THE confidence of producers in the cattle industry was on show for all to see at last week's fourth annual Ray Norman Memorial Breeders Sale hosted by Elders at the Mount Barker Regional Saleyards where prices hit a high of $4000.
From beginning to end the 54 registered buyers were strong in their bidding to see 531 of the 537 females offered sell to a record average of $3147, which was up $856 on last year's result..
Broken down the yarding included 361 PTIC heifers which averaged $3177, while 146 PTIC second calvers through to mature females averaged $3190 and 14 cow and calf units averaged $2625.
The sale, which is named after former Elders Albany livestock agent and auctioneer Ray Norman, who lost his battle with cancer in 2018, not only provides producers with a chance to purchase quality replacement females, but it also has a charity component at the start of the sale to raise money for the Albany Community Hospice.
This year the charity consisted of five PTIC Angus heifers with first three donated by L & C Gatti, Albany, A & G Perrella, Albany, Gatti Grazing, Albany, while Merinvale Grazing, Redmond and Hillcrest Farms, Marbellup/Torbay, donated the final two.
All five PTIC heifers were purchased by regular supporters of the charity auction Ken and Angela Zambonetti, K & A Zambonetti, Napier, who bid to the sale's $4000 top price for the first three before snapping up the final two both at $3850.
There were also 10 unmated 2021-drop Angus heifers donated by an undisclosed Napier producer and these sold at $2200 to Ravenhill Pastoral Trust, Narrikup.
These sales, along with donations from another three vendors, G & M Davy, Albany, Dajara Farm, Narrikup and Jai Newman, Denbarker, saw a grand total of $43,150 raised for the Albany Community Hospice.
Like the charity pens the rest of the females on offer also received strong support from buyers irrespective of their age.
Outside the charity pens the highest price paid in the sale was $3750, achieved twice by two pens of PTIC Angus heifers offered by Mark and Pamela Wood, MA & PK Wood, who run 400 Angus breeders across properties based at Manypeaks, Green Range and Wellstead.
The first pen to make the value comprised of 10 head and was purchased by Brian Lester, Lester Pastoral Co, Albany.
Along with securing this pen Mr Lester purchased a pen of eight at $3550 and a pen of seven at $3600, also from the Woods.
The other pen of heifers from the Woods to sell at $3750 contained eight heifers and was secured by G & L Hicks, Albany.
The heifers offered by the Wood family were based on Blackrock, Koojan Hills, Coonamble and Ardcairnie bloodlines and in calf to Koojan Hills and Ardcairnie sires.
They are due to calve from February 3 for nine weeks.
The next best price in the large run of 367 PTIC heifer was $3450 paid twice and on both occasions it was realised by a pens of nine Angus offered by Avago Grazing, Manypeaks, which offered 56 heifers in the sale.
Kada Grazing Co, Mettler, picked up one of the pens while the other pen sold to Elders Donnybrook representative Pearce Watling, who purchased it for a South West producer.
Mr Watling also secured a pen of 10 heifers from Avago Grazing for the same client at $3350.
Avago Grazing also sold another 10 heifers at $3400 to David Lindberg, Elders Albany for a Gairdner client and eight at $3300 to G & L Hicks.
The Avago Grazing heifers had all been joined to low birthweight Angus bulls and are due to calve from February 11 to April 17.
The Young family, Hillcrest Farms, offered four pens (29 head) of Angus heifers in the sale based on Lawsons and Texas bloodlines and these topped at $3400 for a pen of eight secured by Mr Watling for a Bridgetown client
Mr Watling also picked up six Hillcrest Farms' heifers for the same client at $3200 and another pen of eight for a different Bridgetown producer at $3350.
The heifers sold by Hillcrest Farms are PTIC to Texas Angus bulls and due to calve from March 1 to April 1.
Albany producers Geoff and Margaret Davy, G & M Davy, sold 60 Angus heifers (nine pens) which were a mix of owner-bred and purchased in heifers for between $2900 and $3350.
The Davy's top price was $3350 for a pen of seven which was purchased by H Wolfe & Co, Bornholm, which also picked up a pen of nine from the Davys at $3300.
Another multiple pen buyer from the Davy's offering was Elders, Albany representative Nigel Hawke, who picked up two pens both containing seven heifers for MJE Grazing, Albany, at $3300 and $2900.
There were two other pens both with eight heifers from the Davy's offering which made more than $3200 -Lester Pastoral Co paid $3250 for one of the pens, while the other pen sold at $3200 to VC Adams & Co.
The heifers the Davys offered were based mainly on Coonamble Angus bloodlines and are due to calve down from February 16 to May 16 after being joined to low birthweight Coonamble sires.
Another large vendor of heifers was from O Moreth, Youngs Siding.
The Youngs Siding-based enterprise sold 58 Angus heifers (six pens) PTIC to Gandy and Ballawinna Angus bulls (due February 21 to May 23) for between $2850 and $3150.
The $3150 top-priced pen, which contained 10 heifers, was purchased by an undisclosed Witchcliffe buyer which was in the hunt for females to build its herd numbers.
Also bidding strongly on the Moreth heifers was PR & SL Barber, Gibson, who purchased with the support of Elders, Esperance representative Callum O'Neill.
The Barbers purchased two pens of 10 at $3000 and $2950.
Along with picking up a pen of Moreth heifers the undisclosed Witchcliffe buyer was also a good supporter of the Angus heifers offered by Green Valley Farms, Narrikup, which offered six pens.
It purchased five pens of heifers (36 head) from Green Valley Farms for between $2850 and $3050.
The other pen (seven head) of Green Valley Farm heifers sold at $3150 to PG & E Swallow, Kentdale.
All the Green Valley Farm heifers are PTIC to Ponderosa Angus bulls and due to calve from February 20 to April 30.
King River producers Roy and Jackie Reid sold 38 PTIC Angus heifers (five pens) joined to Angus bulls to a high of $3200.
Their top price pen of eight was purchased by Nutrien Livestock, Albany representative Terry Zambonetti for JR & WR Miell.
Mr Zambonetti also purchased two other pens for the Miells from the Reid offering at $3100 (eight head) and $3050 (seven head).
Gatti Grazing sold two pens of PTIC Angus heifers for $3100 and $3000 to Happy Valley Trust, William Bay and Mountain Valley, Albany, while Dajara Farm, Narrikup, saw its two pens of PTIC Angus heifers sell for $3300 and $3200 to H Wolfe & Co.
Kendenup-based KG Wolfe was another vendor in the PTIC heifer offering and it sold six Angus heifers and seven Murray Grey heifers which were all PTIC to Blonde d'Aquitaine bulls to Hearman Ag, Donnybrook, for $2800 and $2500 respectively.
In the PTIC cow section of the sale six vendors offered cows ranging in age from second calvers through to mature age and these sold between $2600 and $3450.
The Schneider family, Corolin Farms, Porongurup, was the largest vendor in the run, offering 100 Angus and Murray Grey second to fourth calvers.
In the main, the cows offered by Corolin Farms had been joined to Lawsons Angus bulls and are all due to calve from March 20 to June 5.
Not only was Corolin Farms the biggest vendor in the run they also secured the $3450 top price when it sold eight Angus second calvers for this value to BI & SN Lynch, Denbarker.
Not only did the Lynchs purchase Corolin Farms top-priced pen, they also purchased seven Angus second calvers for $3350 and seven Angus third calvers for $3200, plus 25 Angus fourth calvers (three pens) for $3250 to $3400 and 15 Murray Grey fourth calvers (two pens) all at $3150.
Other buyers of the Corolin Farms cows included Ravenhill Pastoral Trust, which purchased 10 Angus second calvers at $3350 and D Thorbjornsen, Scotsdale, with six Angus third calvers at $3300, while DW & SM Meade, Narrikup, paid $3300 for eight Murray Grey second calvers and P & S Griggs, Collie, bid to $3250 for 10 Murray Grey third calvers.
Along with selling PTIC heifers in the sale the Young family, Hillcrest Farms, presented 34 ( five pens) fourth and fifth Angus calvers which were all PTIC to Texas Angus bulls and due to calve from March 1 to May 4.
The top price for these was $3200 paid by DM & JM Burke, Denmark, for a pen of seven.
The other four pens were split between two buyers Quicksilver Charolais, Newdegate, which purchased nine at $3150 and six at $3000, while G Tassos & Co, Bridgetown, picked up six at $3000 and six at $2900.
There were 14 cow and calf units sold and the best of these made $2900 paid by GJ & AL Angilley, Forest Hill, for six Angus cows not rejoined which had Angus calves at from DJ & AD Atkinson.
WHAT THE AGENT SAID
ELDERS, Albany representative and sale auctioneer Wayne Mitchell said it was a great sale and a pleasing result for all involved.
"The quality of the yarding stood up really well and resulted in our best ever average for the sale," Mr Mitchell said.
"It was a strong sale throughout and this was reflected in the evenness of the prices from start to finish.
"The prices never dropped even when we moved to the older females, even the third and fourth calvers still making well in excess of $3000 a head.
"The result was certainly on par with expectations and the prices received were a reflection of the position of the cattle market currently.
"It was very pleasing to see buyers willing to bid up strongly on quality females to show their confidence in the industry.
"It was a great presentation of females which was a credit to the vendors and we thank them and the buyers for their support in the sale."
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