Droughtmaster tops at $5500 at annual Narngulu sale

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Nutrien Wickepin and Kulin agent Ty Miller, Fieldhouse Droughtmaster stud co-principal Ken Mutton, of Wickepin, and Nutrien Pilbara agent Shane Flemming with the $5500 top-priced bull, Fieldhouse 148.
Camera IconNutrien Wickepin and Kulin agent Ty Miller, Fieldhouse Droughtmaster stud co-principal Ken Mutton, of Wickepin, and Nutrien Pilbara agent Shane Flemming with the $5500 top-priced bull, Fieldhouse 148. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

There were mixed results for the uptake of Droughtmaster and Brahman bulls at the annual Narngulu sale as dry conditions and uncertain live export market expectations limited buyer interest.

The Narngulu Invitation Bos Indicus Bull Sale, which was cancelled last year because of dry conditions, returned to the Coolina saleyard facility last Wednesday.

The offering of 92 Droughtmaster bulls resulted in 49 sold, while the catalogue of 21 Brahman bulls had eight sold, with overall total bulls sold recording an average price of $3517, down $408/head on the 2018 sale when 73 bulls sold for an average price of $3925.

Nutrien auctioneer James Culleton was assisted by Nutrien WA livestock manager Leon Giglia.
Camera IconNutrien auctioneer James Culleton was assisted by Nutrien WA livestock manager Leon Giglia. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

In a sale first, the entire catalogue was offered by one agent, the newly formed Nutrien Livestock, which had six agents making bids on behalf of various clients.

Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Tiny Holly said there was a good selection of bulls which presented well, but the sale result was affected by uncertainty in overseas markets.

“It was disappointing that bull values fell back,” he said.

The overall $5500 top-priced bull, offered by Fieldhouse Droughtmaster stud, reflected this drop in value as compared to the 2018 sale when the stud produced a $16,000 top-priced bull.

DROUGHTMASTER

Two studs offered Droughtmaster bulls, including the Mutton family’s Fieldhouse stud, at Wickepin, and the Vincent family’s De Grey Park stud, at Capel.

Fieldhouse offered 83 bulls, of which 44 sold to a top-price of $5500 and average price of $3602, down $633/head on the 2018 sale when 50 bulls sold for an average price of $4235.

Making a first appearance at the sale, the De Grey Park stud offered nine bulls and sold five to a top-price of $4000 and average price of $3600.

The sale topper, Fieldhouse 148, sired by Fieldhouse Perkins, sold to Jim and Lorraine Dorrell, of Mia Mia station, at Carnarvon, with Nutrien Pilbara agent Shane Flemming securing the bull on behalf of his pastoral client.

The Dorrells, who run 1800 Droughtmaster mixed breeders with their son Ben and his wife Tegan, were presently aiming to increase numbers after three years of dry conditions.

“Half the station had 40mm of rain recently while its been patchy in other parts,” Jim said.

Volume buyer of Fieldhouse bulls were Carnarvon pastoralists Kim and Aggie Forrester, of Winning station, who last August added the neighbouring 182,000ha Carbadia station to their portfolio.

“We run predominately Charbrays at Winning (2000 breeders), but the lease at Carbadia came with 2000 very sound Droughtmaster breeders,” he said.

This prompted Mr Forrester, whose family had been at Winning station since 1956, to be a first-time buyer of Fieldhouse Droughtmaster bulls at the sale, securing a total of 14 bulls for an average price of $3357/head.

“We were selecting for good doers that can handle the conditions,” he said.

“Winning had 70mm of rain three weeks ago, but it was patchy at Carbadia.”

Mr Forrester, who decided not to risk attending the sale because of COVID-19, said he was confident the live cattle trade would bounce back in three years.

Other pastoral stations active on Fieldhouse bulls included Middalya (five bulls), Killara (five bulls), and Murgoo (six bulls).

Running cattle in the Murchison, Morgoo station lease holder Josh Pumpa was a first-time buyer after taking on the lease three years ago.

Murchison pastoralist Josh Pumpa, of Murgoo Station, was a first-time buyer at the Narngulu sale.
Camera IconMurchison pastoralist Josh Pumpa, of Murgoo Station, was a first-time buyer at the Narngulu sale. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

A former jackaroo at the Boonoke Merino stud, at Deniliquin, NSW, Mr Pumpa said it was his dream to own a station.

“From my background, I am looking to improve the quality of the herd,” he said.

Mr Pumpa secured his six bulls for an average price of $3500.

Elders Mid West agent Gary Preston secured three De Grey Park bulls for $4000 each on behalf of a client.

BRAHMAN

Oakvale Brahman stud co-principal Reg Teakle, of Northampton, and Nutrien Mid West agent Leon Goad.
Camera IconOakvale Brahman stud co-principal Reg Teakle, of Northampton, and Nutrien Mid West agent Leon Goad. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant

Three studs offered Brahman bulls including the Wesley family’s Charlesville stud, at Southern Cross, the Lovelock family’s Canterbury stud, at New Norcia, and the Teakle family’s Oakvale stud, at Northampton.

Charlesville offered six bulls with one sold for $3000 to the Forrester family.

Oakvale stud sold seven of 11 bulls offered to Mooloo Downs for an average price of $3000.

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