Autumn whiteface on-property and multi-vendor bull sales have got off to a cracking start with high clearances and averages jumping by up to $2400 on 2016.
In the 16 sales held nationwide in February, bulls have topped at $41,000 and commercial producers have lifted their sights on quality genetics, paying up to $4000 more than 2016.
During the month, a total of 659 bulls were sold under the hammer from 753 offered for an 87 per cent clearance, and average of $7436 – up from last year’s $6785.
The season’s sale circuit opened with a bang when Yarram Park held the inaugural on-property sale on February 13 and topped at $24,000.
The clearance was strong at 94 per cent with 52 bulls sold from the 55 offered to average $5141.
The Injemira stud, Book Book, NSW, repeated last year’s form to top the seasonal sale averages to date at $9742 for the 46th annual Carcase Revolution sale on February 21.
A total of 93 bulls sold from the 95 offered to a top of $40,000 for a 97 per cent clearance.
Yavenvale Herefords and Poll Herefords, Adelong, NSW, offered the biggest catalogue of the season, to clear 109 bulls from 111 on February 22 for the highest clearance rate of 98 per cent.
Yavenvale also achieved the highest price for the autumn to date of $41,000 for Yavenvale Legend L329 bought by Tarcombe Herefords, Ruffy, Vic.
In Victoria, pre-sale nerves proved unfounded for Alvio Trovatello when the average jumped by a massive $2428 on last year at the Kyneton based Glendan Park Herefords and Poll Herefords.
While seedstock producers operated on the two top price bulls (to $16,000), commercial producers put a solid floor in the sale, paying $9000 up to $13,000.
The McClure family, “Morree”, Casterton, fresh from topping the weaner sales at Hamilton, reinvested back into new sires to a top of $13,000.
Mr Trovatello said there was no discrimination between horned and poll genetics, with buyers seeking outcross bloodlines and performance data.
Hereford bulls dominated the multi-breed, multi-vendor Supreme Bull Sale at Brunswick, Western Australia on February 16.
A total of 129 bulls representing seven British and European breeds from 22 studs were on offer.
Rob and Heather Francis, Yallaroo Herefords, Vasse, topped the sale at $14,000, averaged $10,000 for their first six lots, and finished with an average of $8000 for 10 bulls.
The next best breed average was $5511 for Angus.
“We normally offer six bulls but last year buyers went without so we increased the team this year,’’ Mr Francis said.
He said many positive comments were received from all breeds on the whiteface catalogue.
“We had three new buyers and seven repeat buyers from purebred and crossbred herds – it was a good result for the breed and made everyone stand up and take notice,’’ Mr Francis said.
“In the past, buyers had $5000 to spend but this year they kept bidding, however they are more selective, going for quality, meat and muscle.’’
The whiteface catalogue at the 24th annual Countryman Invitation Bull sale at Narrogin on February 21 was the largest single offering of Poll Herefords at one sale in Western Australia.
Terraneil, Quaindering and Greenland studs combined to offer 27 bulls and sold 23 for an 85 per cent clearance and average of $7532 – well above the next nearest breed of Murray Grey on $5104.
Terraneil co-principal Sandra Woods described the sale as solid with buyers selective on BREEDPLAN figures and bloodlines.
Mrs Woods said the average was well up on last year’s $6600, with most WA whiteface studs almost sold out of bulls.
In NSW, commercial bull buyers lifted their budgets from $6000-$8000 two years ago to $8000-$12,000.
Yavenvale Herefords and Poll Herefords co-principal James Pearce, Adelong, said bulls sold to five states with strong support from long-term clients.
Mr Pearce said “curve-bender” bulls with natural thickness, balanced traits and positive intra-muscular fat were popular.
“Strong bull sale results for the past two years is positive news for the breed,’’ he said.
“It was the highest number of bulls we have ever offered, the best average and one of the best top prices so those were three promising indicators for us.’’
In South Australia, there has been a resurgence in pastoral orders on the back of a good season, according to Mark Wilson, Kerlson Pines Poll Herefords, Keith.
Strong weaner sales in the state’s South East also boosted the bottom end of the bull market and lifting averages, Mr Wilson said.
He said volume pastoral orders had resulted in bulls selling to $10,000 – up from around $5000 last year – plus herd bulls were snapped up privately.
“They are wanting well coloured bulls with hooded eyes, muscle, good feet and legs, and doability,’’ he said.
“The stations have lifted their sights and bought better bulls as they know they can achieve a better return from the feeder or weaner markets.
“There is indication of confidence in the season and breed.’’
Mr Wilson said whiteface bulls also sold into South-East South Australian Angus herds to target the Black Baldy market.
In Victoria’s western districts, commercial demand remained strong despite reduced cow numbers.
David Lyons, Melville Park Herefords and Poll Herefords, Vasey, Vic, said producers selected mainly polled bulls with growth, milk and lower birthweight.
He said repeat clients had underpinned the sale, with volume buyers coming from Mt Gambier and Coleraine to reinvest in new genetics after successful weaner sales.
Rob and Heather Francis, Yallaroo Herefords, WA, with their top price bull at $14,000 with buyer Matt Della Gola, Tone Bridge, and Elders Stud Stock manager Tim Spicer at the Supreme Bull Sale. Image courtesy Farm Weekly.