Weekly genetics review: Top spring bulls make big money, but its been patchy

Genetics editor Geoff Phillips, 19/09/2017

Setting the pace in spring bull sales so far this year is this National Droughtmaster sale topper, the $135,000 Oasis Dundee.


THE 2017 spring bull market, burdened by seasonal challenges in many areas except Australia’s south-east corner, has so far lacked the consistency of the earlier autumn sales, but there is still big money around for bulls carrying exceptional genetics.

There are also some bargains around for astute buyers, however.

Droughtmasters last week provided the second top price of the year for all breeds so far, with an investment of $135,000, while Santa Gertrudis equalled its breed record price of $90,000. At numerous recent sales, the top bids have sailed past the $30,000 mark.

While solid averages generated by sustained demand are viewed as the most desirable outcome at bull sales, top prices provide excitement and glamour, plus long-term benchmarks. It also suggests levels for buyers searching for the very best.

Beef Central provides an up-to-date list of individual auction record breed prices here.

Highlighted below are some of the top prices so far this spring auction season, commencing July 1. The top prices at sales prior to June 30 are not included. They were covered at the end of the autumn selling season in this earlier article.

Droughties top spring prices so far at $135,000

The two day Droughtmaster National on September 12 and 13 at Gracemere Queensland tested the market but there were plenty of buyers with 491 bulls grossing $4.77 million and averaging $9710. The result, well up on last year despite the deteriorating season, produced a 92 percent clearance.

The top price of $135,000 for an Oasis bull offered by Noel and Robyn Geddes, Emerald, Qld, and purchased by Mac and Gayle Shann, Lamont, Clermont, Qld.

Physical soundness, pedigree and 862kg on the scales along with impressive raw scan data for fat cover and eye muscle area were enough for buyers to go flat out of this appealing, loose-skinned 23-month-old. But there were no Breedplan figures.

While 20 bulls sold for $30,000 or more at the Droughtmaster National, there were also plenty of bargains and astute buyers did not miss out picking up lines of bulls for as little as the upset price of $3500. This lesson could attract bargain hunters to the bigger catalogues for the remainder of the year.

The spectacular top price did not meet the Droughtmaster record of $180,000 paid for a Glenlands bull in 2012. It also fell short of the top price for all breeds so far this year, a $160,000 purchase at the South Australian Simmental stud Woonallee  by the Nobbs Cattle Co, Duaringa Qld in February.

Santas equal their best of $90,000

At the Yarrawonga Waco Santa Gertrudis sale at Wallumbilla Qld on September 14, Waco Floyd sold for $90,000 equalling the breed record price set at the same sale two years ago. Purchaser was Shane Hatton, Diamond H Santa Gertrudis Stud, Wandoan. The Yarrawonga Waco sale averaged $10,388, with a 95pc clearance. Moongana’s Santa sale in Queensland topped at $41,000 while the New South Wales based Yulgilbar Santas also jumped into the list with a $30,000 sale.

Angus up to $110,000

The biggest surprise of the season so far was the $110,000 paid for a bull at the inaugural Carabar sale at Meandarra, Queensland. Not many studs can boast a $110,000 sale but none could claim it at their first sale.

Numerous Angus studs selling this spring have sold their top bulls in the $30,000 plus bracket.

These included Texas ($56,000), Millah Murrah ($50,000), Clunie Range ($45,000), Rennylea ($38,000), Knowla ($38,000), Booroomooka ($33,000) and Ben Nevis ($32,000).

All these Angus sale-toppers carry impressive Breedplan figures. In fact it’s hard to sell an Angus bull these days without figures.

The Angus bull record remains $150,000 paid for a Millah Murrah bull in 2015.

Wagyu weighs in with $88,000

Many studs are using online bidding platforms to make sales more accessible to buyers, but few rely solely on online bidding.

The Wagyu breed uses the online facility well, and on September 1, a 13 month old Macquarie Downs bull in the top 1pc of the breed for Carcase Terminal Index and marbling sold for $88,000.

The Wagyu breed record is $105,000 for a Mayura bull sold to a North Queensland commercial operation in May this year.

Shorthorns to $45,000

The Grove stud at Condamine Qld heads the Shorthorn sale list this spring with a $45,000 sale while Yamburgan Machee at Narrabri NSW were not far behind with a $42,000 top. The Shorthorn record is $75,000 paid for a Calrossy bull in 2006.

Brafords almost set a record

A $42,500 bull topped the National Braford Sale on September 11, just short of the $45,000 breed record paid at the National in 2012.

Charolais buyers sit on $40,000

Palgrove Charolais at Dalveen Qld peaked at $40,000 three times at its annual sale last week, while ANC at Guluguba Qld was next best with a $37,000 bull.

Herefords also at $40,000

A Queensland Hereford bull from Talbalba sits on top of the Hereford list for results so far in the second half of the year, with a $40,000 sale followed by Wirruna ($38,500) and Tycolah ($30,000).


  • For Beef Central’s full list of beef breed record prices at auction, click here.




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