THERE is money in beef at the moment and this year's bull selling season proved it, with the season once again a bull market for beef seedstock producers.
Bull sales this season could only be described as phenomenal with records tumbling right through the season, each sale seemed to see a new record set, helping make it the best season on record for breeders.
After witnessing record-breaking female sales, never before seen weaner sale prices as well as cull cows and old bulls regularly fetching good money over the past few years, this year beef producers walked into bull sales brimming with confidence and it showed in their bidding.
With more than a few extra dollars in their back pockets, they rolled up to bull sales in numbers across the State from Fitzroy Crossing in the north to Esperance in the south east, to reinvest in their breeding programs and as a result prices went to levels never before seen in WA.
That might sound like a grand statement, however bulls sold to a record $82,000 which was more than double the previous best price paid for a bull at auction in WA and all up 115 bulls sold at or above the $20,000 mark.
When the figures were finally crunched last week, the final result was certainly more than most had expected given last year's record-breaking season.
They showed the season now clearly ranks as the biggest on record in terms of the number of bulls sold, average and gross figures.
The overall season average was up by a massive $2045 to $9757, while the gross topped more than $22 million to be well clear of the previous best figure and the clearance rate at 95 per cent was also a record.
This massive leap in average again this year means bull buyers over the past two seasons have collectively seen the average price of bulls increase by more than $4000 against a backdrop of an extra 786 bulls being sold over the same period.
Over the same period the WA cattle market has gone from strength to strength on the back of not only robust domestic and overseas (live export and boxed beef) demand but also restockers from the Eastern States looking to rebuild breeding herds after the drought, as well as feedlot and grass fattening operations east of the border looking to fill numbers as a result of the reduced herd size in the east.
Many said last year producers had seen the peak of the market, but that certainly hasn't been the case in the past 12 months as it continued to strengthen.
These positive price signals leading into the bull selling season can be seen when the WA cattle saleyard indicators reported in the Meat & Livestock Australia's (MLA) indicator report are examined.
A good indication of how much the market has lifted over the past 12 months can be clearly seen when you examine the Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI).
In mid-January (Thursday, January 13), the week prior to the main part of the selling season kicking off, the Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) was at 1150.21 cents per kilogram carcase weight (CWT), which was up a massive 302.95c/kg on the same time in 2021.
The WA indicators on MLA's comprehensive indicator report for January 13 also show how much the market had lifted in the previous 12 months.
In the report the vealer steer indicator was at 622c/kg liveweight (LWT), which was up 169c/kg on 2021, the feeder yearling steer indicator was 471c/kg LWT, up 90.3c/kg, while the medium steer was at 467.1c/kg LWT, up 81.1c/kg.
Also compared to last year, the medium cow indicator was up 81.9c/kg and the light bull indicator was up 95.5c/kg.
Since January the WYCI has kept rising and has hit record territory, peaking at 1219.42c/kg CWT last Friday.
In terms of the other indicators MLA reported on April 22 the vealer steer price was 668c/kg LWT, which was up 131c/kg on last year and the feeder yearling steer price was 501c/kg LWT, up 25c/kg, while the medium cow was 314c/kg LWT, up 36c/kg.
But it hasn't only been the trade market which has continued to rise in the past 12 months, so too have the weaner, female and store markets.
Compared to last season, weaner and female sale prices were up more than 40 per cent this year, while store sale prices during December and January were up more than 30pc.
Cow-calf producers experienced another record-breaking season for their calves, with most seeing price rises of more than $500 a head compared to last year on average.
Last season the weekly WALSA weaned weaner sales at Boyanup averaged between $1300 and $1450 compared to between $2009 and $2099 this season.
In these sales in December and January steers made between $1451 and $2530 (432-818c/kg), while heifers sold from $1410 and $2461 (420-674c/kg).
Twelve months ago steers in these same sales made $790 to $1869 (334-584c/kg) and heifers $698 to $1835 (274-478c/kg).
