Weekly Genetics review: Brahman Week competition reaches new heights on Day Two

Genetics editor Geoff Phillips, 04/10/2016

IF bidding at yesterday’s first day of the 2016 Rockhampton Brahman Week Sale was ‘ferocious’ (as reported on Beef Central this morning) it’s hard to find a superlative to describe the sale’s second day because demand was sustained – and even improved when the Reds stepped into the ring.

Monday’s first day of selling saw 303 Grey Brahman bulls average $11,996. The momentum continued this morning when another 188 Grey bulls drew similar demand with a final average of $11,329 for the 491 Greys sold.

But more was yet to come with the Red Brahman catalogue entries. The 95 reds sold today topped at $75,000 (just $5000 short of yesterday’s sale-high of $80,000) and an average of $13,463. The remaindr of the Red bulls sell tomorrow.

With such a huge number of bulls on offer, in some past years buyers have tended to run out of steam by Day three, but observers predict that won’t happen tomorrow when another 250 red bulls will be on offer.

Brahman Week has long been regarded at Australia’s, if not the world’s largest bull sale and now it can make claims to be the best.

Last year Brahman Week had its best average ever of $7936 for 778 bulls. This year’s average is expected to exceed that by up to 50 percent.

The gross of this year’s first two days of $6.6 million is already above any year’s gross in the 40-year history of the event, which started in 1977 when the average was $438 a head. This average doubled the next year to $896 and by 1980 this average had jumped to $2088 when 779 bulls were sold.

Soon to retire Australian Brahman Breeders’ Association’s general manager John Croaker oversaw his first sale in 1981 when 943 bulls averaged $2158.

“I’ve never seen bidding energy like this ever before,” he said while pointing to the $150 million that Brahman Week sales will have injected into the beef industry by the end of play tomorrow.

“And the first sale grossed just $185,400. That’s less than what many of the sale’s individual vendors will pocket this year,” he said.

The $75,000 top price on Day Two was for the horned red sire Jileaba 437 sold by Reade and Jill Radel, Injune, Qld, to Mt Callan Stud, Bell, Qld.

With so many lots on offer, the organisers have introduced a 100-second time limit on each lot in the ring, and have a system to remind auctioneers if they start lagging. And it works. After selling more than 300 bulls on Day Two, the finishing time had slipped by only 15 minutes.

This year’s selling agents were Elders, Landmark and the Ruralco members GDL and SBB.

AuctionsPlus was also operating with live streaming with over 1600 following the Day One activities online.

The sale has been available online for the past 10 years but in the early days online bidding was not possible because of slow operating platforms.

“There is great confidence in the cattle industry, particularly in the north, and people see that strong cattle market continuing,” said Mr Croaker.

“There is a willingness to increase bull buying budgets to obtain better bulls. It is also a strong vote of confidence in the Brahman breed to provide the genetics for efficient production in the north,” he said.

“Nearly all the buyers this year have had experience with the Brahman breed in the past and know what the breed can do and many are buying bulls to return to higher Brahman content.”

“Any number of this year’s bull buyers have been using other breeds and are returning after experiences in the recent dry,” Mr Croaker said.

“Some of the northern herds did wind their Brahman content back following the 2011 live export ban, and the drought, but are returning to the survivability the breed has to offer and the ability to bounce back after years of drought,” he said.

Bulk buyers of Grey bulls yesterday and earlier today included:

  • The Dyer family’s APN operation, Sturt Plains, NT, 17 bulls.
  • Col Brett, Waterloo, NT, 11 bulls.
  • Bush Holdings, Mayloe, Alpha, Qld, 20 bulls.
  • Bart Wilkinson, Cargoon, Charters Towers, Qld, 12 bulls.
  • Condon family’s Conjuboy Pastoral, Mt Garnet, Qld, 13 bulls.
  • Peter & Sue Costello, Fanning Downs, Charters Towers, Qld, 13 bulls.
  • Robert Flute, Chatsworth, Richmond, Qld, 11 bulls.
  • John and Kate McLachlan, Arcadia Valley, for their NT properties, 15 bulls.

While Rockhampton Brahman Week has overshadowed the industry over the past week, other spring bull sales of note have included:

  • Graneta Limousins, Bell, Qld, where 40/40 bulls sold to $16,000 and averaged $8225, possibly the best Limo sale of the year.
  • Dangarfield Santas, Taroom, Qld, postponed because of flooding, sold 89/89 bulls to $31,000 for a herd bull, and an average of $8308.




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  1. Michael J. Vail, 04/10/2016

    Now there’s a huge vote of confidence in the future … Great to see!

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