*17 of 19 bulls sold to $10,000 (thrice), av $7411
After years of devastating drought and being surrounded by bushfires this year, Kunuma Angus was rewarded with a strong clearance rate and healthy average at its Gippsland bull sale on Thursday.
The Cooma, NSW, stud offered 19 bulls at the Gippsland Regional Livestock Exchange and sold 17 of its bulls at auction with two bulls passed in sold moments after the final hammer.
Three Gippsland breeders bought the top-priced bulls, all of which sold to $10,000, while an average of $7411 was recorded, $2000 above the 2019 equivalent.
Kunuma Angus stud principal Dean Lynch said most of the bulls were bought by return clients who had bought bulls from the stud's Gippsland sale for more than 20 years.
"This year the bulls experienced extreme conditions and we've had some snow which is fantastic but it makes it hard for bulls to perform," Mr Lynch, who was unable to attend the sale due to border restrictions, said.
"Only the good bulls thrive in those sorts of conditions and frequent snowfalls and that's why we think people buy our bulls."
Mr Lynch said his bulls performed well on the softer country, particularly in Gippsland, where they would normally "jump out of their skin".
"We're fifth generation farmers and my 95-year-old dad who is on the farm with us has never seen as tougher conditions with drought, bushfires and a lack of ground water which is very unusual in the High Country so the bulls have done it tough," he said.
Mr Lynch said the stud focused on carcase traits such as rib and intramuscular fats to help the animal maintain its condition while allowing cows to get in calf easier.
The first $10,000 bull, lot six Kunuma P37, was bought by long-term return top-priced client Robyn Kuch, Perry Bridge. The bull was sired by Rennylea L454.
The two-year-old bull had estimated breeding values of plus 49 kilograms for 200-day weight, +84kg for 400-day and +110kg for 600-day.
"The eye muscle and the intramuscular fat along with his 600-day weight are what we liked," Ms Kuch said.
"His eye muscle was very good at 8.5 centimetres and a low birth weight is also very important to me because I don't want to be pulling too many calves."
It was the 15th bull Ms Kuch, who calves down in April and August, has bought from the stud.
The bull will be joined to to about 30 heifers and cows in late October.
"I don't like tall leggy cattle so I hope he will bring good-sized cattle with plenty of meat on the hindquarters," she said.
"I sell me steers to grass fatteners so they want something that has a bit of meat and plenty of weight."
The second top-priced bull, lot seven Kunuma P1222, was bought by Damian Lee, trading as BM & DE Lee, Bushy Park.
The two-year-old bull had estimated breeding values of plus 57 kilograms for 200-day weight, +97kg for 400-day and +128kg for 600-day.
Mr Lee said he particularly liked the height and the frame of the bull.
"I'm a store breeder so I look for a bull with a bit of leg," Mr Lee said.
"He was about the only bull there that had a US sire over him, USA Complement 8088, so the attraction to this bull was a different bloodline because I've been buying these bulls for years now."
Mr Lee said the bull would be joined immediately to his yearling heifers with the aim to improve the herd.
"We sold 38 steers during the store sale earlier in the day to an average of $1621 so it gives you a bit of confidence putting money back into a bull like this," Mr Lee said.
"For the Lynch family who have done it tough up on the Monaro, it's great to see them have such a great result."
The third top-priced bull, lot eight Kunuma P118, was bought by SEJ Leongatha agent Brian Kyle on behalf of Stan Rielly, Lorstan Nominees, Bengworden, who also bought lot two for $6500.
The bull was sired by Rennylea L452.
Phil Weston, Elm Valley, was another volume buyer, through Nutrien Leongatha agent Stewart Jenkins, who bought lot three and 12 for $7000, respectively.
Nutrien Greenwood agent Ian Baker, who represented the stud at the sale, said it was an excellent result.
"You see a lot of the Kunuma bloodlines through the Sale and Bairnsdale markets and now that's starting to flow through in South Gippsland at Koonwarra," Mr Baker said.
"This was the best result we've ever had here in Gippsland and the result shows people are returning each year because of the trusted genetics Kunuma offer."
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