While weaner sales were strong, breeder sales this season were probably even stronger and highlighted the confidence producers have in the cattle market going forward.
All up this season, the 4046 mated and unmated beef and first-cross females sold in special sales in December and January sold for an average of $3950 with sale averages across these fixtures lifting between $317 and $1998 on last season.
In these sales a State record price of $4350 was set for PTIC first-cross heifers and PTIC beef heifers sold to $4700.
Store cattle prices have also been well up over the past 12 months.
Just to give an example of this, in the four store sales hosted by Elders and Nutrien Livestock at Boyanup in December and January, the 5720 head sold have averaged $1897 across all descriptions from Friesian poddies through to heavy beef steers.
In the same sales 12 months ago the average price at these sales was less than $1400.
There is no doubt these unheralded cattle prices were certainly at the front and centre of producers' minds when they fronted up at sales this year.
They showed they were more than prepared to bid hard on the bulls they wanted so they could improve the genetics in their herds and capitalise on the strong market that is predicted to stay around for a while.
In total this year there were 2414 bulls offered representing 20 breeds and 2285 sold under the hammer for a clearance of 95pc.
The gross for the season totalled $22,294,500 and the average came in at $9757.
When the figures are compared to the results of past seasons since Farm Weekly started collating records in 1997-98, this season is the biggest on record in terms of all the numbers - bulls offered, bulls sold, clearance, average and gross
The previous biggest season on record in terms of average, gross clearance and number of bulls sold was last year.
Last year breeders also didn't have a problem selling bulls and as a result 1826 bulls sold from 1998 offered (91pc clearance) for a gross of $14,082,000 and an average of $7712.
In comparison to last season there were 416 more bulls offered, 459 more sold, while the clearance was up 4pc, the gross was up $8,212,500 and the average rose $2045.
At these numbers it meant the gross lifted 58pc and the average 27pc.
You can clearly see how strong the season was in terms of prices when you compare the number of bulls which made $20,000 or more this year compared to last year and also in 2016/17 when the cattle market peaked.
Last year there were 24 bulls sold for $20,000 more and in the 2016/17 season there were eight.
This year there were 115 and in many cases it was commercial breeders who dug deepest to secure the top-priced bulls this season ensuring their herds continue to move forward.
Of the bulls to sell for $20,000 or more this season, nearly 70pc were purchased by WA commercial buyers.
That said there were also a number of WA-bred bulls from a range of breeds which headed to both stud and commercial operations in the Eastern States, highlighting the quality of bulls being offered by WA breeders.
Prices for the season topped at a WA State record price of $82,000 for a traditional Simmental bull sold by Tony and Loreen Kitchen, Bandeeka stud, Elgin.
The record-breaking price was outlaid by WA commercial producer Tom Marshall, TG Marshall, Denmark and Cranbrook, for Bandeeka Rusty R35 (P), at the WALSA & Farm Weekly Supreme Bull Sale at Brunswick in March.
The 946 kilogram, early May 2020-drop bull is a son of Willandra Kingston and out of a Quaindering Wichita daughter.
The appealing high-indexing polled bull displayed an even spread of above average performance figures without being extreme for any traits.
It has positive fats and is in the top 20-25pc of the breed for 600-day weight and mature cow weight (MCW) to go with strong indexes in the top 15pc for northern terminal, top 15-20pc for export maternal and top 25-30pc domestic maternal.
Mr Marshall also purchased another three Bandeeka Simmental bulls at the sale, which included purchases at $35,000 and $22,000, to finish with a team of four at an average of $36,500.
Also in the sale the Bandeeka stud sold another sire for $32,000 to the Woonallee Simmental stud, Furner, South Australia.
After selling the season's top-priced bull for the past three years the Davis family's Coonamble Angus stud, Bremer Bay, this year had to settle for selling the second highest priced bull for the season at $72,000.
