THE State's buoyant bull selling season has continued into the winter sale fixtures and the annual Lawsons Angus yearling bull sale at Manypeaks on May 6 was no exception where steadfast demand from local and interstate buyers ensured an excellent result.
The sale was again a 100 per cent online format on AuctionsPlus, with buyers welcome to inspect the bulls at Lawsons Angus representatives Bevan and Rebecca Ravenhill's property where they could view the sale on a big screen and bid on their own devices.
Conducted by Independent Rural Agents (IRA), Pemberton, and the Elders Albany team, the sale got off to a steady start before exploding into action once the sale's last bid timer was activated.
After almost two hours of selling, there was a complete clearance of the 45 well grown, high-indexing yearling Angus bulls at an impressive and much-improved average of $12,413.
Compared to last year's sale where there was also a total clearance of 45 bulls, the sale average jumped $2896 this year from $9517 to see this year's gross returns rise by $130,354 to $558,604.
Prior to the sale the catalogue was viewed 1655 times on AuctionsPlus, resulting in 91 people logged into the sale locally and all States across the country with 30 active bidders placing 1144 bids.
While a majority of the bulls went to strong local buying support from the South West and South Coast, bulls also went to new homes in four other States including seven bulls to a New South Wales buyer.
Independent Rural Agents, Pemberton, principal Colin Thexton purchased nine bulls at the sale, costing all values from $7500 to $13,250 on behalf of his clients who were return and new Lawsons Angus buyers from Pemberton and surrounding areas and north to Boyup Brook, Balingup and Capel.
Mr Thexton congratulated the Ravenhills on the presentation of the yearling bulls and Harry Lawson and the whole Lawson team for again offering a line-up of 45 Angus bulls that were all above the Angus breed averages for all indexes.
"A large majority of bulls again carried the calving ease tick then backed up with exceptional growth figures, along with carcase figures that at last are being recognised by the trade and fellow producers," Mr Thexton said.
"Strong support came from all over WA and all mainland States in Australia with the sale being held on AuctionsPlus attracting 1655 catalogue views and a massive 1144 online bids to once again display the outstanding support for this annual sale of quality Lawsons Angus sires."
Elders Albany agent Wayne Mitchell said it was another very successful Manypeaks yearling bull sale for the Lawsons Angus team.
"A total clearance of mostly high indexing bulls selling to five mainland Sates including most remaining in WA to existing and first time buyers," Mr Mitchell said.
"As in previous years, bulls by sires of newer genetics were hotly contested by mostly return commercial buyers.
"The sale average reflected the strength of the cattle industry with an increase of almost $3000 on last year's sale.
"The AuctionsPlus platform was again used to great effect resulting in more than 1600 catalogue views and more than 1100 online bids is a great result."
Taking the sale's $26,000 top-priced honours was Lawsons Reliant S1523 penned in lot 36 and was purchased by long-time Lawsons Angus supporters the Cumming family, Jarrahlea Pty Ltd, Mayanup.
The impressive 555kg youngster was a mid-March 2021-born AI bred bull by GAR Reliant and was extremely high indexing with all maternal and terminal Angus selection indexes in the top five to 11 per cent.
The moderate birthweight bull also displayed strong growth and carcase performance, ranking in the top 13-24pc for all weight intervals, top 7pc milk, top 11pc carcase weight (CW), top 9pc retail beef yield (RBY), top 5pc feed efficiency (NFI-F) and top 21pc eye muscle area (EMA).
Buyer Douglas Cumming said he inspected the bulls with his father Doug the day prior to the sale and they agreed S1523 was the standout bull in the sale team.
"He was the pick of the bunch and his figures stacked up pretty well also," Mr Cumming said.
"It is also a new bloodline, the shape of him is very nice and dad said he would be perfect to put over the first calvers once they finish calving shortly.
Mr Cumming said they have been buying Lawsons Angus bulls for about 10 years and their new yearling bull topped up their sire requirements after collecting six bulls at Lawsons summer sale.
"Really happy with Lawsons' lower birthweights, easy calving, growth rates and conversions," he said.
"Lawsons bulls are more about growth than being grotesque, they're a softer cow and awesome for breeding wicked females.
"If we can get a nine-month-old calf to dress 240 kilograms we must be doing something right."
Mr Cumming said they had to go beyond their initial limit when some interest late in the sale blew the bull's price tag out.
"You're always buying bulls and asking yourself, do I need a new bull or want one," he said.
"Because we're calving in such a short time frame, if a bull breaks down, you can't wait for a replacement, that's a how many thousands of dollars question.
"While this bull has a role this joining, at the end of the day, what is it actually costing you to keep a yearling bull even as a backup."
The Cummings family run a self-replacing mainly Angus breeding herd, calving from April to June and sell their weaner calves through IRA's annual weaner sale in early December where their surplus heifers are highly sought after for future breeders, while lighter later drop calves are grown out on grass and sold in the spring.
They are looking forward to a traditional opening to the season in their area this week with Mr Cumming estimating more than half their breeding herd calved in the first five weeks of calving.
"Unbelievable how well they are calving this year, we would have more than 200 calves on the ground already," Mr Cumming said.
The $20,750 second top-priced bull Lawsons Quantum S1533 in lot 20 was one of four bulls purchased by another regular Mayanup buyer.
At 592kg it was among the heaviest in the sale team.
The AI-bred March-2021 born bull was by GAR Quantum and was also extremely high indexing in the top 5-17pc across all indexes and a strong set of figures including top 15-25pc for growth, top 4pc milk, top 9pc CW, top 17pc RBY and top 18pc IMF.
Another bull to sell for more than $20,000 was Lawsons Ashland S1529, an AI-bred March-drop bull by GAR Ashland that was snapped up for $20,250 by a South Coast buyer.
The 534kg bull was one of the highest indexing in the catalogue ranking in the top 1-6pc across all traits on the back of very strong growth (top 6-11pc for all intervals), top 15pc milk, top 1pc EMA, top 8pc RBY, top 7pc IMF and top 18pc CW.
Mr Ravenhill echoed the comments of the conducting agents and said it was a very strong sale for the stud on the back of solid buying support from a mix of old and new buyers.
"The bulls presented really well and we were pleased with the way they penned up on sale day," Mr Ravenhill said.
"The sale result showed buyers' acceptance of Lawsons Angus genetics which are growing rapidly from not only paddock results but all the way through the supply chain and our clients are receiving premiums for their livestock.
"It was really pleasing to see not only a lot of returning clients operating but also a number of new buyers operating as both purchasers and underbidders.
"I want to thank the buyers and underbidders for their support in the sale as it is greatly appreciated and I also want to thank agents (IRA and Elders) as well as Harry and Ruth Lawson for their support plus my family and team for the efforts they put in prior to the sale."
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