VALUES reached $7750 for a Murray Grey bull at the Monterey Winter Bull Sale at Brunswick last week.
The sale generally followed the trend set last year with the Angus the preferred breed among the buying fraternity, but only marginally, with the Murray Greys making up some lost ground on their black counterparts.
Overall, buyers cleared 45 of 57 Angus and Murray Grey bulls offered under the combined Elders and Landmark hammers to average $4011.
With the Angus average steadying and the Murray Greys bolstering theirs, the combined average was slightly up by $17 on last year's result.
Of the 29 Angus bulls 24 were cleared at auction to average $4083, back by $439 on 2011 while 21 of 28 Murray Greys bulls improved averages by $512 to $3929.
Clearance was probably the most disappointing aspect of the sale with 79 per cent of the total catalogue cleared compared to the 86pc clearance rate achieved last year.
However this improved dramatically following successful negotiations on the overlooked lots after the sale.
The catalogue of bulls presented by the Buller family and the Monterey team again represented the quality and genetic strength consistent with the Monterey brand and beef producers from various farming system backgrounds understandably enjoyed selecting sires from the line-up.
The Monterey stud, with such a large breeding herd, calve over a longer period of time and the bulls offered at the winter sale are selected from the draft that were too young to offer at the stud's highly successful summer sale.
Knowing this, producers were encouraged to purchase with confidence.
Leading the bidding charge was consistent buyer of top quality bulls JM & H Della Gola, Northcliffe, paying the sale's $7750 top price for the Murray Grey bull Monterey Feel Good F21.
The 782kg Feel Good was a March-2010-drop son of homebred parents Bombadier B5 and Rowan A174 and is a junior trait leader.
The well-structured bull returned April 27 scan results of 5.6 frame score (FS), 43cm scrotal circumference (SC) and 110cm2 EMA while its EBVs ranked in the top 1pc for carcase weight and retail beef yield (RBY) and top 5pc for 400 and 600-day weight and mature cow weight.
The Della Golas also purchased another Murray Grey and Angus bull.
Buyer Matt Della Gola said after they managed to secure the first two bulls cheaper than expected, they could afford to bid up on Feel Good.
"But he was the best bull on the day in our opinion," Matt said.
"The bull showed the suitable characteristics for our commercial self-replacing herd.
"He will be used over purebred commercial Murray Grey cows and may find himself with some stud duties in our feedlot manager Cameron Harris's Nangara Murray Grey stud."
Topping the Angus section of the sale was Gidgegannup grazier Bruce Exell, Alrambra Pty Ltd, when he bid to $6250 for Monterey Forerunner F80.
The big framed Forerunner was a May-2010-drop calf to Raff Wizard and Monterey Vanilla who displayed April 27 raw data of 884kg, 7 FS, 43cm SC, 124cm2 EMA and 3.5pc IMF.
Bruce said he had been buying Angus bulls from Monterey intermittently for about 10 years and needed a replacement bull after one of his herd bulls recently broke down.
He said Forerunner's size, frame score and growth for age combined with a quiet temperament appealed to him.
Bruce said the operation was trying to rebuild numbers after the dry seasons a couple of years ago forced them to cut back breeding female numbers by a third.
The operation begins to calve on April 1 and now targets the majority of its calves to the feeder market at Muchea in November-December.
Among the top end of the Angus market were JA & R Brooks, Witchcliffe, who bid to $6000 for a 904kg son of Monterey Colossus with scan data of 7 FS, 48cm2 SC, 119cm2 EMA and 5.3pc IMF.
TWT Dickson, Nannup, paid the same price tag for an 860kg son of Monterey Badgingarra that scanned 860kg, 6.4FS, 40cm2 SC, 118cm2 EMA and 5.6pc IMF while Torbay beef producer SJ & BN Kuenen paid $5750 for another Badgingarra son.
Volume Angus buyer status was shared by Elders Geraldton representatibe Gary Preston and an Elders Bunbury account finishing the sale with team of three bulls and paying tops of $4250 and $4500 respectively.
Red Lancer Pty Ltd, Pinjarra, Landmark Margaret River agent Jock Embry representing JE, EC & BE Franklin, Margaret River and DM & FL White, Esperance, collected two Angus bulls each.
In the Murray Grey catalogue long time Monterey supporters Max and Neville Foster, FJ & M Foster, Cowaramup, paid the sale's equal $6750 second top price for the 890kg Monterey Forerunner, an April-2012-drop son of Monterey Steamroller that recorded EBVs in the top 5pc for all growth traits, mature cow weight and carcase weight and top 10pc for all index values.
Ocnay Grazing, Narrikup, paid the other $6750 price tag for the 816kg black coated Murray Grey bull Monterey Fernando.
The sleek junior trait leader was by Monterey Saratoga and displayed EBVs in the in the 5pc for all growth traits, carcase weight and RBY.
Murray Grey values from here remained relatively consistent from $3000-$4000.
Paying the latter for their selections included Jomal Glen Murray Grey stud, Manypeaks, for one of two bulls and Landmark Capel agent Chris Waddingham representing C Pasini & Co, Kojonup and R & L McDonald, Karridale, paying the $4000 price tag for single purchases.
The other multiple Murray Grey bull buyer with two bulls to their account was Elders Capel representative Robert Gibbings representing MW Tucker, Tutunup.
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