When the 700kg bull, Coonamble Frontman R501, was knocked down to the Bairstow family, Arizona Farms, Lake Grace, at $72,000 at the Davis family's on-property bull sale in February it created a State record auction price at the time.
The ET-bred, August 2020-drop bull is by US sire AAR Frontman 3132 and out of a Coonamble Elevator daughter, Coonamble L329.
Not only did the bull impress on the eye and have a presence in the ring, it also had a good balanced set of estimated breeding values to match.
It ranks in the top 4pc of the breed for retail beef yield, top 7-12pc for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, top 15-20pc for carcase weight, top 20-30pc for MCW, milk, scrotal size and feed efficiency.
Along with selling the season's second top-priced bull, the Bremer Bay-based Angus stud sold sires at $45,000 (fifth highest), $34,000 (11th highest) and $31,000 (16th highest).
In addition to high prices, Coonamble sold another 28 bulls in its on-property sale for $20,000 or more, including three which made between $25,000 and $30,000, to give a total of 32 which sold for $20,000 and more.
At these numbers it meant the Coonamble stud sold close to 30pc of the 115 bulls to make $20,000 or more this season.
Claiming the third top price at $60,000 and creating a new Bos Indicus State record price was Munda Fortdale 3965 (PP) when it sold at the Thompson family's inaugural Munda Reds on-property bull sale at Gingin this month to the High Country Droughtmaster stud, Toogoolawah, Queensland.
The 818kg, double polled bull is a late April 2020 born son of Garthowen Velocity and Comanche 144647.
It had figures of 1.15kg for daily weight gain (DWG), 41cm scrotal circumference, 94pc morphology and scanned 11mm rib and P8 fats, 125cm2 eye muscle area (EMA) and 5.9pc intramuscular fat (IMF).
Munda Reds also sold the season's $51,000 fourth top-priced bull at its on-property sale.
Making $51,000 was Munda Finisher 3852 (PP) when it was knocked down to a partnership of Queensland buyers on AuctionsPlus - the Glenavon Droughtmaster stud, Yaamba and the Telemon stud, Springsure.
The 860kg, mid-April 2020-drop, double polled bull is a son of Garthowen Velocity 2 and a Glenlands Premier daughter Comanche 144389.
Finisher had a 1.19kg DWG and 88pc morphology and scans of 10mm rib and P8 fats, 126cm2 EMA and 5.2pc IMF.
In the sale Munda Reds also achieved the season's sixth, seventh, eighth, 13th and 16th highest prices at values of $42,500, $37,000, $36,000, $32,000 and $31,000 respectively.
Along with the seven bulls that made $30,000 or more in the sale, Munda Reds sold another six between $20,000 and $30,000.
All up during the season there were 19 bulls that sold for $30,000 or more, compared to just one last season.
Along with the studs previously mentioned that sold bulls at $30,000 or more, there were three others to achieve the feat.
The Mordallup Angus stud, Manjimup, sold two bulls at $32,000 and $30,000 at its annual yearling sale at Boyanup along with another 14 between $20,000 and $30,000.
Venturon Livestock, Boyup Brook, sold a Charolais sire for $36,000 in its on-property sale alongside another Charolais sire at $22,000, while Lawsons Angus, sold a bull for $30,000 in its summer sale at Manypeaks in January as well as four between $25,500 and $28,500.
There were a number of other studs to sell bulls between $25,000 and $30,000 at their on-property sales and they included Arkle Angus stud, Munglinup ($29,000 and $26,000); Monterey Murray Grey and Angus studs, Karridale ($27,000 for a Murray Grey and $25,000 for an Angus); Little Meadows Angus stud, Dardanup ($25,000); and Koojan Hills Angus stud, Manypeaks ($25,000).
In terms of market share, British breed bulls, like always commanded the largest percentage of bulls sold at 62pc, which was back 5pc on last year, while Bos indicus types accounted for 22pc, which was up 5pc and European 16pc, which was the same as last year.
And in terms of gross figures, British breed bulls contributed 68pc of the total gross, down 3pc on last season, while European breeds accounted for 15pc (down 1pc) and Bos Indicus bulls contributed 17pc (up 4pc).
The Angus breed again led the way and was easily the biggest breed irrespective of what figure you look at - bulls offered, bulls sold or gross.
This year there were 1151 Angus bulls offered at 25 sales and 1110 sold for a clearance rate of 96pc.
The breed's market share fell slightly this year and accounted for 55pc of the total gross (down 5pc on 2021), with a figure of $12,358,500, which resulted in an average of $11,134.
Compared to last season all the figures for the breed were up - average, gross, clearance rate, number of bulls sold and number of bulls offered.
There were 126 more Angus bulls offered, 57 more sold and the clearance rate was up two points, while the gross rose by $3,967,000 (or 47pc) and the average jumped $2606 (or 30pc).
The top price in the Angus breed was the $72,000 overall second top price achieved at the Coonamble on-property sale.
Angus bulls accounted for 78 of the 115 bulls to sell for $20,000 or more, while nine of the 20 top-priced bulls were Angus.
The Droughtmaster breed rocketed up the standings and claimed the title of second biggest breed in terms of volume of bulls offered and sold and it was the only other breed to gross more than $2m for the season.
This season there were 290 Droughtmasters offered at three sales and 289 sold for a gross of $2,504,750 and an average of $8667.
Compared to 2021 there were 167 more Droughtmaster bulls offered, 189 more sold, while the gross more than tripled, rising $1,850,750 and the average rose $2127 or 33pc.
The top price for the breed was $60,000, which was the overall third highest price for the season achieved at the Munda Reds on-property sale.
But it wasn't only the $60,000 bull which stood out for the breed, there were also another 12 Droughtmaster bulls to sell for $20,000 or more.
Included in these 13 bulls to sell for $20,000 or more, were seven that filled the season's top 20 prices when they sold for $30,000 or more.
The Murray Grey breed claimed the title as the third biggest selling breed in terms of gross figure and the number of bulls offered and sold.
Across the season Murray Grey breeders offered 197 bulls in nine sales and sold 188 under the hammer for a gross of $1,723,750 and an average of $9169.
When compared to the previous season there were 28 more grey bulls offered, 37 more sold, while the gross was up $695,500 (up 68pc) and the average rose $2599 (up 40pc).
The top price for the breed was $25,000 achieved by a bull at the Monterey on-property sale when it sold to a South Australian stud.
The Monterey bull was one of seven Murray Grey bulls to sell at $20,000 or more.
The fourth biggest breed in terms of gross figure as well as the number of bulls offered and sold was the Charolais breed, which featured in six sales.
Across the season Charolais breeders offered 151 bulls and sold 129 under the hammer for a gross of $984,750 and an average of $7634, to rank it as the largest European breed as well.
When compared to the previous season there were 13 more Charolais bulls offered, 16 more sold, while the gross was up $291,000 and the average rose $1495.
The top price for the breed was $36,000 for a bull at the Venturon Livestock on-property sale, when it sold to a New South Wales stud operation.
In terms of the number of bulls offered and sold the Santa Gertrudis and Brahman breeds were the fifth and sixth largest.
All up there were 101 Santa Gertrudis bulls offered and 99 sold at one sale for a gross of $628,500 and an average of $6348, while the Brahman breed saw 80 from 86 bulls sell for a gross of $477,000 and an average of $5963.
In terms of the gross figures, the fifth and sixth biggest breeds were the Simmental and Black Simmental.
This season the Simmental breed amassed a gross taking of $862,500 for the 79 bulls sold at an average of $10,918, from the 80 offered.
When it came to the Black Simmental breed it collected a gross figure of $854,000 for 77 bulls offered and sold at an average of $11,091.
When combined the Simmental and Black Simmental breeds were a major player, making up 7pc of all bulls sold and 8pc of the season's gross figure.
