$10,000 Monterey cow and calf unit

February 5, 201410000 Monterey Cow-Calf unit

By Jodie Rintoul
Courtesy Farm Weekly

NOBODY could deny the standing of the Monterey Murray Grey herd as one of the best in Australia last week, when breeders from throughout Australia operated on the stud’s mature female dispersal sale.

With strong competition throughout the sale – held on-property at Karridale – from stud and commercial buyers, prices hit a high of $7500 for a joined cow, while mated cow and calf units sold to a high of $5500.

Another pleasing aspect in terms of prices was the results of a selection of cows and calves which were sold as separate lots.

One unit sold to a combined $10,000, with the majority of the others selling between $4500 and $9250.

Along with the mature females which were offered, the stud also offered a number of 2013-drop bull and heifer calves (unweaned) with these topping at $3000 and $4000 respectively.

Also on offer in the sale were a number of purebred commercial 2012-drop PTIC heifers and these sold to a top of $1600.

By the time the final lot went under the hammer, 65 of the 89 stud females offered had sold for an average of $2954, while the eight stud bulls calves sold, averaged $1750.

Elders auctioneer Alec Williams and Landmark auctioneer John Wirth agreed the females were in demand and sold well to ensure a top result overall.

Mr Williams said the sale was keenly supported by discerning buyers wanting to expand existing or add new genetics into their cattle operations.

“It was a quality line-up of females and yearling bulls and it was supported by local clients, as well as increased competition from Eastern State enterprises,” Mr Williams said.

“The females with sought-after genetics sold very well to a high of $7500 with all other categories being well supported.”

Mr Wirth said there was good local buying support in addition to strong demand from the Eastern States and this resulted in strong competition across all lots.

“The top end of the cows sold extremely well, while the rest were still solid, which was an outstanding result for the stud,” Mr Wirth said.

“What a way to reduce a stud by selling a cow and calf for a combined $10,000.

“The cows presented exceptionally well and this was a credit to the Bullers.”

For Monterey stud principals Gary and Julie Buller it was a day of mixed emotions having to part with these proven matrons of a stud that was established nearly 40 years ago.

But the sale was a necessity as they will lose 325 hectares of lease land at the start of March.

Mr Buller said after some consideration they decided to disperse the mature females like they did with the Angus herd, rather than select females to offer.

“It was certainly a decision made with some reluctance as these breeders have been extremely good to us and have consistently produced high quality progeny with great longevity, fertility and soundness,” Mr Buller said.

“Overall we were very pleased with the result considering the season in the Eastern States.

“We had quite a bit of contact from Eastern States breeders who said they wanted to operate but just couldn’t due to the season, so to get the support we did was very satisfying.

“Also the strength of the cattle market also helped in terms of local inquiry.

“It showed there is renewed optimism in where the market is heading.

“We are also very thankful for the support our staff have given us, as they have gone above and beyond the call to make these dispersal sales happen.”

With such an outstanding line-up of proven matrons from the stud on offer, representing some of the best bloodlines in the breed, there was always going to be some highly sought-after females, inclduing the 2005-drop Monterey Lolita A250.

As soon as the sensational female entered the ring, it created a bidding frenzy.

It was described in the catalogue as structurally as near perfect as they come.

But in the end it was Elders Manjimup representative Cameron Harris, who held the winning bidder card in the air at $7500, after receiving instructions over the phone from Monterey clients of 10 years, Dean Rasmussen and Marilyn Hansen, Shell-Dee Murray Greys, Kingaroy, Queensland.

The upstanding grey cow, was sired by Monterey Verdict and its dam Monterey Lolita X137, was a Monterey Tremendous daughter.

Not only did Lolita A250 look the part in the ring it also had the figures to match with EBVs of +3.7 for birthweight, +20, +40 and +61 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight and +2.1 for EMA.

The cow was sold six months in-calf to Jomal Glen Earthquake.

Mr Rasmussen said Lolita was the complete package.

“We liked her genetic strength, performance, structural correctness in terms of her feet and legs and overall conformation,” Mr Rasmussen said.

“Her bloodline will also be a new one for our herd.

“Overall we really like the Monterey bloodlines as they are purebred Australian, but more importantly it’s their performance which really impresses.

“The performance of the Monterey cows is so far ahead of anything else in the breed.”

Along with securing the top-priced animal, the Queensland operation also secured the $7250 second top-priced cow, Monterey Showgirl A130.

The silver 2005-drop cow was described in the catalogue to be a super cow, a brilliant female in the flesh and has bred progeny of the highest calibre.

Showgirl A130 was sashed the junior interbreed champion female at the 2006 Perth Royal Show.

The upstanding cow was by Monterey Sundowner and out of Monterey Showgirl T54, which was sired by Monterey Majestic Lad.

