A HUGE crowd attended the Introvigne family's 24th annual on-property Bonnydale Black Simmental and SimAngus yearling bull sale at Bridgetown early last week where young bulls sold to $15,000.
Visitors were treated to the Introvigne family's warm hospitality and an outstanding line-up of 69 well-bred and grown Black Simmental and SimAngus yearling bulls.
With the average seasonal conditions continuing from 2019 and its ongoing impact on cow joinings, the Bonnydale team was expecting the sale to be back from its awesome highs of recent years.
And while returns were significantly down on last year's sale, to maintain their sale team numbers, clearing 87 per cent at auction and grossing more than $350,000 is no mean feat in the current climate and challenges faced by beef producers.
Broken down, 41 of 47 Black Simmental bulls sold at auction to average $6445, back $1555 on last year's average from the total clearance of 53 bulls, while there was a greater clearance of the increased number of SimAngus bulls with 19 of 22 bulls selling to average $4974 but back $2508 on average to last year where 14 of 17 bulls were cleared at auction.
It was Bonnydale's second sale at the new and improved sale facility which was appreciated by the bulls and prospective buyers alike with greater room to move to inspect the world class and DNA verified genetics on display.
The sale attracted a strong register of 50 potential local and interstate buyers while it was also interfaced on AuctionsPlus.
Competitive bidding got the sale off to a strong start and continued on selected lots throughout the sale however with reduced orders and some absent buying support, buyers could afford to be more selective at times and it opened the door to buyers of all budgets to fill their joining requirements with quality Bonnydale genetics.
Some post sale activity resulted in a number of the overlooked bulls finding new homes.
Local WA buyers headed most of the top-end of the market with Northcliffe beef producers Giolio and Janine Perrella, G & JM Perrella, leading the way with the sale's $15,000 top-priced bid on the Black Simmental bull Bonnydale Lincoln Q90 entering the sale ring in lot seven.
The January 23, 2019-drop bull was by Bonnydale Augustus L84 and out of a W/C Wide Track 694Y daughter Bonnydale Fine Art L01.
Weighing 654kg, its January 25, 2020 scan showed 9mm for both fats, 104cm2 eye muscle area (EMA) and 5.4pc IMF and performed strongly in the American Simmental Association Expected Progeny Differences (EPDS) including ranking in the top 3pc for carcase weight (CW), top 4pc marbling, top 5pc yearling weight and top 10pc weaning weight.
The Perrellas run a sizeable first cross herd producing baby beef for the supermarket trade with their Simmental-infused calves performing strongly for MSA grading and were recognised as a top-three WA finalist in last year's MSA awards.
The Perrellas said they commence calving in mid-January and the Northcliffe climate allows them to calve over an extended period.
"We can run the cows at a higher capacity and give good cows the chance to get in calf but the bulk of the calves are born before April and the first of the calves are sold off in mid-October when they are about 240kg dressed and 7-8mm fat," they said.
The Perrellas had purchased traditional Simmental bulls at Bonnydale in the past but this was their first Black Simmental bull as they look for lower birthweight options for a lower maintenance herd.
"His structure and figures are excellent and we couldn't go past him with his weights and fats suitable to MSA grids," they said.
Standout buyer of the sale was long-time Bonnydale client the Carroll family, Tirano Farms, Nannup, who were prepared to invest heavily to secure their young sires of choice.
The Carrolls finished with three late January 2019-drop bulls offered early in the sale paying $11,500 and $11,000 twice for two sons of Bonnydale Kruiser and a Koch Big Timber 685D son.
The family's top bid was placed on the last of their buys penned in lot 11, a Kruiser son out of a HC Hummer 12M daughter with all of their selections similar types which performed strongly in growth, carcase and milk EPDs.
The Carrolls run 250 first cross predominantly Angus-Friesian breeders and began transitioning to a Black Simmental sire battery when they were first introduced at Bonnydale.
Paula Carroll said the family looks for bulls with good shape, thickness and conformation.
"We have achieved excellent results with the Black Simmentals with some of their calves weighing up to more than 500kg at nine months of age," Paula said.
"We have used the Black Simmentals over heifers and found them to be easy calving but the calves grow like mushrooms with good fat measurements that meet the supermarket grids.
"The Introvignes raise the bar on the quality of their genetics and strive to get better which is what we are always trying to do so it works well."
Elders WA livestock zone manager Simon Wilkinson also bid to $11,500 for a Black Simmental bull on behalf of interstate buyers RW & KA Newnham, Euroa, Victoria.
The 690kg high indexing and growth bull was another Timber 685D son and out of ASR Fine Art A3205, scanning 7mm fats, 113cm2 EMA and 4.9pc IMF.
It ranked in the top 3pc for all purpose and terminal indexes, top 10pc for calving and mature calving ease, birthweight, marbling and CW and top 15 to 25pc for other growth and carcase traits.
The $9000 top price SimAngus bull was knocked down to Pearce Watling, Elders Donnybrook, bidding via phone on behalf of Brewer Beef, Taungatta Valley, Victoria.
The 688kg mid-January 2019-drop youngster was by a Bonnydale bred son of Matauri Resolution F30 with scan data of 11mm fats, 112cm2 EMA and 5.9pc IMF while Hybrid Simmental EPD rankings included top 10pc for weaning, yearling, maternal weaning and carcase weights and top 20 to 25pc for milk and terminal index.
Michael Longford, Elders Waroona, representing Alcoa Farmlands, Wagerup, was the sale's volume buyer collecting five bulls (four Black Simmental and one SimAngus) paying from $4000 to $6000.
Major buyer of the SimAngus lineup was Temasek Holdings which tallied four bulls, outlaying up to $7000.
Consistent buyers of numbers at Bonnydale, the Wilson family, Yornup Holdings, Yornup, returned to purchase three bulls, two of which were Timber 685D sired SimAngus bulls specially selected for heifer joinings.
Rodney Wilson said they were moving away from first cross cows to a stronger beef content herd through the Bonnydale SimAngus genetics and previously used Angus bulls.
The now self-replacing herd turned off last year's late February onwards drop of calves in three drafts with the heavy calves going to the supermarket in December, while the balance were weaned and sold in two drafts in January this year to a lotfeeder and a grass fatetner in the Wheatbelt.
Mr Wilson said on May 10 the two SimAngus bulls would be joined to the retained 2019-drop heifers while the Black Simmental will join the mature cows.
"We should be right for heifer bulls hopefully for the next few years," he said.
"But we are happy with the way the bulls perform and the warranty and backup service the Introvignes provide so why would we go anywhere else."
A further 11 buyers went on to notch up two-bull accounts at the sale.
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