All up this season the two breeds offered 157 bulls and sold 156 for a gross of $1,716,500 and average of $11,003, which was up $2326 on last season.
Of the 20 breeds offered at sales, 14 improved their average, with the Simmental breed experiencing the largest increase of $3470 for the 79 bulls sold from 80 offered for an average of $10,918 at three sales.
Last season the breed offered 62 bulls and sold 58 for a $7448 average.
The Brangus breed recorded the next biggest rise, with its average up $3075, while the Hereford/Poll Hereford breed had the third largest jump recording a rise of $2708.
The other breeds to experience a rise in average of more than $2000 were Angus ($2606), Murray Grey ($2599), Red Angus ($2509) and Droughtmaster ($2127).
This season there were 10 breeds to record an average of $8000 or more, compared to four last season and of these 10, four recorded an average of $10,000 or more.
The Angus breed topped the averages with a figure of $11,134, while the Black Simmental breed was just behind with an average of $11,091.
Simmental and Hereford/Poll Hereford rounded out the top four with averages of $10,918 and $10,177.
The other breeds to average $8000 or more were Black Simangus, Brangus, Droughtmaster, Gelbvieh, Murray Grey and Red Angus.
Six breeds secured total clearances at auction including Black Simmental, Brangus, Charbray, Droughtmaster, Queenslander and Red Angus, and it must be noted that of these six, only the Charbray and Brangus had an offering of less than 10 head.
The Angus, Murray Grey, Simmental and Santa Gertrudis either equalled or beat the overall clearance set this season at 95pc to achieve clearances ranging from 95 to 99pc.
When comparing the numbers of bulls offered and sold between the past two seasons, this season there were 15 breeds which sold the same number or more bulls while the same number had an increase in numbers.
In terms of gross figures there were 16 breeds to see a rise in gross takings for the season.
Single vendor sales
This season there were 34 single vendor sales held, which was four more than last season and in some of these sales vendors offered more than one breed.
All up there were 1802 bulls offered representing Angus, Black Simangus, Black Simmental, Charolais, Droughtmaster, Gelbvieh, Murray Grey, Red Angus, Sangus, Santa Gertrudis, Shorthorn, Simmental and Speckle Park breeds in these sales, compared to the 1420 offered in the previous season.
The clearance rate of 95pc resulted in 1713 bulls selling at auction in single vendor sales compared to 1308 bulls last season.
The overall gross for single vendor sales was $17,826,500, meaning the figure was up $7,416,750 on last season's result of $10,409,750, while the sales averaged $10,407, up $2448 on last year.
When comparing the numbers of bulls offered and sold between the past two seasons, this season there were 26 single vendor sales which offered the same number or more bulls than last season and there were 27 sales that saw the same number or more bulls sold.
In terms of gross figures there were 30 sales to see a rise in gross takings for the season.
Like previous years, the Angus breed again dominated single vendors sales in terms of numbers and results, taking top price and top gross accolades.
As previously mentioned, the season's second top price of $72,000, was paid at a single vendor sale and it was achieved at the Coonamble Angus on-property sale.
The sale also featured three bulls which sold at $45,000, $34,000 and $31,000 with these prices also sitting inside the season's top 20 prices.
In the Coonamble sale there were also another 28 bulls which sold for $20,000 or more.
The second highest price at a single vendor sale was $60,000 for a Droughtmaster achieved at the Munda Reds on-property sale and as previously mentioned it was third highest price for the season overall.
In the sale the stud also sold another six bulls for $30,000 or more, which all sat inside the season's top 20 prices, including bulls at $51,000 and $42,500.
Other single vendor sales with top prices more than $25,000 and worthy of a mention are Venturon Livestock $36,000 (Charolais); Mordallup Angus $32,000 twice and $30,000; Lawsons Angus summer sale $30,000, $28,500, $28,000, $27,500 and $25,500; Arkle Angus $29,000 and $26,000; Monterey Murray Grey and Angus $27,000 (Angus) and $25,000 (Murray Grey); Little Meadows Angus $25,000 and Koojan Hills Angus, Manypeaks, $25,000.
