Droughtmasters in big demand

Bob Garnant and Claire TyrrellCountryman

The WA Bos Indicus Bull Sale began with a good clearance of Droughtmaster bulls - 28 of the 33 offered sold for an average price of $2818.

Out of lot one was a Fieldhouse Droughtmaster bull that topped the sale overall at $4600, selling to Doug Brownlie, of Yakabindie station, Leinster.

The polled bull was sired by a homebred sire, Fieldhouse Perkins.

Mr Brownlie said the bull would be used over a nucleus of pure females to breed bulls for his 1000-cow herd spread out over the vast million-acre station.

"Droughtmasters have the ability to walk the country," he said.

Mr Brownlie bought two other bulls from Ken Mutton's Fieldhouse stud for $3000 and $2600.

Also buying off the top end of the Droughtmasters was Barry and Bella Gratte, of Ethel Creek station, Newman.

Mr Gratte bought five Fieldhouse bulls to a top price of $4000 and an average of $3040.

The Grattes runs a 5000-head Shorthorn/Droughtmaster-cross breeding program.

Liam Johns, of Killara station, Meekatharra, bought two Fieldhouse bulls for $3400 and $2800.

Mr Mutton said he was pleased to sell all 20 of his Fieldhouse bulls offered for an average price of $3020.

In the Brahman catalogue, it was a Birrahlee bull that sold for the $3000 top price.

The polled red bull, Birrahlee Weeronga, was sired by Birralee Wundurra and was bought by Jamie Clinch, of Nallan station, Cue.

Mr Clinch said he would use the bull in his pure Brahman cow herd to increase the red content.

Shane Flemming, of Primaries, bought on behalf of Sylvania station, Newman.

He bought two Oakvale bulls for $2800 and $2400 and a Birrahlee bull for $2600.

Also buying from the two studs was Natalie Broad, of Berringarra station, Cue, who bought two Oakvale bulls for $2600 and $2400 and one from Birrahlee for $2200.

Canterbury stud sold to a top of $2500 to Melrose station, Leonora.

Wendalla stud was the only vendor to offer Santa Gertrudis bulls at the sale.

Alan Gould, of Wendalla, offered four bulls with three selling to a top of $2600. The three were bought by Cooralya station, Carnarvon.

Wendalla also sold four Santa Gertrudis heifers for $1000 each to Les Parson's Coolawayah Pastoral, Bindoon.

Elders senior auctioneer and Geraldton cattle representative Gary Preston said the Droughtmaster bulls were the standouts of the sale.

"They sold particularly well, which seems to be the trend," he said.

"Pastoralists in the Pilbara and the upper Gascoyne seem to want to go for the Droughtmasters."

Mr Preston said the line-up of Brahman bulls was impressive but the sale results did not reflect the quality of the yarding.

"There were some very good Brahmans that were passed in, which was unfortunate," he said.

Mr Preston said uncertainty created by last year's live export ban played a role in buyers' attitudes towards the Brahman but producers should not be deterred by the breed.

"People should not change what they are doing, rather keep buying bulls and producing a quality herd - that's what consumers want," he said.

WA Bos Indicus Invitation Bull Sale * <table border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="left">BREED </td> <td>OFFERED </td> <td>SOLD </td> <td>TOP PRICE </td> <td>AVERAGE </td> </tr> <tr> <td>DROUGHTMASTER </td> <td/> <td/> <td/> <td/> </tr> <tr> <td>Fieldhouse </td> <td>20 </td> <td>20 </td> <td>$4600 </td> <td>$3020 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ochre </td> <td>6 </td> <td>3 </td> <td>$2500(3) </td> <td>$2500 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>Shalor </td> <td>2 </td> <td>1 </td> <td>$2200 </td> <td>$2200 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>Canterbury </td> <td>1 </td> <td>1 </td> <td>$2200 </td> <td>$2200 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>TOTAL </td> <td>33 </td> <td>28 </td> <td>$4600 </td> <td>$2818 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>BRAHMAN </td> <td/> <td/> <td/> <td/> </tr> <tr> <td>Oakvale </td> <td>21 </td> <td>10 </td> <td>$2800 </td> <td>$2340 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>Condamine/Kindilin </td> <td>9 </td> <td>7 </td> <td>$2400 </td> <td>$2228 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>Birrahlee </td> <td>9 </td> <td>8 </td> <td>$3000 </td> <td>$2425 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>Canterbury </td> <td>13 </td> <td>8 </td> <td>$2500 </td> <td>$2300 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>TOTAL </td> <td>52 </td> <td>33 </td> <td>$3000 </td> <td>$2327 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>SANTA GERTRUDIS </td> <td/> <td/> <td/> <td/> </tr> <tr> <td>Wendalla </td> <td>4 </td> <td>3 </td> <td>$2600 </td> <td>$2333 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>TOTAL </td> <td>89 </td> <td>64 </td> <td>$4600 </td> <td>$2542 </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

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