*31 of 35 bulls sold to $18,000, av $8645
*9 of 15 cows sold to $16,000, av $6500
A LARGE gallery of buyers converged on Merridale Angus stud’s Tennyson property on Friday, to bid on an even lineup of bulls, cows, and cows and calves.
The stud offered 35 bulls, and sold 31, to a top price of $18,000, and an average price of $8645, which is up $366 on last year’s average.
It also offered 15 cows, some with calves at foot, and sold nine, to a top price of $16,000, av $6500.
The top-priced bull was Lot 5, Merridale Mitchell M133, an April 2016-drop bull, with BreedPlan figures of +6.2 kilograms birth weight, +56kg 200-day weight, +103kg 400-day weight, +137kg 600-day weight, and eye muscle area (EMA) of +2.2 square centimetres.
It was purchased by Landmark’s Ray Atwell, on behalf of first-time and interstate buyers Stephen Hayward and Kellie Smith, K5X Angus stud, Allora, Queensland.
Mr Hayward and Ms Smith had seen photos and videos of the bull online, and were drawn in by its visual appeal.
“We were really impressed by his structural correctness when we first saw the photos and videos online, and also by the way he moved,” Mr Hayward said.
“This is the first time we’ve bought from the stud, but I’ve seen [stud principal Peter Collins] judge in beef competitions over the years, and have been really impressed by the cattle that he picks.”
K5X stud currently runs about 130 Angus cows, and the bull will be joined to cows, and potentially heifers, in October.
“We’ve used a bull that’s bred a lot of big cows, and we want to bring them back a bit, so we’re hoping this bull will be able to do that, as well as add some structural soundness to the herd,” he said.
The top-priced cow was purchased by last year’s equal top-priced bull buyer, SBC Farms manager Kyle Landy, Mickleham, who also bought the second top-priced female, and one bull at $12,000.
The cow is the full embryo transfer sister of the top-priced bull that SBC Farms purchased last year, whose genetics have so far been doing well in the herd.
“She is probably the best female that’s ever been offered by Merridale,” Mr Landy said, which was the same thing said by Elders auctioneer Ross Milne during the auction.
“She’s just really feminine, got good shape, structure, and balanced numbers.”
SBC Farms has only been established for 18 months, and Mr Landy said these two Merridale cows will be a part of the foundation cow herd.
“We’ve bought cows in numbers already, but now we wanted to buy for quality,” he said.
“It’s important to invest in quality; if you get your females right, the rest will follow.”
Merridale stud principal Peter Collins said he was “very happy, and relieved” by the result of the sale, which was credit to the hard work of his family.
“We’re only a small stud, so we don’t offer big numbers, but we’d prefer to offer quality than numbers,” Mr Collins said.
“We want to make every bull a winner.”
He said he was not surprised that Lot 5 was a standout to the buying gallery.
“He was our picture bull, and it was great to send him to an interstate stud,” he said.
“Two years ago we sent four bulls to another stud in Queensland, and they did well there, so our bulls must do well in that sort of country.”