All up there were 105 bulls to sell for $20,000 or more at single vendor sales.
With it filling a large percentage of the spots at the top of the top price's table and having the biggest offering of any single vendor sale, it was not surprising the Coonamble on-property sale, posted the highest sale gross for a fifth year running.
The sale grossed a record $1,877,000 for 129 bulls sold from 133 offered and this gross now ranks as the largest ever gross recorded at a bull sale in WA.
The next biggest sale gross was achieved at the Munda Reds on-property sale when 129 Droughtmaster bulls were offered and sold for a gross of $1,425,000.
There were another three sales to crack the $1m mark and they were the Mordallup Angus ($1,164,000); Koojan Hills Angus and Melaleuca Murray Grey ($1,147,000) and Lawsons Angus summer sale ($1,138,500) to round out the top five highest grossing single vendor sales.
Other sales to gross more than $900,000 were Monterey Murray Grey and Angus (summer) $960,500 and Blackrock Angus $906,000.
This year the Muir family's Mordallup Angus stud, Manjimup, claimed the honour of achieving the highest single vendor sale average when it hosted its yearling bull sale at Boyanup this month.
In the sale the family recorded an average of $15,316 for 76 bulls offered and sold and with this figure the stud can now lay claim to recording the best ever sale average for a bull sale in WA.
The Coonamble Angus on-property sale, achieved the second highest average of $14,550 while the third best result was $14,282 achieved at the Arkle Angus on-property sale.
Rounding out the top five positions when it comes to the best sale averages were Blackrock Angus ($12,761) and Monterey Murray Grey and Angus (summer) ($12,314).
There were another seven sales which averaged more than $10,000 and they were Lawsons Angus summer sale ($11,737); Bonnydale Black Simmental and Simangus at Bridgetown ($11,250); Munda Reds ($11,047); Koojan Hills Angus and Melaleuca Murray Grey ($11,029), Black Market Angus at Boyanup ($10,838); Naranda Angus at Esperance ($10,583); Little Meadows Angus ($10,285) and Willandra Simmental and Red Angus at Williams ($10,068).
All up 13 sales averaged more than $10,000 compared to only two last season while there was another 11 to average between $8000 and $10,000.
In comparison last year there were only seven sales to average more than $8000.
There were 30 sales to record a rise in average and these rises ranged between $436 and $7907.
The biggest improver was the Arkle Angus sale which jumped $7907 from $6375 to $14,282.
The next biggest rise was $7870 at the Mordallup Angus bull sale where the average rose from $7446 last year to $15,316.
Other sales to record an improvement of more than $3000 were Naranda Angus ($5333); Monterey Murray Grey and Angus (summer) ($4218); Southend Murray Grey at Katanning ($4412); Liberty Charolais and Shorthorn sale at Toodyay ($3852) and Blackrock Angus ($3610), while there were another nine sales which saw a rise in average of between $2000 and $3000.
There were above average clearances (above the overall 95pc clearance achieved for single vendor sales) at 18 sales.
Of these 18 sales there were 11 to achieve a total clearance - Arkle Angus (39 head); Black Market (34); Blackrock (71); Bonnydale (76); Lawsons Angus yearling (45); Little Meadows Angus (65); Mordallup Angus (76), Naranda Angus (18), Munda Reds Droughtmaster (129); Southend Murray Grey (37); Willandra Simmental and Red Angus (59).
This season there were seven multi-vendor sales held across the State from Fitzroy Crossing in the north to Mt Barker in the south.
In these sales a total of 572 bulls were sold at auction from 612 offered, resulting in a clearance rate of 93pc, which was 3pc higher than last year.
Collectively these sales brought in a gross of $4,468,000 and the average calculated out at $7811.
Last season there were 518 bulls sold from 578 offered for an average of $7089 and the gross figure hit $3,672,250.
