Harvey beefs up led steer auction

Rebecca TurnerCountryman

Harvey Beef continued to demonstrate its strong support of WA’s beef industry at this year’s IGA Perth Royal Show, buying both the top and second-top-priced steer from the led steer and heifer auction for $7500 and $7000, respectively.

It was the first year the sale included only led steers and heifers, with the prime steer or heifer classes not held at the IGA Perth Royal Show this year.

As a result, the offering of cattle for the steer and heifer sale was lower than previous years, with a total of 73 exhibits selling under the hammer.

While the offering was down, quality was exceptional and buyers rallied to show their support for the effort made by exhibitors to prepare cattle for the competition with both per head and per kilo averages higher than previous years.

Harvey Beef set the tone early, securing the first steer offered, a 520kg Shorthorn cross Angus Belgian Blue which was sashed grand champion led steer during Sunday’s led steer or heifer competition.

The steer had spent 90 days on feed while being prepared for the competition by Murdoch University.

This year’s second top-price steer was the Black Dog Charity Steer which also sold to Harvey Beef for $7000.

The steer, a 552kg Poll cross Shorthorn, was donated by Iluka Resources and prepared by Peter and Judy Milton.

The steer had been judged reserve champion extra-heavyweight led steer, where he was described as having a lovely shape with enough fat cover and was a credit to his breeder.

The Black Dog Charity Steer has been part of the IGA Perth Royal Show steer and heifer auction for many years with all funds raised going towards the charity programs aimed at developing awareness and discussion of suicide and mental health.

Black Dog charity spokesman Steve Andrews said this year’s steer Winston had already been assisting the charity by visiting various work places through the Black Dog charity program and acting as a catalyst to help employees discuss suicide and the serious subject of maintaining good mental health.

Winston’s “social engagements” would continue until late October and as a result he would not be included in the “on the hook” carcase competition as the remainder of led steer and heifer entries.

Buying on behalf of Harvey Beef and Coles was Kim McDougall, who said this year’s exhibits presented an outstanding opportunity to purchase quality bred and presented cattle.

“The cattle presented here today are right on the mark for what we are looking for,” he said.

Harvey Beef bought a total of 13 steers for an average of $3200 including the champion lightweight steer, a 400kg Charolais cross Murray Grey exhibited by G and J Dimasi, for $4000, and the champion extra heavyweight steer, a 576kg Muray Grey cross Charolais cross Angus exhibited by DA and AE Thompson, for $3100.

Coles was also the successful bidder on several ribbon winners, including the reserve grand champion and champion mediumweight led steer, a 452kg Limousin steer exhibited by Murdoch University, which sold for $4000.

Coles also bought the reserve champion heavyweight led steer for $2600, a 514kg Angus exhibited by the WA College of Agriculture Denmark.

In total, Coles bought 12 steers for an average price of $2308.

Coles national livestock manager Dale Pemberton was in attendance at the sale and said it was very good to see the involvement of many agricultural schools and youth handlers in the led steer and heifer competition and supporting this involvement was Coles’ main objective as a buyer.

“Coles are pleased to be supporting this event and have done for the past five years,” Mr Pemberton said. “We are committed to supporting the involvement of youth in the Australian agricultural industry; we do this at events across the country and see this as a way of assisting succession planning in our industry.”

Mr Pemberton said the quality of cattle presented was excellent with exhibits showing the carcase traits needed for good eating quality.

In addition to Harvey Beef and Coles, Johnson Meats was again a volume buyer at this years led steer and heifer sale, buying a total of 13 steers and heifers for an average price of $1792.

Buying on behalf of Johnson Meats was Terry Russell, who said this year’s quality of exhibits was exceptional.

Mr Russell paid a top price of $2500 for a 490kg square meater steer exhibited by Abbey Toghill.

It was also the first time Mr Russell had purchased a Speckle Park steer.

Mr Russell purchased the 464kg steer, which was exhibited by GW and NL Thomas and had spent 101 days on feed, for $2100.

Offered: 73

Sold: 73

Top price: $7500

Gross: $161,200

Average price: $2208.22

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