*31 of 31 bulls sold to $41,000, av $15,354
A buoyant beef market and confidence among cattle producers resulted in a record top of $41,000 and average of $15,354 at the Banquet spring bull sale today.
The Mortlake-based Branson family were overwhelmed with the result and the support the sale received with 31 of 31 bulls sold.
The sale was held at the Western Victorian Livestock Exchange at Mortlake.
This year's result compared with 2019 when 42 bulls sold to $16,500 and averaged $6904.
Stephen Branson said it was an "enormous" result.
"Before the sale we knew the industry was good, now we've seen how good it is," he said.
"It was really exciting to see new people turning up and trying to understand what we do at Banquet - but the strength of the sale came from our repeat clients.
Two of the top price buyers had not seen the bulls and the losing bidder to the top priced bull had not seen the bull.
"It was all on trusting our recommendation and advice and that a huge thing personally.
"Our clientele is a pretty tight knit group and we have a two-way relationship - they support us strongly and we do everything we can to help them.
"The bulls were better. We continue to cull hard in the herd so there is not a spread. These bulls were from the top cows in our herd so we had more to pick from quality wise," he said.
Mr Branson said one bull client that bought today had just sold steer calves for $1800 plus and heifers at $1570 - "he is getting rewarded for what he does and it flows back".
The top priced lot was lot nine, Banquet Paddick P330, one of two sons of Metamorphic M51 retained for this sale. The bull was bought by phone bid via Bruce Redpath for Adrian Abrahams, Kilcunda, with the losing bidder being an AuctionsPlus bid.
The 24-month-old bull weighed 920 kilograms with a scrotal circumference of 45 centimetres and estimated breeding values of plus 59kg for 200-day weight, +109kg for 400-day and +140kg for 600-day.
The same buyer later paid $18,000 for lot 29 a June-2109 drop bull, Banquet Qilian Q199. The 14-month-old bull was by Napier N063 and the youngest bull offered on the day.
The second Metamorphic son was lot 10 which sold for $25,000. Banquet Pittsworth a 24-month-old bull with a +5.2kg birthweight, +20 for milk, +56kg for 200-day, +86kg for 400-day and +130kg for 600-day weight. The buyer was S McLeod, Condah.
The McLeods also bought lot six for $20,000. The bull was Banquet Pickup, sired by Marsala M188 with an EBV of +51kg 200-day, +94kg 400-day and +123kg for 600-day weights.
Second top priced was one of two bulls bought on the phone by Cleveland Pastoral Co, Ouse, Tasmania. The bull was lot seven, Banquet Plozza P358 that made $32,000. The bull was the first son of Leigh L010 to be offered on the day and the heaviest bull in the catalogue at 985kg. It had figures of +6.2 BW, +51kg 200-day, +93kg 400-day and +126kg for 600-day weight.
The Tasmanian-based buyer earlier bought lot five, Banquet Packing P597 for $21,000. The son of Banquet Marsala M188 - one of two by Marsala and identified by the Bransons as the pick of the pair. Packing had figures of 45cm scrotal circumference, +7.3 BW, +15 milk, +49kg 200-day, +90kg 400-day and +119kg 600-day weights.
Strong buying support from regular buyer Jamecca Plains Pastoral, Caramut, saw them purchase three bulls for an average of $12,333. The top bull was lot eight, Banquet Ponting P297 by Leigh L010. The bull had figures of +5.5kg BW, +47kg 200-day, +85kg 400-day and +115kg for 600-day weight.
Lot 18, Banquet Quad Q006, a son of Wattletop Franklin G188, sold for $20,000 to repeat buyers PR & MA Gristede, Peterborough. The bull was a March 2019-drop sire and the only Wattletop bull offered in the sale. It had figures of +4.2kg BW, +15 milk and +54kg 200-day, +95kg 400-day and +124kg for 600-day weights.
The sale was conducted by Nutrien Ag and Elders.