This means compared to last year there were 34 more bulls offered at multi-vendor sales and 54 more sold, while the gross was up $795,750 and the average rose $722.
When comparing the numbers of bulls offered and sold between the past two seasons, this season there were five multi-vendor sales which offered the same number or more bulls than last season, while there were six sales that saw the same number or more bulls sold.
In terms of gross figures there were six sales to see a rise in gross takings for the season.
With the season's $82,000 top-priced bull from the Bandeeka Simmental stud sold at the WALSA & Farm Weekly Supreme Bull Sale, it therefore ranked as the best price of the season at a multi-vendor sale.
The Bandeeka stud also sold bulls at $35,000, $32,000 and $22,000 at the WALSA & Farm Weekly Supreme Bull Sale and these prices rank as the second, third and fifth best across all multi-vendor sales this season,
The fourth highest price at a multi-vendor sale was $23,000 for a Simmental bull from the WA College of Agriculture, Denmark's Inlet Views stud at the Nutrien Livestock Great Southern All Breeds Bull Sale at Mt Barker, while the sixth best price was $21,000 paid for a Hereford bull sold by Rob and Heather Francis, Yallaroo stud, Busselton, at WALSA & Farm Weekly Supreme Bull Sale.
There were two other multi-vendor sales where bulls made more than $20,000 and they were the Fitzroy Crossing Invitational Bos Indicus Bull Sale where the Bar Boot stud, Boyneside, Queensland, sold a grey Brahman for this value while at the Gingin Bull Sale the Kapari Angus stud, Northampton, sold two bulls at $20,000.
For an eighth year running the Fitzroy Crossing sale claimed the mantle of WA's largest sale in terms of yarding numbers and gross takings.
There was a yarding of 174 bulls representing five breeds in the sale which all sold for a huge gross of $1,163,750 and an average of $6688.
In comparison to the previous year's sale the number of bulls offered and sold were both up by 17 head, while the gross was up $301,250 and the average rose $1194.
The second biggest sale in terms of gross returns was the WALSA & Farm Weekly Supreme Bull Sale.
In this sale there were 107 bulls offered and 93 sold representing eight breeds for a gross of $923,000 and an average of $9925.
In terms of the number of bulls offered and sold the sale ranked third biggest for the year across both figures.
Compared to last year, vendors in this sale offered 17 more bulls and sold 15 more, while the gross rose by $304,500 and the average jumped $1996.
When it came to number of bulls offered and sold the Fieldhouse Droughtmaster on-property sale at Jurien Bay, which also featured bulls from the De Grey Park Droughtmaster stud, Capel and the Oakvale, Brahman stud, Northampton, was the second largest.
In the sale 108 Droughtmaster and Brahman bulls were offered and 102 sold for a gross of $650,000 (fourth best for a multi-vendor sale) and an average of $6373.
Previously all three studs had offered bulls in the WABIG sale at Narngulu.
The third highest grossing sale was the Gingin Bull Sale where 79 bulls were offered and sold for a gross of $766,000.
The highest average achieved at a multi-vendor sale was $9925 at the WALSA & Farm Weekly Supreme Bull Sale, while the second best average of $9696 was recorded at the Gingin Bull Sale.
Two other sales achieved an average of more than $7000 - Invitational All Breeds Sale ($8907), which was this season held on AuctionsPlus and Kingslane and Magic Valley Red Angus Bull Sale at Benger ($7861).
Five sales this season saw their averages increase compared to last year and these increases ranged from $765 to $3002.
The largest jump of $3002 was recorded at the Kingslane and Magic Valley Red Angus Bull Sale.
The other sales to see an increase in average of more than $1500 were WALSA & Farm Weekly Supreme Bull Sale ($1996) and the Invitational All Breeds Sale ($1711).
This season three sales recorded a total clearance - the Fitzroy Crossing bull sale (174 head); Gingin (79 head) and Kingslane and Magic Valley Red Angus Bull Sale (27 head).
