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Ardcairnie bulls to $11,600 peak

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian

Positive rib and rump fat breeding values helped put a little tenderness into the Ardcairnie Angus bull sale held last week at Kojonup.

Stud principals Jim and Pam McGregor put up 60 bulls, with 29 selling through Elders to a record $11,600 top-price, which saw the average price soar to $5566/head, compared with last year when 33 bulls sold to an average price of $4827.

"The prices reflected the positive attitude that the cattle industry is enjoying," Mr McGregor said.

The bull responsible for setting the new juicy top-price was bought by a local stud interest.

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Ardcairnie J104 caught the eye of Lew Smit, of Koojan Hills stud, Kojonup, who secured the bull against some very competitive bidding from Gingin commercial breeder David Roe, Benalong Grazing, who supplies calves to the Coles Finest network chain.

The bull was sired by Ardcairnie E122, with a grand sire going back to Karoo W109.

The May-drop rising two-year-old recorded EBV figures of +51, +90 and +123 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights and carried a $111 Angus Breeding Index.

It was one of few bulls in the catalogue that had positive rib and rump fat, both of +2.2.

Mr Smit, who invested in only his second Ardcairnie bull, said the bull was positive for fat, scrotal size and calving ease, had a muscular hindquarter and great constitution and would be used as a back-up bull in the Koojan Hills AI program.

Setting a new top-price record at the sale, Mr Smit was very optimistic about the cattle industry.

"All indications are that the cattle industry is in for a good time - there is a lot of demand for beef coming out of Asia," he said.

"I would be satisfied if beef prices levelled out at the current values and remained sustainable."

The under-bidder of the top-price bull, Mr Roe, later secured bulls for $6200 and $5800 to ensure his production of finest Angus quality continues.

Also working off the top buying order, New Norcia commercial producer Graham Nixon secured the $10,400 second top-price bull, Ardcairnie J14, while Cookalabi stud, Coomberdale, paid $9000 for Ardcairnie J29, both bulls sired by Sydgen Trust 6228 and rated as the top valued bulls in the catalogue.

Mr Nixon said his top choice carried the highest Angus Breeding Index of $137 and had brilliant EBV figures for calving ease and milk, strong carcase weight, while recording a moderate birth weight.

Cookalabi stud principal David Topham said the bull he paid $9000 for represented outcross genetics and would go over stud heifers.

Mr Topham said he bought a bull from Ardcairnie for the first time last year and was very pleased with the result.

Steve Neville, of Old Bambun Grazing, Gingin, paid $8400 for Ardcairnie J35.

With the sale easily surpassing last year's results - by an average price of $739 per head - the McGregors were extremely pleased with their Angus cattle.

"We are very happy with the overall results - the clearance was pleasing," Mr McGregor said.

"Many of our clients were successful in obtaining the bulls they required."

Mr McGregor said the presence of a large number of repeat buyers was very rewarding.

"We applaud the people who have stuck by the industry and welcome all new entrants into what is a very essential part of the agriculture sector," he said.

After the completion of the sale, four passed-in bulls were successfully negotiated and sold by Elders.

Ardcairnie Bull Sale *

Offered *60

Sold *29

Top price *$11,600

Average *$5566

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