ON the back of a record cattle market and a quality presentation of bulls, buyers weren't afraid to bid up at last week's Monterey Murray Grey and Angus on-property bull sale at Karridale, ensuring an impressive result for stud principals Gary and Julie Buller.
With 84 buyers registered at the sale and another 80 registered bidders logged on to AuctionsPlus from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and WA that logged 39 bids across 12 lots, there was strong competition right through the sale meaning the auctioneering tag team of Nutrien Livestock's Tiny Holly and Elders' Nathan King had very little trouble finding new homes for the bulls on offer.
When the buyers, who came from as far north as Mingenew and east to the Nullarbor as well as the Eastern States found something they liked, they certainly weren't afraid to bid up which saw prices hit $15,000 twice for Murray Grey bulls and $14,500 for an Angus sire.
But these weren't the only bulls that sold for $10,000 or more - another nine Murray Greys surpassed the mark as well as an additional three Angus bulls, giving an indication of how strong the sale was.
All up in last year's sale only four Angus bulls made five figures.
In the end the joint selling team cleared 73 of the 75 Murray Grey and Angus bulls offered under the hammer (97 per cent) for an average of $8096, which was up $2393 on the 2020 result when 58 of 74 bulls (78pc) were sold for an average of $5703.
The two bulls that were passed in at auction also sold quickly post sale to give the stud a complete clearance on the day.
Mr Holly said it was a great sale result on the back of excellent buying support from all over Australia, including New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania.
"There was good buying support from a long list of return buyers which have confidence in the Monterey product as well as a handful of new buyers," Mr Holly said.
"We had more than 80 buyers registered at the sale wanting to buy and with a good even team right through with good figures, if a buyer missed out on one bull they could buy the next with confidence across both breeds which ensured a good strong and consistent sale throughout," Mr Holly said.
"It was a great line-up of bulls which continues to improve every year.
"The top end of the bulls in both breeds sold above expectations on the back of great competition".
Equally happy with the sale result was Mr King who said it was a good consistent sale for the stud which reflected the very even and quality line-up of bulls presented across both breeds.
"It's a sale where you can find a stud sire but more importantly there again was a top line of commercial bulls and buyers responded accordingly," Mr King said.
"We achieved a complete clearance after the two passed-in bulls sold post sale and the sale averaged more than $8000, meaning both prices and clearance were well up on last year which followed the trend of other sales this year.
"There was widespread buying support from across WA from the northern Wheatbelt to the South Coast plus the Eastern States and it appeared all buyers were prepared to pay a bit more given where the cattle market is sitting and the returns they have been receiving."
The Murray Grey breed kicked off the sale and there was strong competition right through the quality line-up of 38 bulls and on the back of this buying strength, 36 sold under the hammer to the sale's $15,000 top twice and an average of $8944, which was up $3815 on last year's result.
In comparison in last year's sale the stud sold 29 from 36 Murray Grey bulls for a $5129 average and a high of $8500.
The tone for the sale was set early when the first Murray Grey bull offered, Monterey Qantas Q18 (AI), entered the ring.
Mr Holly took an opening bid of $10,000 on the 952 kilogram grey sire and then in just a handful of bids he knocked it down at the sale's $15,000 equal top price to Nutrien Livestock, South West manager Peter Storch, who was taking bidding instructions over the phone from G & JR & DJ Koopman, Bottlesford Murray Grey and Angus studs, Tungkillo, South Australia.
The grey, soft, smooth, well-muscled bull, which is by Monterey Himalaya H158 (AI) and out of a heifer, Monterey Melissa M43, had scan figures of 118cm2 for EMA and 5.9pc for IMF, while it is above breed average for growth with estimated breeding values (EBVs) of +26, +44 and +61 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights.
Darren Koopman said the family had been sourcing Murray Grey sires from Monterey for about 12 years and said Qantas offered an outcross bloodline and would complement their herd well.
"We saw some photos and the agents sent a couple of videos," Mr Koopman said.
"We were looking for an outcross in terms of pedigree to the sires we have at the moment and this bull particularly appealed with his presence, he is an impressive looking animal.
"We were impressed with the amount of muscle he carried but also the ease in which he carried it, quite an easy doing bull.
"Along with a good balance of numbers, moderate birthweight, reasonable growth and positive fats.
"That was part of the attraction to this bull, he will complement what we currently have well."
Matching Qantas in the price stakes and also selling at $15,000 later in the first run of Murray Grey bulls was the silver Monterey Quicksilver Q152 when it was knocked down to an AuctionsPlus buyer, later revealed as Donald Monley and his mother Joan, Jomal Glen stud, Toodyay and Gidginbung, New South Wales.
Penned in lot 18, the 940kg bull was a mid-May 2019-born son of Monterey Marvellous M130 and Monterey Primose M253.
The bull will commence his breeding career at Joan Monley's Toodyay property, joining the cows at the beginning of June for an autumn calving before making the journey east to its new home at Donald Monley's Gidginbung property.