The Nutrien Livestock Great Southern All Breeds Bull Sale and the Fieldhouse on-property bull sale were the only other sales to achieve a clearance better than 93pc clearance recorded for all multi-vendor sales with these recording clearances of 95pc and 94pc respectively.
WHAT THE AGENTS SAID
Nutrien Livestock WA State manager Leon Giglia
OVERALL it was a really positive bull selling season from the whole perspective of the WA beef industry.
The significant increase in the number of bulls offered and sold is a clear reflection that the State's herd is certainly in a rebuilding phase.
This rebuild has come out on the back of more positive economic and seasonal conditions.
Our seedstock producers need to be commended on their continued investment in their genetic programs as this showed out in the quality of bulls on offer this season.
Our breeding herds showed this season they want to maximise on this genetic gain being made by the studs by reinvesting in new sires for their respective herds and we are quite clearly seeing this reinvestment paying off in terms of the performance of their herds when it comes to weight gains and carcase quality.
There is no doubt the returns cow/calf producers received this season underpinned the strong market and high sale averages we saw in bull sales this year.
At the end of the day the cow/calf producers are only going to benefit again on the back of seedstock producers reinvesting their returns from this year's sales into their seedstock herds.
This year we also saw greater participation by buyers located in the Eastern States, I believe some of this interest in our seedstock cattle has come about through the quality of young stock that have made their way to the east in the past 12 months as the Eastern States' producers have looked to rebuild herds and replace grazing stock.
There were many highlights throughout the season in terms of top prices and sale averages, this includes the scheduling of Bos Indicus bull sales held over three days in early April.
In my view these three days of sales provided a focus on the Bos Indicus cattle and allowed producers to focus their energies on a targeted few days.
These sales were a great success and placed WA's Bos Indicus stud herds on the national map with all three fixtures seeing bulls sold to Eastern States' breeders.
Nutrien Livestock takes this opportunity in thanking the seedstock producers for allowing the business to market their genetics.
To the many bull buyers throughout the season thank you for entrusting Nutrien Livestock in assisting you in your breeding decisions and sire selections.
Elders WA stud stock manager Tim Spicer
FAVOURABLE seasonal conditions and historical high prices for commercial cattle led to even stronger buying competition this selling season than we saw in the 2020/21 season.
Continued demand for females not only locally but also from the Eastern States gave early indications that the demand would be as positive as last season when it came to bull sales.
Our studs also picked up on the positivity in the industry and offered more than 400 more bulls at auction this season compared to last and they were rewarded with a 95 per cent clearance. The average price paid across all breeds was more than $9700 which meant it was up more than $2000 on last season.
As in previous years the Angus breed led the way but many of the other breeds had strong results including Simmental which improved its average by $3470.
Throughout the season we continued to see producers prepared to pay higher prices for specific bulls that met their breeding programs.
With more heifers retained by producers to rebuild their herds, the bulls suited for joining these younger females certainly met with strong competition.
Producers also utilised Estimated Breeding Values to identify bulls with traits they were looking for like growth, IMF, EMA and positive fats while still selecting bulls with outstanding structure and sound temperament.
With the threat of COVID-19 hanging over us as a State yet again, many studs chose to use AuctionsPlus for their sales.
This not only gave local buyers the option of bidding from home but also allowed the whole of Australia having access to their sales.
Most sales even if they didn't sell a bull through this platform had bidding activity and a strong number of catalogue views.
I would like to commend our WA studs as they continue to source new genetics for producers from across Australia and the world, while also having to contend with COVID-19 restrictions, mainly until recently not being able to leave the State to view potential sires and genetics.
I would like to thank all our stud clients who entrusted their business to Elders again this year and all the buyers and underbidders for supporting the season.
I would also like to thank all Elders staff and agents for their assistance over the season in not only conducting sales, processing sales and buying support but for their ongoing service to our stud clients both vendors and purchasers.
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