A QUALITY line-up of breeders and a long list of buyers both in attendance and logged in on AuctionsPlus were all that were needed to ensure the Nutrien Livestock Great Southern Blue Ribbon Breeders Sale at Mt Barker will go down in history as one of the best ever with prices hitting a State record $4050 for PTIC first-cross heifers.
With more than 100 registered buyers in attendance at the sale on January 14 and another 63 registered bidders logged in on AuctionsPlus from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and WA, the Nutrien Livestock selling team led by auctioneer Harry Carroll had very little trouble clearing the 1236 females on offer.
By the end of the sale 1165 of the females offered were headed to new homes in both local areas as well as further a field to both the South West and Esperance regions, plus NSW for a sale gross of more than $2.973 million and an average of $2553, which was up $863 on last year's sale.
In last year's sale the agents sold 667 females for an average of $1690 and to a top of $2600.
The introduction of the AuctionsPlus platform to the sale for the first time added to the competition right through the catalogue with 63 registered bidders placing 74 online bids across 45 lots (31 per cent of the catalogue) which resulted in 24 lots (206 head) being purchased through the online system.
The tone for the sale was set early when two of the first three pens of PTIC Angus-Friesian heifers sold to not only the sale's $4050 top price but a State record price for PTIC first-cross heifers.
The well-grown, soft, feminine heifers offered by the Houden family, The Southden Trust, Redmond, attracted plenty of buyer interest, but in the end it was return buyers Graham and Evan Ayres, Graham Ayres Livestock, Bornholm, who purchased the two pens of eight heifers.
The 20 to 24-month-old, bucket-reared heifers, were bred by the Houdens in the dairy operation in which they milk 500 cows.
They are sired by Arizona Farms Angus bulls bred from Coonamble Angus bloodlines and out of Friesian heifers.
The heifers are in calf to Quanden Springs Angus bulls selected for their calving ease and high growth and are due to calve from March 1 to May 1.
The Ayres run a breeding herd of 250 Angus-Friesian breeders which are joined to Charolais bulls and these heifers were purchased as replacement breeders for the herd.
Graham Ayres said he liked the Angus-Friesian females for their quiet temperament as they were all bucket-reared and their extra milk production.
The Ayres calve over a 12-week period from February 1 and their aim is to sell their calves at 11mo straight off mum either through the yards or direct to Woolworths or Avon Valley Meats.
PTIC Angus-Friesian heifers
The PTIC Angus-Friesian heifers were the first to be offered in the sale line-up and as previously mentioned got it off to a flyer of a start selling to a State record price of $4050.
The strong demand for the heifers resulted in 78 of the 98 offered selling for an average of $3343, in comparison in last year's sale the top price for the PTIC Angus-Friesian heifer offering was just $2600.
Along with securing two pens at the record $4050 price, the Ayres also collected another pen of nine heifers for the Houden family at $3500 with the same calving details.
Fellow return buyer BJ Panizza Family Trust, Albany, was hot on the tail of the Ayres when it came to the heifers offered by the Houden family, pushing them up on the top pens.
By the end of the run the Panizza family had also collected three pens of the Houden's heifers which are due to calve down Angus calves from March 1 to May 1.
They paid $4000 and $3900 for pens of eight as well as $3950 for a line of seven.
Bridgetown operation Candyup Farms sold two pens, both containing eight Angus-Friesian heifers, in the run to Twin Lakes Holdings, Manjimup, at $2550 and $2300.
These heifers are in calf to an Angus sire and due to calve from March 3 to April 30.
Albany-based TC Kiddie & Co also went home with PTIC Angus-Friesian heifers when it paid $2500 for nine head from WA & DA Lyon.
PTIC beef heifers
There was certainly plenty of choice for buyers when it came to the PTIC beef heifer offering with 622 heifers going under the hammer of which 98 per cent were of Angus breeding.
By the end of the large run Mr Carroll had cleared 571 under the hammer to a top of $3650 twice, which was up $1050 on last year and an average of $2468.
Achieving the $3650 top price first in the run was the opening pen offered the sale's volume vendors the Forbes family, Dundeal Holdings, Narrikup, which had 276 Angus heifers in the sale.
The impressive pen of eight big, roomy, 30-month-old Angus heifers were purchased by SJ Panizza Family Trust and BJ Panizza Family Trust, Albany, which also purchased another pen of eight from Dundeal Holdings at $3000.