Mr Monley said Quicksilver's extensive pedigree and impressive physical attributes made it an ideal package for the Jomal Glen stud.
"We purchased a Monterey bull two years ago and we needed a new sire for his daughters coming through," Mr Monley said.
"He is properly line bred to a bull we sold to Monterey about 10 years ago, Jomal Glen Earthquake E21.
"We rated Earthquake highly so it's a nice touch having him on both sides of the pedigree but there are some maternal bloodlines in Quicksilver we hadn't tapped into yet.
"Quicksilver is out of the Primrose maternal line which goes back to the same cow that started the Magnolia line which has an outstanding record, so we are encouraged that the new sire will breed good daughters.
"Our breeding philosophy at Jomal Glen is strong maternal and carcase qualities and they don't always go hand-in-hand but this bull fits the mould.
"The photo of him struck us, length of body, conformation, good head and scrotal with a lot of substance.
"Fantastic weight for age, 940kg at not quite 21 months, there's a fair bit of bull there."
The Monterey Marvellous son was not only easy on the eye with plenty of thickness, length and depth it also has the growth figures to match ranking in the top 10pc of breed for 200-day weight (+33) and top 15pc for 400 and 600-day weights (+48 and +71).
It also had a good set of raw scans including 124cm2 EMA which was the fifth best in the team and 6.1pc IMF that was the equal second highest of the group.
Along with these two sale toppers there were another nine Murray Grey bulls to sell for $10,000 or more and buying two of these were return buyers of more than 15 years Chris and Daryl Avery, WC, BE & DV Avery, Scott River, who bid with the assistance of Elders, Margaret River agent Alec Williams.
The Averys bid to $14,500 for a Woodbourn Kimberley K39 son, Monterey Quickstep Q106 and $14,000 for Monterey Quiet Achiever Q191, which is a son of Monterey Marvellous M130.
Daryl Avery said both bulls caught their attention on the day with their good shapes and strong figures.
The soft, slicked coated and well-muscled Quickstep Q106 ranks in the top 10-20pc for growth with figures of +31, +48 and +74 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights as well as top 10pc for EMA (+2.8).
It also ranks in the top 5-15pc for the indexes with figures of +$52 vealer terminal, +$50 supermarket and +$76 heavy grassfed steer.
In terms of Quiet Achiever Q191 it is below average for birthweight with a figure of +3.3 and ranks in the top 20pc for 200 and 600-day weights while its index values of +$56 terminal, +$51 supermarket and +$75 heavy grassfed steer rank in the top 5-15pc.
In addition to these two bulls the Averys purchased a third bull, which was a Monterey Limitless L198 son, Monterey Quantum Leap Q114, for $9000.
Mr Avery said they continued to purchase annually from Monterey because the stud's bulls produced top calves ideal for their operation.
The three bulls will join the Avery's sire battery and be used in their breeding herd of 800 Murray Grey and Gelbvieh cross breeders.
"We will probably use them over the more Gelbvieh types," Mr Avery said.
The operation grows its calves out and sells them off grass at about 18 months and a dressed weight of 350kg.
Also bidding up strongly in the Murray Grey offering was Three Brooks Farming, Bridgetown, when it secured a Monterey Limitless L198 son, Monterey Quality Lad Q88 at $12,000, while Tasmanian-based EL & EM Atkins, Elbern stud, Stanley, bidding through Elders, Donnybrook representative Pearce Watling, bid to $11,500 for Monterey Mr Quality Q164, which is a son of Monterey Marvellous.
Return buyers Betty Norman and son Henry, RH Norman & Son, Busselton and Unicup, were also influential buyers in the grey offering, purchasing three sires to a top of $11,500 and an average of $9167.
Mr Norman said they were looking for bulls with good temperaments and growth as they aimed to sell their calves as weaners as early as possible.
The Normans went to $11,500 for Monterey Quiet Lad Q142, which was born a twin and bottle reared.
Quiet Lad Q142 is sired by Monterey Mainland M120 and ranks in the top 5pc of the breed for growth with figures of +37, +59 and +84 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights while on the carcase front it is in the top 1pc for retail beef yield (+2.6) and top 10pc for EMA (+10pc).
Mr Norman said they had been buying from Monterey for more than five years and continued to come back because they not only produced good calves but also because the bulls were quiet bulls and easy to handle, plus they were consistent in type.
'We are producing consistent lines of calves with them and getting good prices for our calves," Mr Norman said.
The Normans run a breeding herd of 500 breeders made up of 200 Murray Greys while the balance are Charolais and Simmental breeders.
Other bidders to have a impact were Nutrien Livestock, Goomalling representative Andrew O'Connor, who purchased two bulls at $10,000 and $9000 early in the sale for ACK Nielsen, Goomalling, while Braeside Park, New South Wales, paid $11,000 for a Monterey Major League M30 son and HY Armstrong & Co, Bunbury, picked up a Banksia Ridge Harry H1 son at $11,000.
