THE Elders South West livestock team would have slept well after the recent Elders Boyanup Supreme Springing Heifer Sale achieved a solid result that was well up on pre-sale expectations.
Leading into the sale it had been a restless few night's sleep for the team, as they worried about how the sale would unfold, given the results of a similar sale a week earlier.
But they need not have worried, as right through the sale the good gallery of mainly return buyers competed strongly on the quality line-up of heifers and all the vendors were prepared to meet the market with their reserves which ensured a consistent and solid sale throughout.
In stifling heat Elders auctioneer Alec Williams powered through the catalogue of 614 heifers in two hours and with the vendors prepared to meet the market, he had no problems extracting bids from the 45 registered buyers.
By sale's end Mr Williams had cleared 590 of the 614 heifers offered under the hammer to a top of $2550 twice, a gross of $1,244,650 million and an average of $2110.
These figures meant the average was back $67 but 12 more heifers were sold and the gross was up $13,850 compared to last year's result.
In last year's sale only 578 of the 800 heifers offered sold for a gross of $1,258,500 and average of $2177.
This year's sale result was improved even further with the three passed-in pens also finding new homes before the fixture finished to deliver a complete clearance.
Elders South West livestock manager Michael Carroll said it was a good solid sale from start to finish, with a 100 per cent clearance achieved.
"Both buyers and vendors where happy with the result, as there wasn't any extreme highs and lows, as in previous sales," Mr Carroll.
"Buyers capitalised on quality lines of mated heifers at realistic values, purchasing in confidence, due to the fact they could sell cull cows and their finished calves and replace with young PTIC heifers for not a lot of dollar difference, which hasn't been the case in the past few years.
"Vendors should be commended on the quality and presentation once again, especially given the challenging season.
"All in all, it was a very good sale, with a good balance of values for both buyers and sellers."
Regular sale vendors the Roberts family, KS & EN Roberts & Son, Elgin, featured strongly in the sale and were the volume vendors once again.
And it was from their pens where the day's $2550 top price heifers were found.
Prices peaked at $2550 for two pens of their Angus-Friesian heifers, which had been synchronised AI-mated to a Unison Limousin bull and are due to calve from January 20 to February 9.
The first pen of eight to reach the $2550 top price was the very first pen offered when it was knocked down in one bid to the Carroll family, Tirano Farms, Nannup, who run a 250-head breeding herd of first-cross females.
The Carrolls also paid $2300 for another pen of eight Angus-Friesians with the same mating details as their top-priced line from the Roberts which had been passed in during the auction.
Paula Carroll said they were looking for a couple of pens of replacement heifers, having culled out some older cows in recent times.
"We look for well-grown, roomy heifers that have good shape even for a first-cross," Ms Carroll said.
"We like buying heifers out of this sale as the quality of the heifers in the sale and the guarantees that come with them are first-class and gives you confidence in what you are getting when buying."
After their first calf the Carrolls mate all their first-cross females back to Bonnydale Black Simmental bulls and sell their calves, which start dropping in February, as vealers to Woolworths.
Ms Carroll said they liked the first-cross female as it allowed them to get a good milk-fed calf off early.
"We started selling this year's drop of calves at the beginning of November and they have already all gone," she said.
The other pen of eight Angus-Friesian heifers from the Roberts family which topped at $2550 were purchased by the Manning family, D Manning Family Trust, Mardella.
Along with securing this pen of sleek, roomy heifers the Manning family also secured another two pens of eight Angus-Friesians from the Roberts.
They bid to $2200 for eight which had the same mating details as their top-priced line and $1950 for eight which are PTIC to a Limousin bull and due to calve from February 10 to March 31.
Kelly Manning said it was the family's third time purchasing mated first-cross females at auction and they had bought them to replenish their breeding herd of 300 predominantly Angus beef breeders.
"We have secured females from the Roberts family before and have been very pleased with how they have performed," Ms Manning said.
"They're similar types to what we have purchased in the past and we anticipate equal results with their progeny."
The sale opened with the large run of 510 Angus-Friesian heifers and these made up 83pc of the yarding.
By the end of the run 486 had been cleared under the hammer to top at the sale's overall $2550 top price, an average of $2108 and a gross of more than $1m.
This meant the average for the Angus-Friesian line-up was back $62 on last year when vendors offered 733 heifers and sold 518 to a top of $2750 and an average of $2170.
The Roberts family not only sold the two $2550 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 there was plenty of action on them and this included bidding from the day's volume buyers Kim and Kerrie Dunnet, OM Dunnet & Co, Nannup, who purchased 80 head in total including 56 Angus-Friesian heifers.
