SECURING a foothold in the Angus market north of Perth will likely take a few more years yet, but as the Lawsons team offered its second annual offering of bulls on-property at Cataby, the quality of breeding and genetics was clear to see.
The clearance was down on last year’s inaugural sale but with prices topping at $13,500 and a solid average of $5657 across the 35 bulls sold under the hammer, the Lawsons team and Ruralco agents from Dairy Livestock Services (DLS) and Primaries were pleased with the overall result.
DLS auctioneer Brian Leslie travelled from Shepparton, Victoria, to call the sale and said he thought there was tremendous demand for the top bulls.
“The Lawsons team run a very tight, disciplined program focused on production and fertility and the quality we see at their bull sales is a reflection of that,” Mr Leslie said.
“I’ve been selling their cattle for decades and what is clear is that people continue to come back to Lawsons because they get the results on the ground.
“With this sale, the clearance was down but I was happy with the average and as I said, the top end of bulls sold extremely well.”
On the topic of top-end bulls, not only were buyers willing to pay, they were also willing to travel, with the $13,500 top-priced bull going to Brian Schneider, Corolin Farms, Narrikup.
It was his only purchase of the day but Mr Schneider knew what he was after.
“We’ve been buying from Lawsons for many years and know the quality of these cattle,” he said.
“This bull is the complete package I thought, with weight for age, visually and structurally sound as well as having balanced figures.
“In particular I liked his mature cow weight, positive fat score, IMF and calving ease figures because we run a self replacing herd and we want our females to be easy calvers.”
Many of the bulls which sold well on the day were sired by GAR Prophet and out of Ayrvale Bartel E7 daughters, a combination which has been catching the eye of buyers at Lawsons sales recently, including Mr Schneider’s top-priced selection.
Lawsons Prophet N672 had figures including above average calving ease, 200, 400 and 600-day growth EBVs of +57, +95 and +119, as well as a carcase weight of +70.
It also ranked in the top five per cent of the breed for milk (+22) and IMF (+3.6).
Four other bulls cracked the five digit mark, with the second top price bid of $11,500 made by Colin Thexton, Independent Rural Agents (IRA), Pemberton, who knows the standard of bulls at Lawsons Angus very well.
By the end of the sale, Mr Thexton and his clients who had travelled from the South West, tallied up nine sires under the hammer including bulls at price tags of $11,500 and $10,500 to average $6611.
“Once again the Lawsons team put up an excellent line-up of bulls,” Mr Thexton said.
“The EMA and IMF figures were very high right through the catalogue and this sale presented a good opportunity to secure quality bulls which get the results.
“That was proven at Beef Australia at Rockhampton in 2018 when we won the national beef carcase competition with Lawsons genetics.
“We don’t need any more proof than that to know Lawsons Angus work.”
The second top-priced bull of the sale which was knocked down to IRA was a GAR Sure Fire son with an EMA EBV in the top 10pc of the breed at +8.7, backed up by calving ease traits and above average growth.
The third top-priced bull of the sale went to a Yanchep-based buyer who outlaid $11,000 for a VAR Index son out of a Lawsons Dinky-Di female.
It had good growth and calving ease figures but stood out in the carcase EBVs with an EMA of 9.7 (top 5pc) and retail beef yield at +1.6 (top 10pc).
Another volume buyer at this year’s sale was James Redford, Mogumber Holdings, Red Gully, who managed to come away with six bulls at an average of $4500 after missing out on a few of the top-priced bulls on the day.
Mr Redford bought from Lawsons for the first time last year at the inaugural Cataby sale and said he was looking forward to seeing the first drop of Lawsons progeny in the coming months.
“This year we focused more on birthweight and growth in the bulls we selected, looking for bulls which will be suitable for heifer mating,” Mr Redford said.
“Though I missed out on a few bulls I liked, I thought the value was pretty good and I’ve managed to get the numbers I needed.”
Other buyers to walk away with numbers at the end of the sale included Ucarty Holdings, Dowerin, which bought four averaging $4375 and Rhys Hebberman, Primaries, who secured four for a Dandaragan-based client, at an average of $4125.
Lawsons Angus principal Harry Lawson said although the sale was tougher than last year, the team appreciated the support from buyers new and old.
“Our program is about supplying numbers of quality bulls and in the end it’s the cattle which will do the talking,” Mr Lawson said.
“It will take a few years to get established in this area with new clients but the feedback we’ve had so far from people who bought for the first time last year has been really positive so we’ll continue to look forward and produce the sort of bulls our clients want.”