Roberts Ltd stud stock manager Jock Gibson said the seven participating studs were all within about a half-hour drive from Launceston in northern Tasmania. This gives Angus producers a unique opportunity to inspect the offering and find something that best suits their operation.
Mr Gibson said people from mainland states come to Tasmania Angus Week because the quality of the bulls was equally as high as those offered in other states and in past years, the prices had made it an attractive option.
He said each stud had slightly different arrangements for freight, but most subsidised the trip to the mainland.
“We group the sales together to make it the most convenient and cost effective for people from the mainland and Bass Strait Islands to come to the sales,” Frank Archer, Landfall Angus, said.
Mr Gibson said the bulls were looking “exceptional” after a great season.
This year, Landfall Angus will host a sale of 48 specially selected in-calf stud females, on Sunday at 4.30pm.
Mr Archer said while they’d previously sold bigger lines of females targeting commercial producers, they were expanding their herd this year and wanted to retain more females. To garner more interest, Mr Archer said they would offer females that otherwise would have been kept in the Landfall herd. He said they were in-calf to industry-leading sires including VAR Generation and Basinpayweight – two US sires that had impressed the Archers when they inspected them twice, and whose semen has had limited availability in Australia.
The bull sales start the next day, with Cluden Newry at 11.30am and Landfall at 2.30pm. On Tuesday, Pine Park (that also has Charolais and Red Angus) is at noon and Richmond Hill at 2pm. On Wednesday, Tamaroo and Mont Bello have a joint sale at 11am at the Powranna Selling Complex. Chale Angus will sell bulls privately.
One mainland buyer who has booked his ticket again to go to Tasmanian Angus Week is John Drysdale, who with his wife Heather and two of their kids, Leigh and Renee, farms around Yarck and Ruffy. They join 500- 550 females, mostly to calve in autumn. The Drysdales have run Angus cattle for many years, and Mr Drysdale said the breed had struck a good balance between the “revvy” American and traditional British types. A few years ago, Mr Drysdale read about the event and thought since it was farm related, he persuaded Heather to take a few days away from the farm. They liked what they saw and bought one bull each from Cluden Newry and Tamaroo.
“They suited our operation and we liked their temperament, shape and evenness,” Mr Drysdale said.
They returned last year and bought a total of 10 from the two studs. He said the bulls were also reasonably priced compared to those the family had bought from Victorian studs in recent years. And because of the subsidies on freight, Mr Drysdale said that didn’t end up being a factor.
The family’s 10-11 month-old calves are consistently in the first lane of January’s feature weaner sale at Yea.
Fred and Shona Perry, with son Raymond, run a self-replacing herd on King Island, which is predominantly Angus and some Angus-Poll Hereford crosses.
They join about 650 females each year for a spring calving on 900ha. They wean calves in March – and this is the only time the cattle are supplementary fed.
The grass-fed yearlings are supplied to the JBS King Island brand, and Mr Perry said they aimed to trade off about 75 per cent of the young stock at 18-20 months and 285-300kg cwt with more than 9mm fat. Last year, 93pc of the yearlings made MSA grading. Mr Perry said they’d bought Cluden Newry bulls for about 25 years because they suited their operation with their moderate birth weight and structure, good conformation and positive for fat and EMA. Good feet is vital with the 1000mm/year rainfall.