TEMPERATURES might have soared around the State recently to some of the highest levels in the past 12 months but the same couldn’t be said for the prices at the Elders Boyanup Supreme Springing Heifer sale.
After a couple of years of extremely high prices and good clearances this year’s sale saw reduced demand and competition from buyers, resulting in both prices and the clearance being significantly back.
Right from the opening pen the 39 registered buyers, back from 64 last year, dictated the sale and made auctioneer Alec Williams work for every bid.
When Mr Williams knocked down the final pen after 2.5 hours of selling 578 of the 800 heifers offered had been sold under the hammer to a top of $2750 on three occasions, a gross of $1,258,500 and an average of $2177.
In comparison to last year’s sale where 673 heifers sold from 692 offered for a gross of $1,788,450 and an average of $2657, it meant this year’s averaged dropped $480, the gross was back $529,950 and there were 95 less heifers sold.
Elders South West livestock manager Michael Carroll said an excellent quality line-up of guaranteed first-cross mated females were offered in the sale.
“All up we yarded just over 800 heifers which was up on previous years,” Mr Carroll said.
“The top end heifers sold very well, especially the synchronised AI-mated heifers which met solid competition.
“Buyers were very selective on type and calving dates and this saw repeat buyers securing very good drafts at realistic rates.
“Additional external factors such as high prices in previous years and an increase of unjoined heifers on the market resulted in a lower than expected clearance.
“The Elders South West team would like to thank vendors, buyers and underbidders for their support once again for this premium sale.”
Regular sale vendors the Roberts family, KS & EN Roberts & Son, Elgin, featured strongly in the sale and were the volume vendor.
Their heifers were in demand, especially their Angus-Friesian synchronised AI-mated heifers which included two pens that sold to the sale’s equal $2750 top price.
Buying one of these top-priced pens were repeat buyers Stan and Jordan Clemons, Glencorrie Farms, Boyanup.
They paid $2750 for a pen of eight soft, roomy, black heifers that were synchronised Al-mated to a Limousin bull.
The heifers are due to calve in a tight 20-day calving period from January 20 to February 9, 2019.
Jordan Clemons said they picked the heifers out because they were big and roomy with a tight calving period.
“They will be replacement heifers for our herd of 70 first-cross Angus-Friesian breeders,” he said.
After their first calf all the Clemons breeders are joined to Charolais bulls with the calves being dropped in January and February and then sold in October.
This year their calves averaged 240 kilograms dressed when they were sold to Woolworths.
The other pen of Angus-Friesian heifers from the Roberts family which topped at $2750 were purchased by the sale’s strongest supporters Kim, Kerrie, Jaymon and Taylor Dunnet, OM Dunnet & Co, Nannup.
The Dunnets’ pen also contained eight black beauties which were synchronised Al-mated to a Limousin bull and due to calve over the 20-day period of January 20 to February 9, 2019.
The Dunnets were a force to be reckoned with and their purchasing at the top end didn’t stop with just the pen from the Roberts, they also secured the third pen of heifers which made the $2750 top price when they placed the final bid on a line of eight from Keith and Alison Jilley, KL & AL Jilley, Boyanup.
This pen of sleek, black heifers are in calf to a Limousin bull and due to calve from February 1 to April 13.
Not only were the Dunnets one of the day’s top price buyers they were also the day’s clear volume buyers with a tally of 15 pens (116 head) knocked down to their account, with this made up of 104 Angus-Friesian heifers and 12 Hereford-Friesian heifers.
In their buying spree they also secured another four pens of eight Angus-Friesian synchronised AI-mated heifers from the Roberts family at $2700 which had the same joining and calving details as their top-priced pen.
The two pens of Hereford-Friesian heifers they secured both contained six black and white heifers each and were from the Roberts family’s offering as well.
Both pens were synchronised AI-mated to a Limousin bull and are due to calve over a 20-day period from January 20 to February 9.
They paid $2500, the top price in the Hereford run, for one pen and $2300 for the other.