From the Roberts family's offering the Dunnets, who were at the sale to purchase their annual draft of replacement heifers, secured two pens of eight which are carrying Limousin calves, at $2350 and $2000.
They also purchased three pens of eight heifers from regular vendors Keith and Alison Jilley, KL & AJ Jilley, Boyanup, which are PTIC to a Limousin bull and due to calve from February 1 to April 18, at $2300 and $2250 (twice).
The Dunnets rounded out their purchases in the Angus run securing nine heifers PTIC to a Limousin bull with an 11-week calving period starting on February 24 from AD & RM Corker, Capel, at $2250 and seven owner-bred heifers from Tarcunda Dairy, Coolup, which are carrying Angus calves and due to calve from February 1 to March 28 for $2200.
Mr Dunnet said the heifers would join their 700 head breeding herd but they weren't chasing as many replacements this year as they had downsized their herd slightly.
"We were chasing good framed heifers with softness and a good temperament," Mr Dunnet said.
"We wanted heifers that had been well-handled and correctly handled as it is important to us to have quiet cattle.
"We mainly use Charolais bulls over our females but we have also in more recent years started using Limousin and Romagnola bulls for ease of calving on the properties we are not living on."
The Dunnet's herd calves down from the middle of January through to the end of July and they aim to sell all their calves straight off mum.
Already this year they have sold two thirds of their 2019 calf drop to Woolworths and DBC at 220-230kg dressed.
Donnybrook operation Castledene Enterprises also paid at the top end for the Roberts' Angus-Friesian heifers - it bid to $2300 for a line of eight which have a 20-day calv- ing period starting on January 20 after being synchronised AI-mated to a Limousin bull.
The operation also paid $2400 for another pen of eight with the same mating details from the Roberts which had been passed in early in the sale.
Another buyer to pick up two pens of the Roberts' Angus-Friesian heifers was Charlie Brockman, DV Brockman & Co, Cowaramup, who runs a breeding herd of 230 first-cross females.
Mr Brockman bought two pens, which contained eight and seven head, at $2100.
Both pens are PTIC to a Limousin bull and due to calve from February 10 to March 31.
Along with these two pens Mr Brockman bid to the second top price in the Angus run of $2450 for two heifers PTIC to an Angus bull and due to calve from January 21 to April 18 from NR Love & VJ Roche, Pemberton.
While the Dunnet family was the volume buyer of the sale, the title for the volume buyer in the Angus-Friesian run went to regular buyers the Tomas family, BJ & FH Tomas, Cundinup, who run a sizeable first-cross breeding herd.
The Cundinup operation secured a total of 71 Angus-Friesian heifers from four different vendors.
They purchased six pens (47 head) from the Jilley family's offering of heifers which were all PTIC to Limousin sires and due to calve for 11 weeks from February 1.
These lines included a pen of eight at $2200 plus a pen of seven and another pen of eight at $2100.
The operation also paid $2150 for eight heifers carrying Angus calves and due to drop from January 21 for 10 weeks from longtime vendor Jim Milner, AJ Milner, Busselton; $2050 for eight heifers from the Roberts family and $2000 for eight heifers from LM & EA Crouch, Nannup, which are in calf to Angus bulls and due to calve for 12 weeks from January 16.
Another big buyer in the run was G & TJ Ross & Co, Denmark, which purchased 43 heifers over six pens from five vendors.
It paid to $2000 on three occasions the first time was for eight heifers from KL & AJ Jilley, before going on to pay $2000 for two heifers from Braeside Farm, Coolup and the same value for eight from the Roberts family.
Its truck load also included two pens of heifers from RC & CD Barbetti & Sons, Waterloo, that are PTIC to a Limousin sire and due to calve from January 31 to April 12.
For these pens it paid $1850 for a line of nine and $1800 for eight.
Manjimup operation Dehaan & Son were also among the volume buyers, purchasing 23 heifers, made up of eight offered by the Barbetti family's operation at $2100, eight from the Jilleys at $2000 and seven from the Crouchs at $1950.
Regular buyers at the sale Charlie and Kathy Vinci, CA Vinci, Beelerup, also secured 23 head over three pens.
They paid $1950 for eight from Candyup Farms, Boyup Brook and $1950 for seven from BW & RB Ridley, Brunswick, plus $1900 for eight from the Barbetti offering.