Showgirl A130 was sold in-calf to Monterey Barcoo.

The Queensland pair are no strangers to this bloodline having purchased a full sister to Showgirl A130 as a yearling heifer for $10,000 at the World Murray Grey Congress when it was held in WA.

Also heading to the Kingaroy property from the sale was another PTIC cow for $2500, as well as PTIC cow and calf unit at $3750 and unjoined cow and calf unit at $3250.

Also not afraid to bid and chasing the same females on most occasions to the Shell-Dee stud, was young Murray Grey breeder Cliff Weichelt, Greycliff stud, Banjup.

After missing out on the top animals Mr Weichelt, who has purchased genetics from Monterey in the past, went to $6250 to secure the silver 2003-drop Monterey Mannequin Y122, which was 12 weeks in-calf to Monterey Barcoo B198.

Mannequinn Y122 was by Monterey Top Shelf and couldn’t be questioned in its ability to breed, as was the dam of well-known stud sire Monterey Bombardier B5, which has performed not only in the stud but throughout Australia and Monterey Engine Driver, which was the top-priced bull in WA in 2011, when it sold for $20,500.

The Greycliff stud also purchased another PTIC cow, Monterey Showgirl A166, at $5500, as well as two more, both at $2000.

After spending the week at Monterey before the sale, Victorian breeder Craig Grant, Lindsay stud, Casterton, certainly knew what he was looking for in the offering and bid up when these lots entered the ring.

Mr Grant took particular liking to Monterey Miss Opal A308 and its heifer calf which was offered separately.

He paid $6000 for the big-framed, feminine, silver 2005-drop cow, which was by Willalooka Unity U99 and five months in-calf.

And after securing the well-balanced cow, Mr Grant then went onto pay $4000 for its heifer calf, Monterey Miss Opal J48, which was the top price for the heifer calves.

The April 2013-drop calf was by Monterey Steamroller B140.

But these weren’t Mr Grant’s only purchases.

He also paid $5000 for Monterey Jeannie A182 and Monterey Brandy A74, which were both pregnancy tested in-calf.

He also secured another three 2013 heifer calves at $3250, $2500 and $1500.

Mr Grant, who has purchased one bull from Monterey in the past, said he was chasing the elite end of the genetics.

“I wanted cows with proven breeding and structural soundness,” he said.

“And this was certainly the case in the top cow and her calf which I bought.

“She has a proven track record, performance data at the top end and has a top calf at foot.”

The volume buyers of the sale were return Monterey buyers Gervase and Janice Purich and their manager Mick Gray, Hampden Farm, Brookhampton, who have recently registered a Murray Grey stud under the name of Hampden Farm.

Included in their purchases was the $5500 top-priced PTIC cow and calf unit, Monterey Joyce A69 and its heifer calf Monterey Joyce J264.

The 2005-drop silver cow was by Monterey Gotcha, while the quality heifer calf was sired by Monterey Barcoo.

The cow was also four months in-calf to Barcoo.

Along with this impressive female pair the Brookhampton operation also secured six PTIC cows to a top of $3750, four heifer calves to $2750 and two bull calves to $2000.

The Purichs said they were chasing the type of animal which would breed progeny for the WA domestic market.

Their current aim with the stud is to breed bulls and replacement females for the 360 head commercial herd.

Other WA studs to bid up strongly were the Mt Barker Community College’s Barker High stud, which secured four PTIC cows to a top of $3000, while the Southend stud, Katanning, secured two PTIC females to $3500 after missing out on some of the top lots and JE Monley, Jomal Glen stud, purchased two PTIC females to $3000 and a heifer calf at $1000.

Cameron Harris, also purchased for his own Nangara Murray Grey stud, Manjimup, purchasing a heifer calf at $1500 and a bull calf at $1500 under the hammer, as well as some passed-in lots after the sale.

More females were headed to Victoria when Landmark Boyanup agent Chris Waddingham, took buying instructions over the phone from Rachel Crothers, Ronsard stud, Wangoom, on a number of lots.

By the end the sale the combination had secured three PTIC cows to $3250 and a PTIC cow and calf unit for $2750.

Also taking instructions over the phone from Victorian buyer SK & K John, Barinya stud, Bullioh, was Elders Donnybrook representative Bill Kessell.

By the end of the sale this combination had secured PTIC cow at $3250, an unjoined cow and calf unit for $4750, which was the top for this section and a heifer calf at $1750.

While making the trip across from Victoria for the sale was Crystal Bell, Prairie Falls, Flinders, Victoria, who secured a PTIC cow at $2000, a PTIC cow and calf at $2750, an unjoined cow and calf unit at $3000 and a heifer calf at $2500.