Other buyers of the Dundeal heifers were Daryl Robinson manager of Murray River Farms, Waroona, who with the assistance of Nutrien Livestock, Harvey representative Ralph Mosca, purchased four pens (37 head) for between $2550 and $3000 while Smit Farming, Kalgan, secured five pens (48 head) between $2450-$2650.
All of the Dundeal heifers were PTIC to Angus bulls and due to calve from February 26 to April 30.
The second pen of heifers in the run to make the $3650 top price were sold by the Smith family, Baboo Pastoral Co, Green Range.
The pen of 10 feminine, 20-22mo, Coonamble blood Angus heifers were purchased by Nutrien Livestock, Manjimup representative Brett Chatley for Darren White, Casual Flats, Peaceful Bay.
A second pen of 10 heifers from Baboo Pastoral heifers also sold for more than $3000 when it was knocked down at $3100 to Mr Mosca, who was this time holding a bidding card for Avoca Dairy, Mundijong.
Both pens of Baboo heifers are PTIC to low birthweight Coonamble Angus bulls and are due to calve from March 1 to April 30.
Esperance producers B & K Gravestock also saw their offering of Angus heifers sell for more than $3000 when a pen of 10 heifers was knocked down at $3100 to Murray River Farms.
The Gravestocks also sold three pens at $2250 to HD & BP Pearce, Willyung (10 head); a New South Wales AuctionsPlus buyer (nine head) and K Sanders & T Kilner, Kojonup (10 head).
Mr Robinson was an active buyer throughout the PTIC heifer run for Murray River Farms and didn't just go home with heifers from Dundeal Holdings and the Gravestocks.
The Waroona-based operation also purchased six pens of Angus heifers (58 head) from L & C Gatti, Redmond, which are PTIC to Angus bulls and due to calve from February 25 to May 20 for between $2200 and $2700, as well as a pen of nine Angus also carrying Angus calves from Moran & Co, Kronkup, at $2850.
The Bairstow family, Arizona Farms, Lake Grace, offered seven pens of PTIC Angus heifers (69 head) based on Coonamble bloodlines and sold them all to a top of $2600 for three pens.
Rayview Park, Albany, picked up two pens of 10 at $2600 and another 10 at $2500 while LN & JP Black, Albany, went to $2600 for a pen of 10 and Blancell Falls, Coolup, picked up two pens of 10 at $2500.
The heifers offered by Arizona Farms are due to drop Angus sired calves from March 1 to May 28.
The Creedon family, Pleasant Valley Pastoral Co, Esperance, who were dispersing their Angus herd in the sale, sold 60 Angus heifers, which are PTIC to Angus bulls, over six pens and 11 PTIC Angus cross heifers also PTIC to an Angus bull in the run.
The Creedon's offering topped at $2250 for a pen of 10, which was one of four pens (40 head), purchased by a New South Wales buyer operating on AuctionsPlus.
The Smith family, Kildarra Red Angus stud, Albany, offered one of the few pens of heifers in the sale which weren't black and received good support.
Their pen of eight Red Angus, which carry their own stud bloodlines and are PTIC to a Kildarra Red Angus bull (due to calve March 27 to May 29) was knocked down at $3450 second top price in the run to JW Dennis & Co, Mt Barker.
The Gatti family, L & C Gatti, also sold Red Angus heifers, with their two head selling at $2700 to RW Duggan, while seven 22-24mo Murray Grey heifers from TH Shepherd & Co, Kojonup, which are PTIC a Murray Grey bull and due to calve from March 11 to September 10 went at $2150 to an AuctionsPlus buyer from New South Wales.
Angus cow and calf units
A quality run of second and third Angus calvers with five to 11-week-old calves at foot all from the Blyth family, MJ Blyth & Co, Manypeaks, attracted plenty of interest and sold to a top of $2950.
All up there were 63 units offered and sold for an average of $2888.
Three pens made the $2950 top value and the first to hit the mark was a pen of 10 second calvers when they sold to RA & AN Smith, Albany.
The other two pens to sell at $2950 contained 10 and seven third calvers and were purchased by Greg & Annette Cake, RL Cake & Co, Gairdner, who were buying, to stock a new property recently purchased at Napier.
The Cakes also picked up another 10 third calvers at $2900.
The Walmsley family, Bancell Falls, Coolup, also in the hunt for females to increase their breeding herd that currently sits at 300 head, purchased three pens of second calvers paying $2900 and $2800 for pens of nine and $2750 for a pen of eight.