Mr Dunnet said for management purposes they concentrated mainly on the synchronised AI-mated heifers and the heifers they purchased would join their herd of between 700-800 breeders which are run across properties at Nannup and Scott River.
“We selected large framed, big roomy heifers to ensure they are capable of carrying a large Charolais calf when they are rejoined,” Mr Dunnet said.
“We are also looking at including Limousin bulls together with our Romagnola going forward, for ease of calving on the properties we are not living on.”
The Dunnets stagger their calving between January and May depending on the property and age group of cows to produce milkfed vealer calves to suit the domestic market for the months of October through until the end of January.
Mr Dunnet said already this season they have sold two-thirds of their calves with a portion going to a local processor as body beef which have dressed up to 230kg with the remainder being purchased by the larger supermarkets with the majority dressing more than 230kg.
“This year we probably sold our calves a couple of weeks later than normal to get the extra condition into them on the back of the strong finish to the season,” Mr Dunnet said.
“The little kick at the end of the season helped get weight up to average levels and the extra couple of weeks helped with the conditioning.”
The Dunnets are strong believers in running first-cross breeders as they suit their location.
Mr Dunnet said they were still really keen to produce and see the benefits in producing milkfed (grassfed) vealers straight off mum and the associated eating quality from a naturally produced product.
“We believe the type of carcase and the weights you can achieve from them straight off mum and grass at 9-11mo makes them ideal for the domestic market,” he said.
The sale opened with the large run of 733 Angus-Friesian heifers and these made up 92 per cent of the yarding.
By the end of the run 518 had been cleared under the hammer to top at the sale’s overall $2750 top price, an average of $2170 and a gross of more than $1.124 million.
This meant the average for the Angus-Friesian line-up was back $490 on last year when vendors offered and sold 555 black beauties to a top of $2900 and an average of $2660.
The Roberts family not only sold two of the $2750 top-priced pens as previously mentioned, they were also a dominant vendor in the Angus-Friesian line-up.
When the Roberts’ heifers were up for grabs it wasn’t only top price buyers OM Dunnet & Co, who purchased seven pens (56 head) and Glencorrie Farms, which were interested in them.
Regular buyer at the sale MJ Wringe & Son, Donnybrook, was also active and secured three pens including two pens of eight synchronised AI-mated heifers at $2550 and $2300 plus another pen of eight which had been naturally mated at $2000.
Graham Ayres Livestock, Albany, also picked up a pen of seven heifers from the Roberts, with these naturally mated to a Limousin sire and due to calve from February 10 to March 31 for $2400.
The operation also purchased two pens containing seven and eight head from AJ Milner, Busselton, at $2150 and $2200 respectively which are carrying Angus-sired calves and due to calve from January 22 to April 9.
It also paid $2200 for eight heifers also carrying an Angus calf from BW & RB Ridley, Brunswick, which have a 10-week calving from February 7 to April 18.
The Jilley family’s offering also attracted solid interest and along with selling one of the $2750 top-priced pens, they also achieved $2700 on a number of occasions.
The first time was for eight black heifers when they were knocked down to BJ & FH Tomas, Cundinup.
The Cundinup operation also picked up a second pen of eight heifers from the Jilley offering for $2650.
Both pens had been joined to a Limousin sire and are due to calve from February 1 to April 13.
The operation then purchased seven Angus-Friesian heifers carrying Angus calves from LM & EA Crouch, Nannup, for $2500.
A second pen of eight heifers from the Jilley family also attracted a bid of $2700 before being knocked down to the Carroll family, Tirano Farms, Nannup.
The Carrolls also paid $2300 for a pen of eight Angus which were AI’d to an Angus bull and then backed up by a bull (to calve from January 21 to April 14) from AJ & WJ Ryan & Co, Manjimup and $2000 for three Angus carrying Angus calves from ED & NJ Manning & Son, Harvey.
Regular buyer at the sale CA Vinci, Beelerup, was another volume buyer securing five pens totalling 34 head from numerous vendors.
