Marbling, positive fat and eye muscle were the traits in demand from commercial beef producers at the Reiland Angus 2023 spring bull sale on September 1 with prices topping at $36,000.
A total of 71 bulls sold from the 75 offered for a 94 per cent clearance and average of $10,752.
Interfaced with AuctionsPlus, the sale was hosted by the Lucas family at Killimicat Station, Tumut, NSW and drew buyers from NSW and Victoria, including three new clients.
Long-time clients, Graham and Judy Houston, Houston Pastoral, Burrowye, Vic, secured the top price bull, Lot 52 Reiland Titantic T161, an 18-month-old son of Reiland Kiwi K201 weighing 604kg.
Titanic ranked top one per cent on BREEDPLAN for intramuscular fat (IMF) at +6.0 per cent, and top 2 per cent for calving ease, while Reiland Angus retained 50 per cent semen and marketing rights.
Houston Pastoral invested in a further six bulls including the $23,000 Reiland Tarik T240, a yearling by Campaspe Rocks Beast Mode Q10 and with Reiland retaining 50 per cent semen and marketing rights.
Mr Houston described Titanic as a "seriously high marbling bull".
"It is hard to buy marbling with carcase yield and weight," he said.
The family has expanded their enterprise with the purchase of a property at Henty for backgrounding 700 weaner steers on grazing crops to feedlot entry weights.
"The plan is to finish the weaners by Christmas, as well as growing wheat, silage and lucerne," Mr Houston said.
Repeat client Proudford Agricultural Company, Narrawa, NSW, outlaid the second top price of $26,000 for Reiland Tyson T901, a yearling son of Baldridge Beast Mode B074 ranking top 2 per cent for 400-day weight and top 3 per cent for 600-day growth at +155kg. Reiland Angus retained a 50 per cent semen and marketing rights. The Proudford family purchased a further two bulls to a top of $10,000.
Dick and Jenny Turnbull, Holbrook, secured four bulls to a top of $16,000 for Reiland Sustain S1275, a two-year-old son of Reiland Plymouth P60 and weighing 900kg.
Mr Turnbull was impressed by the bull's length and BREEDPLAN estimated breeding values, including top 30 per cent for 600-day growth.
The couple has dispersed their sheep flock and are focusing on their 750-cow herd.
"The Reiland bulls have performed for us in the past, so we keep coming back," he said.
The couple plans to sell their lighter steers and 100 cast-for-age cows in January.
"It was a good sale today - there is still confidence in the industry and bull prices don't seem to have dipped as much as the cattle market," Mr Turnbull said.
Michael and Fiona Wolfgarten, Yabtree Pastoral Company, Mundarlo, outlaid $14,000 for Reiland Sultan S9476, a two-year-old weighing 882kg and ranking top 1 per cent for eye muscle area at +14.7sqcm. Reiland retained the option of collecting semen in the bull.
Mr Wolfgarten was selecting bulls for low birthweight, calving ease, eye muscle area (EMA) and intramuscular fat for his 160-cow herd.
He had sold 260kg Reiland blood weaner heifers in the Reiland female genetics sale for 799.5c/kg in 2022. He is finishing weaners and 500kg steers and plans to sell them to maintain pasture for fodder conservation.
Another repeat client Dougal Kelly, Wallah Pastoral, Rugby, NSW, took home a truck load of eight bulls to a top of $18,000 for Reiland Tate T232.
"The sale was a bit stronger than I thought but the southern areas are having a good season," Mr Kelly said.
He selected bulls on 600-day weights, IMF and a balanced phenotype for his 1500-cow herd.
"We have a set program with grazing crops to finish steers at 480kg for feedlots and the season and cattle market doesn't really dictate any changes to that program," he said.
South Tahara Park, Wagga Wagga, paid $10,400 for the opening lot, Reiland Spencer S1283, with 50 per cent of the purchase price donated by the Lucas family, Reiland Angus, to the young family of an Adelong man tragically killed in an accident near Tarcutta.
George Hassett, of Adelong, was a passenger in a ute which collided with a semi-trailer on the Hume Highway near Keajura Road on August 11.
Reiland co-principal Mark Lucas said he was thrilled with the sale result.
Mr Lucas said Reiland had a clear vision on focusing on feed efficiency and on-farm profitability by selecting sires with proven superior weight gain relative to daily feed intake.
Elders stud stock specialist Ryan Bajada, Wagga Wagga, said the sale drew predominantly commercial support, reflecting the performance of the Reiland bulls in the marketplace.
"It was evident the commercial buyers were chasing moderate birth, high growth and carcase data, which is in the forefront of mind for commercial and stud stock operations," Mr Bajada said.
"Commercial herds are seeing the benefits of using high IMF, positive fat and peak EMA bulls when it comes to processing down the supply chain. At the end of the day, it's about kilos and a quality product."
Among the volume buyers was W and D Luff, Coolac, taking home four bulls to a top of $8000, Wokolena Pastoral Company, Wagga Wagga, with four bulls to $9000, Mt Hugel Pty Ltd, Grahamstown, three bulls to $11,000, the Hughes family, Goulburn, three bulls to $15,000, and Peaty Pastoral, Breadalbane, with two bulls to $10,000.
Selling agents were Nutrien Ag Solutions, Ray White GTSM and Elders with Brian Leslie, DLS Shepparton, as the guest auctioneer.
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