There were a number of other buyers to purchase a couple of Angus-Friesian heifers and those paying better money included F Pessotto & Sons, Manjimup, which paid $2250 for pens of eight from Candyup Farms and LM & EA Crouch, while Alba Rosa Trading, Jardee, bid to $2200 for a pen of nine and $2100 for a line of eight, both from the Milners and Jardee Grazing, Manjimup, secured nine from the Roberts at $2200 and eight from Candyup Farms at $2150.
Others to buy strongly included AW & BK Turner, Capel, which paid $2150 for seven from the Roberts and $2100 for six from Braeside Farms and PP & B Smith, Busselton, secured a pen of eight from the Crouchs at $2200 and eight from Candyup Farms at $1950.
Next into the ring were the 47 Hereford-Friesian heifers and by the end of the run, all were headed to new pastures after selling to a top of $2500, which was the second top price overall and an average of $2147.
Taking top price honours in this run was the first pen offered when Kevin and Janice Hard bid with determination on the eight big, roomy heifers offered by the Roberts family.
The classy pen of eight heifers are due to calve from January 20 to March 31 after being synchronised AI'd to a Limousin bull and then backed up by a Limousin sire.
Longtime sale supporter Graeme Payne, GE Payne, Karridale, must have liked what he saw in the offering of Hereford-Friesian heifers as he wasn't afraid to put his hand up and bid.
By the end of the run Mr Payne had secured 20 head over three pens.
He paid to a high of $2300 for a line of eight which are PTIC to an Angus sire with a calving period of January 21 to April 18 from NR Love & VJ Roche, Pemberton.
The other two lines he purchased were from the Roberts family and will calve down Limousin sired calves from January 20 to March 31 after being synchronised AI'd and then backed up by a Limousin bull.
He bid to $2200 for a pen of eight and $1900 for a line of four.
Mr Payne, who runs 350 first-cross breeders, said his breeding herd was mainly made up of Angus and Murray Grey-Friesians but with the good offering of Hereford-Friesians in this year's sale he decided to purchase some as he also liked them as breeders.
"After their first calf we mate our breeders back to Topweight and Bullock Hills Simmental sires as well as Yallaroo Hereford bulls and get a good calf," Mr Payne said.
"Usually at about nine months old our calves weigh between 400 and 500 kilograms."
The operation, which starts calving in February, has already sold half of the calves it dropped this year as vealers.
After buying strongly in the Angus-Friesian run Kim and Kerrie Dunnet picked up a pen of eight heifers from the Roberts family at $1900, while Charlie Brockman, DV Brockman & Co, Cowaramup, paid $2150 for six from NR Love & VJ Roche.
The offering of 31 Murray Grey-Friesian heifers also found good consistent support from buyers and by the end of the offering all had been sold to a top of $2300 and an average of $2194.
The $2300 top price pen was sold by the Roberts family and purchased by some of the day's volume buyers Kim and Kerrie Dunnet.
The pen of eight soft, well-grown heifers were synchronised AI-mated to a Limousin sire and backed up by a Limousin bull and are due to calve from January 20 to March 31.
They also picked up another pen of eight from the Roberts with same calving details at $2250.
Mr Dunnet said he targeted some pens of Murray Grey and Hereford heifers this year with the intention of mating them back to a top Angus bull they purchased from the Monterey stud, Karridale, to breed replacement females.
A third pen of Murray Grey-Friesian heifers containing seven head from the Roberts, sold at $2000 to Graham Ayres Livestock, Albany.
The only other vendor to offer heifers in the run was LM & EA Crouch, and they saw their pen of eight heifers, which are PTIC to an Angus bull with a calving period from January 16 to April 10, knocked down at $2200 to HW Marsiske, Pinjarra.
Murray Grey-Aussie Red
A run of 18 Murray Grey-Aussie Red heifers from the Crouch family also attracted good support and all sold to a top of $2000 and an average of $1872.
After purchasing some Murray Grey-Aussie Red heifers in last year's sale and being pleased with how they worked out, Graeme Payne was keen to get his hands on some more.
He bid to the $2000 top price for a pen of eight and $1800 for a line of seven.
The remaining three heifers in the run were purchased by BR & DR Marsh, Warner Glen, at $1700.
All 18 heifers are carrying Angus calves and have a 12 week calving period starting January 16.
A pen of eight Simmental-Friesian heifers from the Roberts family rounded out the sale and it sold at $2200.
The large-framed heifers which are carrying a Limousin sired calf and due to calve from January 20 to March 31 were purchased by HW Marsiske.