The final bull to sell at more than $10,000 went to Burnett Pastoral Trust, Sydney, when it bid through Nutrien Livestock, Boyup Brook agent Jamie Abbs and secured Monterey Status Quo Q151 at $10,500.
The volume buyer in the Murray Grey run was the Forrester family, Kanandah station, Nullarbor, who purchased five bulls under the hammer to a top of $8000 twice and average of $6700.
They also purchased the two passed-in bulls post sale which saw them paying $10,000 for Monterey Qualifier Q33, which failed to meet its reserve price when it was in the ring.
Following the sale opening run of Murray Grey bulls, the first of the top line up of 37 Angus bulls were offered.
While the values didn't reach the levels of the Murray Greys, they still sold very strongly with all 37 bulls offered heading to new homes to a top of $14,500 and average of $7270, up $994 on last year.
In comparison to last year's sale, the stud offered 38 Angus sires and sold 29 under the hammer at a $6276 average and to a top of $12,000.
Achieving the offering's $14,500 top price was Monterey Quarterdeck Q69 in lot 27 when Mr King knocked it down to a buyer from New South Wales operating on AuctionsPlus, who outlasted the Greville family, Gingin Pastoral Co, Gingin, who were in the stands bidding.
The deep, thick, well-muscled son of Prime Up River N40 had a weight of 888kg when scanned in mid December to go with scans of 121cm2 for EMA and 6.9pc for IMF, which was the equal highest in the sale team.
The second highest price in the Angus offering was $12,500 and it was achieved twice.
The first to bid $12,500 was first time buyer Bradley Abbott, BA Nangetty Enterprise, Mingenew, when he had the final bid on a MAR Innovation 251 son, Monterey Quality Lad Q114 in lot 38.
The June 2019-drop calf, which was out of a heifer, had an actual birthweight of 32kg and it has shown growth to have a weight of 808kg at scanning to go with scans of 115cm2 EMA and 4.8pc IMF.
Mr Abbott said Quality Lad Q114 was a well-structured, moderate framed, deep-bodied bull with a very good temperament and a low birthweight.
Along with securing Quality Lad Q114 Mr Abbott also paid $7000 for a Prime Up River N40 son, Monterey Quixote Q171.
Mr Abbott said they decided to purchase at the sale for the first time as they had purchased some PTIC heifers last year from Monterey and were happy with how they were going.
"It's our first time buying Angus bulls as we are in the process of developing an Angus breeding herd," Mr Abbott said.
"We have previously run station cattle which have come down from De Grey station owned by my father-in-law but we decided to go into Angus to widen our market options.
"Currently we have 270 Angus breeders but our aim is to get up to 500."
The second bull to sell at $12,500 was Monterey Quebec Q158 when it was purchased by return buyer Chris Lee-Steere, Yondalee Farms, Boyup Brook.
The Millah Murrah Docklands J193 son showed tremendous fleshing, softness and depth in the ring to go with raw scans of 114cm2 for EMA and 6.1pc IMF.
Mr Lee-Steere said Quebec Q158 had a soft skin and a beautiful nature.
"I really liked his type and also his Millah Murrah bloodline," Mr Lee-Steere said.
The Lee-Steere family run 200 pure Angus breeders and keep 30 replacement heifers each year.
Mr Lee-Steere said usually they weaned and sold their calves, which were dropped from the end of February through to April, through the yards in February but this season they sold them in November as they were ready to go.
"With the good season they had the weight in them early and when we sold them they averaged 410-420kg," Mr Lee-Steere said.
Also making five figures in the Angus offering was Black Tara M28 son, Monterey Quadruple Q166 in lot 61 when it sold at $11,500 to MD & LJ Armstrong, Augusta, who purchased with the support of Elders, Nannup agent Terry Tarbotton.
The July 2019-drop Quadruple Q166 showed good thickness, softness and style in the ring and was backed up with scans of 122cm2 for EMA and 5.4pc IMF.
Paying just shy of five figures and outlying $9500 for its selection was Marawa Farms, Cranbrook, when it secured a Prime Juggernaut N77 son and Bowie Beef, Bridgetown, which went to this value for a Millah Murrah Tex K37 sired bull.
There were five buyers to purchase multiple lots and the biggest of these was Alcoa Farmlands, Wagerup and Pinjarra, which secured three sires to a top of $5500 and an average of $5000.
Buying through Mr Abbs, Preston Grove Pastoral, Donnybrook, took home two bulls - a Prime Catapult son and a Black Tara M28 son both at $7500, while Depiazzi Ag Co, Dardanup, purchased two bulls paying $7500 for a Millah Murrah Tex K37 son and $6000 for a son of Monterey North Pole N132.
After losing out on the top-priced Angus bull the Grevilles, Gingin Pastoral Co, went home with two bulls at $6000 - Monterey Mighty Quinn Q80, which was sired by Pathfinder Komplete K22 and the twin-born and reared Monterey Quinella Q73, which is by Prime Katapult K1.
The final buyer to take home multiple bulls was GF & JWC Morgan, Toodyay, which paid $5500 and $4500 for its selections.