It purchased three pens containing seven, eight and three head at $2100, $2000 and $1900 respectively from MJ & HE Harris, Waterloo, a pen of eight from LM & EA Crouch at $2000 and seven at $1750 from GA & MJA Chapman, Busselton.
All five pens of heifers purchased by the operation are carrying Angus calves.
Fellow repeat buyers GB & JA Ross, Kordabup, purchased three pens from the Angus-Friesian offering including two from AJ Milner and one from NR Love & VJ Roche, Pemberton.
They paid $2300 for nine and $2250 for eight from the Milners which are in calf to an Angus bull and due to calve from January 22 for 11 weeks and $2150 for six from Love & Roche that are carrying Angus calves and due to calve from January 25 to April 20.
Karridale producer Graeme Payne, GE Payne, picked up three pens of Angus-Friesian heifers totalling 21 head for between $1900-$2200.
He paid $2200 for eight from MJ & HE Harris and $2000 for nine from LM & EA Crouch.
Other strong supporters buying multiple pens included DV Brockman & Co, Cowaramup, which paid $2400 for eight from MJ & HE Harris and $2600 for eight from RC & CD Barbetti & Sons, Waterloo, while Castledene Enterprises, Donnybrook, purchased two pens both with eight heifers at $2400 from the Roberts family and RC & CD Barbetti & Sons.
BL & SJ Nairn, Albany, picked up two pens both containing eight head at $2200 from AJ & WJ Ryan & Co and AJ Milner and Hyde Park Grazing secured two pens containing seven and eight head at $2200 and $1900 from BW & RB Ridley.
The five Angus-Montbeliarde heifers offered, all found new homes when they were knocked down at $2300 to F Pessotto & Sons, Manjimup, who had earlier secured two pens of Angus-Friesian heifers (17 head) at $1950 and $1900.
The pen of black Angus-Montbeliarde heifers was offered by the Roberts family and are in calf to a Limousin bull and due to calve for nine week from January 25.
Next into the ring were 22 Hereford-Friesian heifers and by the end of the run 15 had sold under the hammer to an average of $2390 and a top of $2500.
As previously mentioned the $2500 top-priced pen in the run was purchased by OM Dunnet & Co and offered by the Roberts family.
The Dunnets also purchased a second pen of six from the Roberts at $2300.
The only other pen to sell in the run was a line of three red and white Herefords from the Roberts when it was pencilled down in the clerking sheets at $2350 to PH & JJ Leiper, Vasse.
The three heifers were synchronised AI-mated to a Limousin bull and due to calve over a 20 day period from January 20.
The offering of 26 Murray Grey-Friesian heifers all from the Roberts family found new homes after being knocked down for an average of $2285 and to a top of $2550.
The $2550 top-priced pen of eight heifers was purchased by return buyer Les Dabrowski, Allanson, who was looking for replacement heifers for his small herd of just under 50 breeders.
Mr Dabrowski said he had run Murray Grey-Friesian heifers before and liked them because they were good doers and easy to manage due to their quiet temperaments.
The heifers purchased by Mr Dabrowski had been synchronised AI-mated to a Limousin sire and are due to calve from January 20 for 20 days.
Sylvania Farm Pty Ltd, Donnybrook, took the $2400 second top-priced pen in the run when it secured a pen of four which had also been synchronised AI-mated to a Limousin sire and have a 20-day calving period starting on January 20.
The remaining two pens were secured by Graeme Payne.
Mr Payne paid $2200 for seven which were synchronised AI-mated to a Limousin sire and are due to calve from January 20 for 20 days and $2000 for seven that were naturally mated to a Limousin bull and are due to calve from February 10 to March 31.
Murray Grey-Aussie Red
A run of 14 Murray Grey-Aussie Red heifers from LM & EA Crouch rounded out the sale and they all sold to a top of $2200 and an average of $1971.
The $2200 top-priced pen of six heifers was purchased by PJ & LJ Foster, Busselton, while Graeme Payne purchased the other pen offered containing eight head at $1800.
Both pens are PTIC to Angus bulls and due to calve from February 2 to April 27.