THE move on-farm for their annual yearling bull sale proved a successful one for the Yost family last week at Toodyay where Charolais yearling bulls sold to $7250.
Their hand may have been forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to shift their sale away from the Muchea Livestock Centre sooner than planned, but strong buying support from graziers and pastoralists, either attending the sale buying through their agent or bidding online on AuctionsPlus, ensured the family's first sale on-farm will only continue to grow.
The Yosts penned an outstanding catalogue of 27 well-grown and measured Charolais and Shorthorn yearling bulls described as the most even sale team ever presented by the Liberty team.
The Elders selling team sold young Liberty bulls to new homes as far south to Albany, east to the Wheatbelt and north to the Pilbara region, with a strong representation of agents from various companies operating.
At the conclusion of the sale, 24 of the 27 bulls (89 per cent) had sold at auction to average $5146.
With a more modest top-end market this year, the sale average came back slightly but there was a significant lift in clearance compared to last year's sale at Muchea where 16 of 37 Charolais, Shorthorn and composite bulls (43pc) sold to average $5594.
Broken down, all bar one of the 21 Charolais bulls sold at auction to average $5163, back $658 on average compared to last year's sale where 14 of 26 Charolais bulls (54pc) sold under the hammer to average $5821.
Liberty's Shorthorn line-up continues to improve with four of the six bulls selling at auction to average $5063, up from last year's sale where two of five bulls sold for $4000 each.
Northam grazier Cob Smith and family bid on a couple of bulls before paying the sale's top dollar for Liberty Quartermass, penned deep in the sale in lot 20.
The classy late March 2019-drop homozygous polled youngster demonstrated the depth of the sale catalogue.
The 594kg bull was by renowned Liberty sire Just Ramblin Along J35 (by Rangan Park Redemption E42) and out of a LT Bluegrass 4017 daughter.
For a below average birthweight and calving ease bull (top 25pc), Quartermass displayed strong carcase and performance figures, ranking in the top 10-15pc of the breed for 400-day weight, top 20-30pc for 600-day weights, top 15-20pc for rib and rump fats, top 5pc for IMF and top 10pc for all index values.
The Smiths run a herd of Santa Gertrudis cross cows and Mr Smith said they hoped to lift the weaning weights of their weaned calves with their new bull and a change to their calving date.
"He looks the package," Mr Smith said.
"Structurally sound with length and depth, good shoulders and set of pins underneath him.
"He is a moderate birthweight bull, excellent temperament and already looks like a bull with his early maturity."
Mr Smith said the bull would go straight in with mature cows for a March to April calving.
"Being a double poll bull, we are hoping he might take some of the horn out of the calves," he said.
"We moved the calving back a month from February so we are weaning the calves onto the spring flush.
"And with the hybrid vigour of the Charolais, we hope to lift weaning weights to 200 to 220kg and turn off weaners at 300kg to 320kg at 400 days."
Cameron Petricevich, S & C Livestock, was kept busy throughout the sale filling a number of orders.
This included return buyer Craneford Station, York, which paid the sale's $6500 second top price twice for its two new bulls.
Firstly for Liberty Quinto P/S, a low birthweight (top 10-25pc) 596kg AI-bred early March 2019-drop son of Cedardale Abracadabra 123A and a Just Ramblin Along daughter and was a bull the Yosts grappled with the decision to sell.
Craneford Station's second bull was Liberty Quicksilver, a 528kg red factor polled bull by homozygous polled sire Liberty Left Bank and a Rangan Park Redemption daughter.
Mr Petricevich also paid the next highest price of $6000 on two occasions.
Firstly for a polled AI bred red factor bull by Liberty Major General M38 for JIG Grazing, Waroona, which paid the sale's $12,250 record top price last year, and for the next bull offered, a polled 596kg Kooyong Mike son, one of two bulls purchased for T & L Murray, Toodyay.
The sale's standout buyer by a fair stretch was Nutrien Livestock pastoral agent Shane Flemming who tallied eight Charolais bulls for Mt Florance station, Wittenoom, paying from $3500 to $5500 for their selections.
Mr Flemming said Mt Florance had purchased Liberty Charolais bulls in the past and the new team of young bulls will acclimatise for a couple of months while they plan the joining of the operation's Charbray infused herd.
He said the station had received good early rains and the Charolais content calves offer Mt Florance good dual market access.
"They are aiming for the heavy feedlot market but there is also strong demand for these calves out of Indonesia and Vietnam," he said.
Nutrien Livestock pastoral representative Roger Leeds secured three Charolais bulls on behalf of Bettini Beef, DeGrey station, Port Hedland, paying from $4000 to $6000 for a mid-May 2019 born, 570kg son of Left Bank.
David Lindberg, Elders Albany, assisting RA & RE Gerovich was another buyer to pay $6000 for a new Liberty bull, selecting the second bull offered, a 608kg mid-April 2019 born high ranking polled son of Just Ramblin Along.
The offering of six Shorthorn bulls rounded out the sale with the breed's $5750 top-priced bull Liberty Quantum knocked down to Elders stud stock manager Tim Spicer who was taking bids for AuctionsPlus with the bull purchased by a Manjimup grazier.
The polled late March 2019-drop bull was sired by Statue Hill Marshall, with the thick roan bull displaying a strong set of EBVs ranking in the breed's top 5pc for 200-day weight and eye muscle area, top 10pc 400-day weight and top 15pc 600-day weight, top 10pc scrotal and top 20-25pc for carcase weight and retail beef yield.
Gary Preston, Elders Geraldton, representing AH & HL Burrow, Narralda Shorthorn stud, Youngs Siding, paid $5000 for team leader Liberty Quervo, the first son of AI-sire Crooked Post Stockman to be offered in WA, a polled red 564kg mid-February 2019-drop bull.
Mr Flemming returned to the buyer's circle paying $5000 for a late March 2019-drop 604kg polled Statue son on behalf of Lang Family Trust, Gingin.