Challenges don't dampen stud sale success

Seedstock sales find success despite challenges

SALES: On-property sales went ahead in 2020 largely with reduced numbers and mask wearing required.

SALES: On-property sales went ahead in 2020 largely with reduced numbers and mask wearing required.


The season trumped coronavirus constraints for stud sales across the south east.


The seedstock industry logged a solid, if not robust, selling season right across 2020 and showed little, if any, impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 was essentially trumped by a magnificent season across most areas, starting with a good autumn break.

That linked with a growing demand for red meat and a degree of herd rebuilding saw both bull and ram sales prosper.

Nutrien stud stock agent Andrew Sloan said the Merino on-property sales had been exceptional despite early concerns.

Victorian Stud Merino Sheep Breeders Association president Peter Rogers said averages and clearances at many on-property sales were well above the 2019 results and in a number of cases were records.

"Clearance rates were good and there was some confidence from commercial producers," Mr Rogers said.

He said digital platforms had helped conduct sales and the completely online Bendigo ram sale went "pretty well".

Wool cuts were up which offset, to an extent, the lower wool prices.

There was a resurgence in price for Border Leicester rams with sale averages sky rocketing and averages also considerably higher than recent years.

Shortwool rams also took a leap forward as many Merino producers kept aged ewes another season, or increased the proportion of their flocks to meat breeds.

White Suffolk Elite Show and Sale president Shane Baker said everyone's averages and volumes were up, reflecting the confidence of the industry.

Mr Baker said lamb prices had settled at a sustainable level which suited all sectors.

And Elders stud stock auctioneer Ross Milne said bull sales were also strong, thanks to the autumn break and strong saleyard prices.

Herefords Australia deputy chairman Marc Greening said it had been challenging for stud breeders to get around and service their clients with the restrictions.

"But the season and the cattle market outstripped other concerns, and most breeders would take this year over the previous few years," Mr Greening said.

He said some autumn bull sales missed the jump in the market, but the results were still "relatively strong across the board".

"The spring sales certainly got the the benefit of it and hopefully that rolls into the autumn sales of 2021," he said.

He said the Wodonga National was held completely online and had been embraced by breeders and clients and was an "overwhelming success".

Angus Australia board member and commercial breeder Brad Gilmour said 2020 had been a really good year for stud and commercial breeders.

"Given the previous season in northern areas, we didn't expect the demand for bulls would be as strong as it was and we were pleasantly surprised," Mr Gilmour said.

He said the Angus breed now had a lot of credible data for stud and commercial breeders to help make selection decisions to improve their herd.


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