Major bull sale at mercy of weather

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Email Bob Garnant
WA Bos Indicus Group secretary Kathy Lovelock says pastoralists are not prepared to buy bulls until they can more accurately predict their production outcome.
Camera IconWA Bos Indicus Group secretary Kathy Lovelock says pastoralists are not prepared to buy bulls until they can more accurately predict their production outcome. Credit: Bob Garnant

One of three major bull sales pegged for April faces postponement if dry conditions in WA’s far north continue.

WA Bos Indicus Group Narngulu Bull Sale secretary Kathy Lovelock held a teleconference with sale vendors last week, who agreed on an April 10 date, subject to rain in the north.

The event’s sale catalogue is nearing completion.

“The majority of our bull buyers run cattle in the Gascoyne, Murchison and Goldfields,” Mrs Lovelock said.

“Buyers can appear from further afield, including agricultural areas in the south,” she said.

“The Narngulu sale, going on 30 years, has had an occasional postponement because of unseasonal conditions when pastoralists are not prepared to buy bulls until they can more accurately predict their production outcome.”

The WABIG sale is one of three Bos Indicus bull sales set to be held in April, with the Hasleby family, of Biara Santa Gertrudis stud, at Northampton, planning to host their annual bull sale on April 9.

By print deadline on Tuesday, the date of the X Factor sale, pegged for Muchea Livestock Centre on April 5, was under review, according to Merryup stud vendor Bill Sounness.

Mrs Lovelock said green cattle feed usually appeared three weeks after rain and the Narngulu sale would be guided by bull buyers’ renewed interest.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a higher probability of above-average rainfall in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions in March.

BOM spokesman Neil Bennett said WA was amid its fifth- driest summer on record, coupled with a lack of tropical weather across the State’s north. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development said pastoralists were busy monitoring and maintaining water points, reviewing and adjusting budgets and preparing to muster early while livestock were in good condition.

DPIRD livestock research and development director Bruce Mullan said DPIRD was using seasonal information, local knowledge and industry intelligence to identify properties at risk.

Mrs Lovelock, like many other Narngulu vendors, plans to offer her family’s Canterbury Brahman bulls, when the Narngulu sale was confirmed, but has wavering concern about finding homes for this year’s draft of bulls.

“For those cattle producers that require bulls now, the WABIG committee advises they contact their livestock agents,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails