*82 of 90 bulls sold to a top of $35,000, av $9220
DESPITE the softening of the cattle market in recent weeks, the Branson family, Banquet Angus, Mortlake, had every reason to smile at the completion of their 19th annual bull sale.
The family sold 82 of 90 bulls offered, and against recent bull sale trends, increased their average by $51 on last year’s record breaking result, averaging $9220 and topping at $35,000.
This result matched the quality of the draft, from the sale topper as the first bull offered, right through to the last bull catalogued, which was one of 30 bulls to reach $10,000 or higher.
Bidding action was particularly strong at the beginning of the catalogue, with the first 14 bulls, and 20 of the first 30, exceeding $10,000.
There were 89 registered bidders from four states actively competing, with 54 making it onto the buyers’ list.
However, there was still plenty of value on offer, with 43 per cent between $5000 and $7000.
The James family, AJ Farms, Casterton, who have been Banquet clients since their foundation, went to $16,000 for their top purchase, but were able to add two others at $7000 each.
Combined with the pre-sale offering of 150 Banquet-blood PTIC commercial heifers on behalf of Robbie and Marg Patterson, Drysdale Partnership, Mortlake, the day’s gross ticked over the $1 million mark.
The star of the sale was the first bull offered, who became the $35,000 top-priced bull.
The 22 month-old, 845 kilogram, Banquet Mirrool M078, was sired by Banquet Holden H591, the full brother of the legendary B. Ballis B017.
Mirrool demonstrated great muscularity, excellent length and width across his top line, and an exceptional set of balanced BreedPlan figures topping at +121kg for 600-day weight.
The bull attracted several strong bidders, but it was Robert Love, ‘Jumbuck Pastoral’, Violet Town, who won the day with his $35,000 bid.
Mr Love inspected the bulls the week before the sale with Elders Euroa agent Joe Kelly, and then bid via phone with Elders Mortlake’s Matt Jones.
This is the third top-priced bull Mr Love has purchased from the stud for his highly respected commercial herd, having topped the heifer section of the recent January Euroa weaner sale.
Duncan Newcomen, ‘Webb Pastoral’, Glenburn, was the underbidder, who was buoyed by the success of his recent Yea weaner sale result where they topped both the heifer and steer sections.
While missing the top lot, Mr Newcomen went on to purchase two top bulls at $16,000 and $13,000.
Brad Saunders, Pheasant Creek Brangus, Wowan, Queensland, was another underbidder, but ultimately went home empty handed and will now be looking at semen options.
Mr Saunders was one of two registered bidders from Queensland; the second being Wes and Vicki Radke, Mundubbera.
The Radke family were more successful, purchasing Banquet Marine M189 for $9000.
Having purchased three years ago for the first time and very happy with the results, they were after a top Banquet Zappa Z236 son.
New South Wales provided three buyers who collectively purchased four bulls, all over $10,000 and including the second and third top prices.
David and Gail Geddes, ‘Warranboo Partnership’, Holbrook, NSW, are Banquet regulars, and this year were seeking a top youngster suitable as a heifer bull, but one that could go on and give good service with their mature cow herd in following years.
They found what they were looking for in Banquet Machine M179, by B. Everard E019, for $20,000.
Frank Sorraghan, Wagga Wagga, NSW, was a strong bidder, and saw off all other bidders on Banquet Madras M141, for $19,000.
‘LH & JA Brien’, Cowra, NSW, rounded out the successful NSW bidding when they purchased Banquet Manly M291 for $11,000.
Other than the James family, five other buyers purchased three bulls each to share the volume buying honours.
‘Dunkeld Pastoral Co’, Dunkeld, was the strongest, paying to $12,000, av $10,000.
Jim Shaw, ‘Winniburn Partnership’, Coleraine, was not far behind, going to $11,000, av $9333.
Alan and Maria Hickey, Derrinallum, paid to $9000 twice, av $8667, while ‘Braveheart Pastoral’, Gapsted, averaged $7000 for three bulls.
Rounding out the highest volume purchasers was ‘P,GM&AR Bourne’, Naracoorte, SA, top $10,000, av $7333.
‘PJ&TM Woodman’, Bordertown, SA, purchased two bulls at $6000 and $5000.
Barry and Damien Pitt, Coonawarra, SA, purchased Banquet Miller M199, another bull Banquet are retaining semen in, bidding to $15,000.
By location, the strongest buying support came from Victorian producers, with 46 purchasing 69 bulls, or 84 per cent of the bulls sold.
Norma Belcher, Woodside, paid $15,000 for B. Marcus M038, an AI son of the $150,000 Millah Murrah Kingdom K35.
Landmark auctioneer Kevin Norris described the lineup as “an outstanding draft with exceptional phenotype, bone, length, fleshing, silky smooth skins and great temperament, everything we have come to expect from this program”.
Banquet stud co-principal Stephen Branson said the top end sold exceptionally well, and that there was good return of repeat buyers.
“Return clients are the centrepiece of our business and the buying strength of the clients who bred the heifers offered pre-sale in particular was exceptionally strong,” Mr Branson said.
“As a vendor, it was very encouraging that such discerning buyers were prepared to buy the best genetics they could to continue to improve their herds.”
The 150 heifers sold pre-sale met very solid demand, but not to the same premium levels of last year.
They all sold to a $2275 top, and averaged $2120.
These heifers were purchased from the summer weaner sales by the Pattersons from Banquet clients, grown out, mated and PTIC to Banquet Lascelles L022.
The breeders of this year’s draft were Correlup, Glenferrie, Nangana, Webb Pastoral, Wimmera Downs, Winniburn and Woodlands.
‘F&F Rizzo’ blew most of the competition away, purchasing the first seven pens comprising 120 heifers, paying to the $2275 top, av $2144.
The top pen of 10 heifers had an average curfewed weight of 583kg.
They recently purchased a new property at Kilmore where they will run a black cattle breeding program.
The other 30 heifers were purchased by G Danks, Vesper, who paid to $2225, av $2025.
Other prominent bull buyers included: ‘PR&MA Gristede’, Peterborough (two at $13,000 and $11,000), Chartwell Farms, Romsey (two at $12,000 and $11,000), ‘CW&G White’, Fish Creek (two at $11,000 and $9000), ‘Glenwood Pastoral Trust’, Hawkesdale (two at $11,000 and $7000), Craig Wallis, Hamilton (two at $10,000 and $9000), ‘M&T Parker’, Langkoop (two at $10,000 and $7000), ‘Lane Bros’, Koroit, and ‘PK&SL Kerr’, Heywood (two each, both at $10,000 and $5000), and ‘Able Pastoral’, Ercildoune, and Phil Canavan, Myamyn (both one each at $11,000).