
After a name draw due to the tie in prices, Gingin producer Gavin Read, GJ & M Read, won the "weekend" prize.
Mr Read bid to the sale's $7000 equal top price for the Bandeeka Simmental bull Lancelot L37.
The 982kg late June 2015 AI-born son of Woonallee Benny (43kg birth weight), scanned 13mm P8, 11mm rib, 134cm2 eye muscle area (EMA) and 6.1 intra muscular fat (IMF) and ranked in the breed's top five per cent for retail beef yield (+2.1).
Lancelot was the grand champion Simmental bull and runner-up in the junior interbreed standings at the 2016 IGA Perth Royal and Brunswick Shows.
Mr Read, a first time buyer at Bandeeka, was looking for more Simmental bulls, following good results achieved with a Bindoon Agricultural College Simmental bull over their mixed herd of mainly Angus and Angus-cross breeders.
He said they enjoyed an excellent season and strong prices with their 10 and 11-month-old weaner steers selling to a local feedlot for $1350 on-farm.
Mr Read also collected a red Simmental bull for $4000 following the sale.
Chris Waddingham, Landmark Capel, representing Nannup Fresh Fruit, Nannup, paid the other $7000 top price for Bandeeka London Times L36.
The 998kg late March 2015-drop bull by Bandeeka Fancypants (43kg birth weight), scanned 10mm P8 fat, 10mm rib fat, 135cm2 EMA and 5.4 IMF, while he ranked in the breeds top 5pc for northern index and the top 10 to 15pc for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, scrotal and vealer index.
The Northern Territory trip went to Nannup grazier Patricia Fraser, PC Fraser, who paid the sale's $6000 top price and $3500 for two Red Angus bulls.
Her top price was paid for Bandeeka Red Lustre, a mid-February 2015 born son (37kg BW) of Tronar Jeb.
The 880kg Red Lustre was part of the winning interbreed breeder's group at the 2016 Perth Royal Show and scanned 10mm P8, 9mm rib, 118cm2 EMA and 5.9 IMF with EBVs ranking in the top 10pc for milk and top 20-25pc for all growth and selection indexes.
Ms Fraser was also a first-time Bandeeka buyer after attending the sale last year and said she was sold on Red Lustre after seeing its photo in Bandeeka's advertising in the Farm Weekly.
"Picture perfect," she said. "What wasn't there to like about him?
"I just needed to check his temperament and see him walk at the sale but the photo sold him."
The Red Angus bulls will be used over Ms Fraser's self-replacing Limousin herd as it shifts in the LimFlex direction to keep the red factor in the breeding.
Ms Fraser targets her sale cattle at the grass-fed yearling market with calving starting in March and calves generally weaned in January and grown out on grass to be sold on-farm from October to December.
Another multiple bull buyer was MO & M Puttick, Manjimup, who purchased two Simmental bulls for $4000 each.
Elders Busselton representative Clinton Gartrell, buying on behalf of BR & KP McCullagh, Treeton, paid $6000 for a Red Angus bull Bandeeka Red Lord L8.
The 1020kg Red Lord is a mid May, 2015-born son of Jeb (40kg BW) and a two-time junior interbreed bull winner from two outings in 2016.
It scanned 15mm P8, 12mm rib, 135cm2 EMA and 6.2 IMF and displays outstanding EBVs in the top 1pc for 200-day weight, top 5pc for 400 and 600-day weights, top 10pc for milk and vealer index and top 15pc for RBY and northern index.
Other stronger prices paid at the sale included D Verbrugge, Ferguson Valley, bidding to $6000 for the Simmental bull Bandeeka Locomotion L10 (P).
The 940kg is a young late June, 2015-born son of Bandeeka Hardcopy (44kg BW) and scanned 8mm P8, 8mm rib, 130cm2 EMA and 5.2 IMF.
G & JM Perella, Northcliffe, also paid $6000 for a Bandeeka Simmental bull Las Vegas L58.
The 784kg Las Vegas was another young mid-August, 2015-born bull by Fancypants (40kg BW) that scanned 8mm P8 and 7mm rib fats, 127cm2 EMA and 5.1 IMF.
Robert Gibbings, Elders Capel, representing Boyup Brook graziers MJ & CH Bleechmore took home a new Tronar Red Angus sire for $4500.
The end of March 2015 below average birthweight bull by homebred sire Flippher, displayed strong growth and calving ease traits along with a top 1pc ranking for fats and top 5pc for IMF.