A DETERMINATION to improve their herd with strong genetics paid off for Willawayup Farms principals Neil and Mary Wandel at their cattle dispersal at Munglinup recently.
Organised as part of a general clearing sale, which also comprised a sheep dispersal (see page 108) and machinery (see page 36), the cattle section grossed $813,581 of the overall total of more than $2.1 million.
Fifty per cent of the 549 Angus cows offered were based on Lawsons bloodlines with the balance on Kogody, Allegria Park and Naranda Angus.
The cows offered ranged in age from 2013 to 2016-drop and all were PTIC to Angus bulls, which were introduced on June 15 last year.
The top price in the offering was $1800 a head was paid by Salmon Gums concern Karingal Pastoral, for the first line of females offered.
The line consisted of 31 2016-drop females.
The sale was interfaced on AuctionsPlus and AuctionsPlus regional sales and customer services officer Mick Corcoran, who was in attendance at the sale, was upbeat about the company’s participation.
“We had five successful bids in the sale for producers based at Narrikup and Waroona and this included securing one of the second top-priced lines at $1625,” he said.
“All up we had bids across 10 of the 17 lots for a total of 36 online bids.
“Also pleasing was the sale catalogue had 1631 views online and there were 23 users logged in for the sale from WA and Victoria.
“I was very happy with the sale and the sale’s success can be attributed to the high quality of the offering along with the time and effort Peter Gale and Neil Brindley (Landmark Esperance) took to present the stock in a manner attractive to a wide range of buyers which helped draw purchasers from outside the local region.
“It was great to have Peter and Neil invite us to be part of the sale.”
The winning AuctionsPlus bids were at $1625 for 30 2016-drop cows, $1500 for 37 2016-drop cows, $1450 for 37 2015-drop cows, $1375 for 36 2015-drop cows and $1300 for 22 2014-drop females.
Gibson producers Michael Whiting and his son Jordan, trading as Shepwok Downs, snapped up four pens to be the biggest buyer, with a total of 140 head, averaging $1463 a head.
They paid to a top of $1550 for a pen of 41 2016-drop Angus cows and also $1500 for 30 2015-drop females.
Ridley Plains, Ridley via Esperance, also purchased multiple pens at the top end of the sale.
It purchased two lines of 2016-drop cows which contained 30 and 27 head at the sale’s $1625 equal second top price and then paid $1600 for a pen of 30 2016-drop females.
Brindley and Gale Landmark Esperance auctioneer Neil Brindley said all offerings were sold to good values with strong competition and a total clearance.
“We had buyers from across the State which was very pleasing,” he said.
Mr Wandel said he was happy with the result.
“It’s where the market is at the moment and it wasn’t far off what I expected,” he said.
IT was advertised as a clearing sale but in Esperance farmer Neil Wandel’s mind it was only a reduction sale.
In any event last week’s sale at Munglinup conducted by Landmark Brindley & Gale, Esperance, went off without a hitch as Mr Wandel and his wife Mary focused on a “new” farming life on properties 25 kilometres west and east of Esperance.
“I’m still retaining 400 breeding cows and I’ll keep 500 weaner heifers just in case the drought breaks in the Eastern States and prices jump,” Mr Wandel said.
“But we’re slowing down a bit with the cattle because we’ve still got our grain business.”
Mr Wandel said he was pleased with the genetic improvement in his cattle and was pleased with the prices they attracted.
“We started breeding four years ago and we went from 120 cows to 1000 head using good bulls and keeping a lot of heifers,” he said.
On the grain side, Mr Wandel has a grain cleaning and drying facility in Esperance and last May started exporting pulses – faba beans, peas, lentils and lupins – as well as selling them to the domestic market and to the Eastern States.
“I want to concentrate on the grain business a bit more,” he said.
Mr Wandel moved from Clare, South Australia, in 1979 after a 12-year career shearing and farming.
“Esperance has been very kind to us,” he said.
“We initially bought 800ha and today, with the boys (Mark and Scott) we own about 22,000ha.
“Our daughter Michelle (Barrett) also farms at Munglinup.”
Mr Wandel’s only regret with his latest move is parting with his Munglinup farm manager Phillip Chamberlain.
“He is an outstanding manager and I hold him in high regard,” Mr Wandel said.
“Fortunately he has moved on to become manager of The Oaks (30km west of Esperance).”