Record result for Elders heifer sale

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Email Bob Garnant
With the record-breaking $3550 top-priced pen of eight Murray Grey-Friesian heifers are Elders agent Billy Kessell, buyer Graeme King, of Donnybrook, vendors Loretta and Michael Roberts, of Elgin, and Elders agent Robert Gibbings.
Camera IconWith the record-breaking $3550 top-priced pen of eight Murray Grey-Friesian heifers are Elders agent Billy Kessell, buyer Graeme King, of Donnybrook, vendors Loretta and Michael Roberts, of Elgin, and Elders agent Robert Gibbings. Credit: Bob Garnant

Graziers were expecting higher prices before the start of the annual Elders Supreme Springing Heifer Sale last week, and they were right.

After the sale produced a record gross of $2,095,650 for all 760 head sold, the question now is will cattle prices hold or even continue climbing?

Elders auctioneer Alex Williams said the quality and presentation of the yarding was exceptional, off a great season.

“Record prices reflected confidence,” he said.

From the first pen of Boyanup beauties, Angus-Friesian heifers, which sold for well over last year’s top price, to the $3550 record top price for a pen of nine Murray Grey-Friesian cross heifers, the sale unfolded beyond expectations.

It was also believed to be the first time the Murray Grey influence topped the sale, previously the realm of Angus-Friesian cross types.

The sale’s topping bid came from a relative newcomer to the beef cattle industry, Donnybrook producer Graeme King, who gave up his wheat and sheep farm to find greener pastures of beef production in the South West.

Mr King and his wife Deb, run 45 breeders and are slowly building up numbers.

“We were happy to take up with cattle after a few dry years in the Wheatbelt,” he said.

On the same note, the vendor of the best-priced heifers, Michael Roberts, of Elgin, said the sale produced terrific results, particularly for his pregnancy tested in-calf heifers, which were synchronised mated using artificial insemination — semen soured from a Limousin bull.

The first seven pens of Angus-Friesian PTIC heifers AI (Synchro) from account KS and EN Roberts and Sons, all sold above the $3000 a head value, with account Graham Ayers Livestock, of Albany, securing three of the pens to a top of $3325/head.

Using the same synchronised AI mating for the extra benefit of 20-day calving, the Roberts’ Murray Grey-Friesian heifers (four pens) also sold over $3000 to a sale top-price and all-time sale price record of $3550/head.

A previous buyer of these types, Young Siding producer Rick Weight, who paid the $3500 second-top price of the sale to re-stock his breeding herd, said he selected for temperament and structure.

Mr Weight and Mr King had a bidding battle over the best of the Murray Grey-Friesians which escalated the grey-cross popularity, with many buyers missing out.

While the grey heifers were limited to 70 head, the majority of the sale, 681 head, was from 52 pens of Angus-Friesian PTIC heifers, mated to either a Limousin or Angus bull.

Regular repeat buyers of these types, Gerald and Denise Young, of Yornup, secured their top pick of the day, a pen of eight heifers for $3400/head offered by regular vendors JA and NA Brooks and Son, of Witchcliffe.

Mr Young, who was named WA’s Meat Standards of Australia Producer of the Year in April, said he favoured the cattle from the Brooks family.

“These cattle have excellent temperament and my wife Denice and I will only work with quiet cattle,” he said. “Yes, prices were very high today, but we have been receiving excellent prices for our cattle, so it all works out.”

Mr Young said he sold Simmental sired calves, out of Angus-Friesian cross cows, on average for $1515/head in October, which had an average dress weight of 260kg, and a stand-out calf made $1780.

Also bidding at Boyanup on the top line of Angus-Friesians, regular buyer Kim Dunnet, of Nannup, secured six pens (50 heifers) to a top of $3325/head.Volume buyer at the sale was account Tirano Farms, of Nannup, securing 12 pens (108 heifers) of Angus-Friesian types to a top of $2750/head.

While prices were hot, most buyers were not distracted as reflected in Elgin producer Sam Italiano, who brought his grandson, Heath Collins, to the sale. He secured a line of eight Angus-Friesian heifers for $2650/head.

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

Sign up for our emails