THE emerging Sheron Farm Angus stud continues to move in the right direction with another improved result at its annual bull and heifer sale last week at Benger.
It was the young stud's fifth annual on-property sale at its state-of-the-art selling facility with million dollar views of the coastal flats from its elevated position on the Darling Scarp.
Return buyers joined some new faces and enjoyed selecting from an ever-improving catalogue of well-bred and grown grassfed Angus bulls and commercial Angus heifers with the stud's future looking bright as it continues to invest heavily in leading genetics for its breeding programs.
After enjoying Sheron Farms' hospitality, the register of 35 buyers at the sale, stretching from local areas to the South Coast to the northern and eastern Wheatbelts and the strong interest logged in on AuctionsPlus, joined another big crowd in attendance, with strong agent representation from several companies.
Led by auctioneer Chris Waddingham, the Nutrien Livestock selling team cleared 27 of 30 Angus bulls (90 per cent) under the hammer for a $7926 average and values reaching a new sale high of $13,500.
The three lines of 10 commercial unjoined yearling Angus heifers sold to strong enquiry to average $2917 and top at $3600.
This reflected improved values and clearances from last year's sale with the bull average up $786 where 25 of 26 bulls sold at auction for a $7140 average, while the heifer average jumped $567 from last year's average of $2350 from the same number sold.
It didn't take long for the sale's new high price of $13,500 to be reached with Brett Chatley, Nutrien Livestock Manjimup, winning out on the second bull into the sale ring Sheron Farm Royal R34, purchased on behalf of Narrikup graziers Forest Downs.
The stylish well-grown bull was a mid-February 2020-born son of Millah Murrah Nugget N266 and a Sheron Farm K69 daughter Sheron Farm Nikiti N60.
It was one of the heaviest bulls in the catalogue, tipping the scales at 870 kilograms (on February 24) with an actual birthweight of 36kg and scrotal circumference (SC) of 36cm.
The moderate birthweight bull recorded strong growth and carcase EBVs including top 10-15pc for 400 and 600-day weights, mature cow weight (MCW) and carcase weight (CW) along with feed efficiency (NFI-F) and docility.
Mr Chatley said Forest Downs were first time buyers at Sheron Farm as they looked for new genetics for their self-replacing Angus herd.
He said Royal 34 was a smooth bodied easy calving bull that was versatile enough to use over heifers if required.
Volume buyers and recipients of the volume buyer's prize of Cydectin Platinum thanks to the sponsorship of Virbac Northern Central area manager Darren Hendry were Leon and Tarsh Cocking, Leasha Farms, Yandanooka.
The Cockings spread their spend from $5000 and to the sale's next highest price of $13,000 for a team of five bulls with their top bid reserved for Sheron Farm Rocky R99 in lot 11.
Rocky was a mid-March 2020 born bull by Millah Murrah Loch Up L133 and out of a Pathfinder Genesis G357 daughter Sheron Farm K121.
The 770kg bull with an actual birthweight of 37kg recorded an even spread of performance figures without being extreme for traits but particularly good carcase data including top 5-10pc retail beef yield (RBY), top 15-20pc eye muscle area, positive rib fat along with top 10-15pc gestation length (GL) and top 25pc milk.
The Cockings are first time buyers at Sheron Farm and were thrilled with their new sires.
"Our agent Craig Walker (Nutrien Livestock) recommended we make the trip to have a look at the Sheron Farm bulls and we are glad we did," Mr Cocking said.
"It was a really good move for us, we looked for good size and types and had no difficulty filling our requirements."
The Cockings run a self-replacing Angus herd on their property east of Moonyoonka with the herd calving in March to May.
The calves are weaned at the end of January onto pastures and hay which turned off at around 300 to 350kg.
"You only get to sell them once so you have to have them right," he said.
Co-volume volume buyers Alcoa Farmlands, Pinjarra/Wagerup, also finished the sale with a team of five bulls operating at good values for their selections costing from $5000 to $8000.
The next highest price of $12,000 was paid by JP & LJ Andony, Harvey.
Catalogued in lot 15, Sheron Farm Reme R24 was an obvious heifer joining choice with leading birthweight and calving ease traits.
It ranked in the breed's top 1pc for CED and BW, top 1-5pc CEDT and top 10pc gestation length (GL), while also in the top 1pc for rib fat and top 5-10pc for EMA and P8 fat.
The 768kg bull was born mid-February 2020 and was sired by Landfall Keystone K132 and out of a LD Capitalist 316 daughter Sheron Farm Petra P42.
Other buyers to part with five figures ($10,000) for their selections were Nutrien Livestock, Brunswick/Harvey agent Errol Gardiner, representing local return buyers Stickney & Sons, Harvey, for a high indexing lower birthweight (top 30pc) curve bending son of Millah Murrah Navigator.
It ranked in the top 1-5pc for both indexes, CED and GL, top 5pc 200-day weight, top 10-15pc 400-day weight and CW with strong positive fats and top 10-15pc retail beef yield (RBY).
Nutrien Livestock Great Southern manager Bob Pumphrey sourced a high indexing Millah Murrah Marlon Brando M304 son for South Norna Enterprises, Narrikup.
The 784kg average birthweight bull ranked in the top 10-20pc for both indexes, top 10-15pc for calving ease, top 1-5pc EMA, top 10pc rib fat and top 15pc CW.
Demand for breeding females remains extremely strong this selling season and the annual draft of 30 unjoined commercial Angus yearling heifers, vet checked suitable to breed, were no exception.
They sold to strong restocker enquiry with the first line of 10 heifers knocked down for an excellent top price for commercial unjoined heifers of $3600 to Rimbold Pty Ltd, Meelon.
Rimbold Pty Ltd farm manager Don Patterson who purchased the heifers with the assistance of Allen Bentham, Delaney Livestock Services, said the heifers would top up a line of Angus heifers already at the property and will be joined to an Angus bull in May.
"They are good framey heifers of similar age and type to the other heifers we have," Mr Patterson said.
"We have a nice low birthweight Angus bull that will go over them and these heifers bring the mob up to 35 which will keep the bull happy."
The balance of two lines of 10 heifers each of the same description was knocked down to Brett Chatley for Jarrahdale Farm, Queenwood, for $2600 and $2550.
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