Carcase quality ticks the boxes for buyers as prices hit $46,000 at Hereford National

Published by Herefords Australia – link to article

A young sire who impressed an international judge to win grand champion bull also captured the interest of buyers who bid to a top of $46,000 at the 2024 Herefords Australia National Sale. 

Held at the Wodonga Exhibition Centre on May 16, the National sale drew 126 registered buyers from NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania competing on the junior, intermediate and senior horned and polled bulls from 45 vendors.

Mawarra Whiteout T290 (S) had been judged by American Hereford Association chief operating officer Shane Bedwell as the grand champion bull a day earlier at the Herefords Australia National Show, and was snapped up by Antony Baillieu, Yarram Park Herefords, Willaura, Vic, for $46,000.

A total of 91 bulls sold under the hammer from the 121 offered for a 75 per cent clearance, average of $11,406 and gross of $1,038,000.

In the sale break down, 62 junior bulls topped at $46,0000, averaged $12,193 and grossed $756,000 whilst 29 senior bulls topped at $26,000, averaged $9724 for a gross of $282,000.

Offered by Peter and Deanne Sykes, Mawarra Genetics, Longford, Vic, the 21-month-old Mawarra Whiteout T290 weighed 924kg and scanned with an eye muscle area of 136cm. On BREEDPLAN, the bull ranked top 9 per cent for carcase weight at +71kg, top 2 per cent for milk, and top 15 per cent for 400- and 600-day weight.

Yarram Park went on to invest in a bull battery, selecting the senior champion bull Mawarra Western Star T060 (AI) (PP), sired by Mawarra Star Attraction P033, for $26,000 from the Sykes family. Yarram Park also outlaid $24,000 for Ardno Urban U223 (AI) (ET) (PP), a son of Herefords Australia Super Sire Injemira Robert Redford Q287, from first time vendors Kent and Harry Comley, Ardno Herefords, Mount Gambier.

Mawarra Wild Bill T707 (AI) (ET) (PP), also from the Mawarra stable, sold to Yarram Park for $16,000.

Yarram Park Herefords manager Craig Brewin said the new sires represented an injection of power into the stud cow herd.

“At the end of the day, we bought the best bulls here to show our commitment to the way forward. They were good value and we took the opportunity to buy a couple of extra bulls than what we wanted to, but we were happy with what we got,” Mr Brewin said.

He said BREEDPLAN figures were considered for the end progeny’s programs of grass finishing and feedlot entry weights with large eye muscle areas and high MSA (Meat Standards Australia) grading.

The second top price of $34,000 was paid by Mark and Wendy Campion, Amos Vale Herefords, Pinkett, NSW, for Mawarra Lamborghini T329 (AI) (H), a 21 -month-old son of Mawarra If Only Q264 weighing 918kg, ranking top 9 per cent for intramuscular fat and sold by the Sykes family.

Mr Campion liked the bull’s sire appeal, softness, length, depth, muscle and mobility.

He will join the new sire with selected mature cows and heifers.

“The good bulls sold well today, and people are selective which is reflective of the cattle market and season,” Mr Campion said.

He said demand for Hereford genetics in the New England had been maintained and expected it to continue to improve following good general rainfall.

Bernard Hore, Rotherfield Herefords, Bowna, paid $32,000 for Mawarra Walkabout T434 (PP), a 21-month-old son of Mawarrra Showtime P277 and weighing 840kg with a raw eye muscle scan of 127sqcm.

Ben and Kaitlyn Davies, Wild Bear Herefords, Meadows, SA, sold Wild Bear Trademark T019 (H) for $24,000 to commercial Hereford producers Russell and Colleen Foster, Omeo, Vic.

Also paying $24,000 was David and Olwyn Lyons, Melville Park Herefords, Vasey, Vic, for the intermediate reserve champion bull Granite Hill Toro T010 (ET) (PP), an 914kg son of Injemira Robert Redford Q287, from vendors Danny and Debbie Hill, Granite Hill Herefords, Bungendore, NSW.

Mr Lyons was impressed with Toro’s soft skin, muscle, thickness, and carcase data.

Incoming Herefords Australia chairman Marc Greening, Injemira Beef Genetics, Book Book, NSW, outlaid $22,000 for Tarcombe Validated T227 (PP) from vendor, Tim Hayes, Tarcombe Herefords, Ruffy, Vic.

Also outlaying $22,000 for a new sire was Homeleigh Herefords, Firefly, NSW, for Kirraweena Tariq (H) from Geoff and Heather Bush, Kirraweena/Glenholme Herefords, Cootamundra, NSW.

The Bush family also sold Glenholm True Blue (H) for $20,000 to Ross, Mandy, Blake and Carly Smith, Glenellerslie Herefords, Adelong, NSW.

Ross Smith had judged True Blue as champion All Breeds bull at the Harden Show and committed to buying the bull for heifer joinings.

Impressed with a raw eye muscle scan of 137sqcm, Jeff and Robyn Holcombe, Rayleigh Poll Herefords, Narrabri, bought Mawarrra B Trifecta (AI) (ET) (PP) for $20,000 from Brandon and Brittany Sykes, Mawarra B Herefords, Howlong, NSW.

“He had the one of the highest eye muscle areas in the junior bulls, and is top 3 per cent for IMF (intramuscular fat), has the length, and terrific muscle pattern,” Mr Holcombe said.

“We have to give confidence to our clients we are continuing to introduce new genetics to our program,” Mrs Holcombe added.

Mawarra Genetics averaged $21,820 for their team of 11 bulls and co-principal Deanne Sykes said it was rewarding to have the buyer support.

“Most of those purchasers were repeat buyers which is a great testament to our genetic program,” she said.

“The leadership group at the top of Herefords Australia is strong and there are some exciting plans coming in the strategies they have put in place. It is great to have the collaboration and forward-thinking to inspire people as at the end of the day we are all running businesses and have to be profitable with a sustainable production system.

“Hereford cattle are known for their sustainability and there is more research happening around that – that is the key especially in our grass-fed markets.”

Phil “Bluey” Commins, Nunniong Herefords, Ensay, Vic, paid $20,000 for Ke Warra Camelot T136 (PP), a son of Wirruna Nolan N146 and offered by Jan Coghill, Ke Warra Herefords, Mornington, Vic.

Llandillo Poll Herefords, The Lagoon, NSW, partnered with Tim and Jemma Reid, JTR Cattle Co, Roslyn, NSW, to select Talumbi Thumper T016 (AI) (ET) (PP), for $20,000 from Caleb Croker, Talumbi Herefords, Yarra, NSW.

Commercial producer Lesley Taylor, Moonan Flat, NSW, bought Glenholme Terry (AI) (H) for $20,000 from the Bush family.

Nutrien South East Stud Stock Manager Peter Godbolt said the sale equated to value buying in the $6000-$8000 price range for commercial producers whilst seedstock operators were spending $15,000-$46,000.

“The commercial producers did pick up some very good bulls cheaply, but they were also willing to take on the studs and bid up to $22,000 in chasing quality,” Mr Godbolt said.

“They were wanting bulls with good carcase data and moderate birth weight.

“Northern NSW has had good rain and there were a lot of bulls heading that way, but it was good to see a lot of locals buying bulls – they mightn’t have had as much punch in their pocket as in the past yet they were still willing to buy at the right price.”

Herefords Australia National Show and Sale Committee chairman Alvio Trovatello said the sale result was a good outcome in light of the subdued cattle market and dry seasonal conditions in southern Australia.

“Buyers were chasing cattle with carcase and weight for age while maintaining carcase quality,” Mr Trovatello said.

He said holding the Herefords Australia Breed Forum in conjunction with the National would be considered again to encourage more commercial producers to attend the event.

Mr Trovatello said the Wodonga National had long enjoyed a social and networking aspect for stud and commercial producers, and it was important for it to be maintained.

“Our new sale coordinator Charlotte Nugent hit the ground running and it is great to see young people stepping up and taking things on. We had five new vendors this year and we want to see more of that whilst keeping the quality of the bulls in mind.”

The sale was interfaced with AuctionsPlus whilst duty agents were Elders and Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Mawarra Western Star T060 (AI) (PP) sells under the hammer for $26,000