PTIC Angus-Friesian cows
Like their PTIC first-cross heifer counterparts the five pens of PTIC Angus-Friesian second calvers all from the O'Farrell family, EJ & CA O'Farrell, Youngs Siding, attracted plenty of competition.
The 48 females sold in the run averaged $3532 and received a top bid of $3750.
As was the case in the heifer run it was the Ayres family, Graham Ayres Livestock, Bornholm, which placed the top bid of $3750 when they were last bidders standing on a pen of 10.
The Bunker family, Pardee Grazing, Kendenup, picked up three pens from the run paying $3600 for a pen of 10 as well as $3450 for 11 head and $3300 for seven.
The remaining pen of 10 was knocked down at $3500 to D & E House, Albany.
All the heifers, which were all bred in the family's dairy operation and sired by Lawsons Angus bulls, are PTIC to Angus bulls and due to calve from February 22 to April 9.
PTIC beef cows
There were 385 PTIC beef cows offered in the yarding ranging in age from second through to eighth calvers with the numbers boosted due to two herd dispersals.
Strong bidding from both local buyers and a New South Wales operation operating through AuctionsPlus resulted in the entire offering selling for an average of $2396 and to a top of $3250 paid for second calvers.
After selling one of the equal top-priced PTIC beef heifer pens the Smith family, Baboo Pastoral, claimed a top price double when it sold the top-priced pen of PTIC beef cows at $3250.
The eight classy, Coonamble Angus blood second calvers, which are PTIC to a Coonamble bull and due to calve from April 1 to May 30, were purchased by A & S Barrow, Denmark.
The Smiths also sold a second pen of eight second calvers with the same joining details at $3200 to Quarram Grazing, Denmark.
Also in the offering from the Smiths were two pens of third calvers that had the same description and joining details as their younger counterparts.
Murray River Farms paid $3000 for the first pen of nine, while the second line of nine went to the AuctionsPlus buyer at $2750.
The biggest of the dispersals in the run was for RN & BE Fletcher, Jerdacuttup, which offered 155 Angus cows based on Coonamble bloodlines.
They ranged from second through to sixth calvers and all are PTIC to Cherylton, Black Market and Coonamble Angus bulls and due to calve from April 14 to June 17.
The operation's three pens of second calvers (24 head) sold between $1950-$2300 to the AuctionsPlus buyer and the same buyers also purchased five pens (55 head) of the Fletchers third calvers at between $2250-$2650 as well as a pen of eight fourth calvers at $2250 and a pen of 10 sixth calvers at $1950.
When it came to the Fletcher's fifth calvers a pen of 12 head sold at $2200 to Shehan Grazing, Bridgetown, while Quahlea Cattle Pty Ltd, Esperance, paid $2150 for a line of 18.
The Creedon family, Pleasant Valley, also dispersed its Angus herd in the sale that had been based on Naranda and Sheron Farm Angus bloodlines.
The Creedons offered 151 cows ranging from second through to eighth calvers that were all PTIC to Angus bulls and due to calve from February 26 to May 6.
The family's second calvers sold from $2100 to $2500 with Banjo Beef, paying $2500 for nine and Matthew B Gardiner, Boyup Brook, paid the same value for a pen of 10, while their third calvers made $1800-$2600 with K Sanders & T Kilner paying the top value for a pen of five.
In the Creedon's run of fourth calvers prices ranged from $1800 to $2500 which was paid twice.
The first to pay the $2500 was Two Camel Creek, Bridgetown, for eight, then G & L Hicks, Albany, secured 10 at the value along with another pen of eight at $2450.
The Creedon's older cows (fifth to eighth calvers) sold from $2150-$2650.
Murray River Farms purchased a pen of eight fifth and sixth calvers at $2650, while K Sanders and T Kilner secured a pen of six of the same age at $2600 from the Creedon offering.
Murray River Farms also picked up two pens of nine PTIC Angus sixth calvers from MC & AG Taylor, Torbay, at $2500 and $2600.
There wasn't just PTIC Angus cows in the offering for buyers there were also three pens of PTIC Murray Grey second calvers (21 head) from TH Shepherd & Co.
These sold between $1900-$2850 with the top-priced line of six going to EJ & CF Goodchild, Willyung.
Unjoined F1 heifers
There were two pens of 10 unjoined Angus-Friesian heifers offered in the sale by Candyup Farms, Bridgetown and they sold to a high of $1600.
Achieving the $1600 price tag was the first pen of 10 when it sold to LE & AG Wolfe.
The second pen of 10 made $1400 and was knocked down to Teutonia Park, Scottsdale.