Murray Grey sire tops $18,000

February 22, 2016

Courtesy Farm Weekly

A QUALITY line-up of Murray Grey and Angus bulls backed with proven genetics and performance, combined with a long list of old and new clients, pushed prices to a high of $18,000 for a Murray Grey sire at last week’s Monterey Murray Grey and Angus on-property sale at Karridale.

Like many sales this year Landmark auctioneer John Wirth and Elders auctioneer Gary Preston were easily able to extract bids from the 85 registered buyers due to the strong cattle market of the past 18 months and producers’ willingness to reinvest in top genetics.

With the beef market humming along buyers showed their confidence, clearing 73 of the 84 bulls offered at an average of $6421, which was up $1037 on last year’s sale.

In comparison last year 84 bulls sold from 86 offered at an average of $5384.

Along with the $18,000 top-priced Murray Grey bull, another three Murray Grey sires and two Angus sires made $10,000 or more.

The stud also sold 34 from 62 PTIC Murray Grey and Angus heifers for an average of $1831.

Speaking after the sale Mr Wirth and Elders stud stock manager Tim Spicer agreed it was a solid sale and the result was a reflection of the top line-up of bulls on offer and the position of the cattle market.

“The presentation of the bulls was outstanding and buyers come to this sale to buy good bulls and are prepared to pay for them,” Mr Wirth said.

“Producers are very well educated today, particularly when it comes to breeding and performance and what they need to improve their operations.

“They certainly know the types of bulls which will have an impact on their herds and they are prepared to pay for what they want.

“With nearly one buyer registration per bull before we started it was a good sign for a positive result which was certainly the case.

“Overall it was a very good result in terms of clearance and average and was on par with pre-sale expectations.”

Mr Spicer said like previous sales already this season the final sale result was a reflection of the current cattle market.

“The better bulls were certainly well sought after and buyers appeared to be stronger on them than previous years,” Mr Spicer said.

“Buyers were certainly prepared to pay for what they wanted today.

“The presentation of the bulls was once again a credit to the Bullers (Gary and Julie) and it was a team of bulls which could satisfy a large range of breeding programs.

“There was something for everyone on offer from large frame bulls through to the more compact, muscly bulls and heifer-mating bulls.

“Overall it was a top result with a very good clearance and average achieved across a large catalogue of bulls.”

p Murray Greys

Buyer action on the Murray Grey bull line-up was strong from the very first bull.

By the time the last Murray Grey had left the ring, the Bullers had cleared 42 of the 51 offered to the sale high $18,000 and an average of $6280, which was up $550 on 2015.

With a top line-up of Murray Grey bulls on offer buyers were spoilt for choice but it didn’t take too long for them to show their hand on what they believed was the standout bull.

As soon as the well-built, classy Monterey Kosciuszko K101 entered the ring in lot two, buyers knew there was something special before them and they were sparked into action.

After taking an opening bid of $12,000 the auctioneering team then went into overdrive as they took bids from around the ring as a bidding melee erupted.

In the end it was Tony Mostert, who was taking instructions over the phone from Dean Rasmussen and Marilyn Hansen, Shell-Dee Murray Grey stud, Kingaroy, Queensland, who struck the final blow at $18,000 to take home Kosciuszko, in a three quarter share and possession deal.

Kosciuszko showed great thickness, softness, weight for age and muscle development as well as a wonderful outlook as it moved around the ring, but it wasn’t only its eye appeal which impressed, it also had the numbers to match.

It had EBVs of +6.2 birthweight, +5 milk, +35, +57 and +84 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, +49 carcase weight, +2.5 EMA, -1.1 rib fat, -1.6 rump fat, -0.5 IMF and +2.2 retail beef yield, which ranked it in the top 1pc for 600-day weight and top 1-5pc for 200 and 400-day weights, carcase weight, EMA and retail beef yield.

It had indexes of +$46 vealer terminal (top 10pc), +$53 supermarket (top 5pc) and +$79 heavy grassfed (top 1pc).

Mr Rasmussen said the bull’s pedigree was the drawcard because they are wanting to inject some of their foundation genetics back into their herd.

The silver, 990 kilogram bull was by Jomal Glen Earthquake E21 and out of Monterey Cora D105, a daughter of Shell-Dee Sterling Y2.

Shell-Dee Sterling Y2, was purchased by the Monterey stud in 2005 for what is believed to be Queensland’s record price of $15,000 for a Murray Grey bull.

Mr Rasmussen said this bull’s dam Braekirk Princess was an ‘awesome’ cow and one of their stud’s foundation females.

“We are chasing these bloodlines to get them back into the herd,” he said.

“It was a bonus that he is such a good bull; his weight for age is phenomenal really.

“And he has a beautiful head, a good backline and stands well with good feet and legs.”

Mr Rasmussen said they have purchased a number of cows and bulls from the Monterey stud for about 15 years as they consider Monterey to breed some of the best genetics in Australia.

The 1060kg, grey, Monterey Kublai Khan K23, in lot three was also a favourite among buyers when it entered the ring before it was finally knocked down at $13,500, which was the second top Murray Grey price, to return buyer Mark Forrester, Kanandah station, Kalgoorlie, in a three quarter share and possession sale.

The well proportioned, easy-doing bull was a son of Yamba Bonanza B32 and had the heaviest 600-day weight ever recorded at Monterey of 976kg at just under 20 months off grass.

It had EBVs of +6.5 birthweight, +3 milk, +38, +60 and +86 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, +53 carcase weight, +2.0 EMA, -0.6 rib fat, -0.8 rump fat, -0.3 IMF and +1.3 retail beef yield, which ranked it in the top 1pc for all growth figures and carcase weight.

It had indexes of +$47 vealer terminal (top 10pc), +$42 supermarket (top 25pc) and +$70 heavy grassfed (top 5pc).

Mr Forrester said Kublai Khan was a top bull which was outstanding in most traits.

“His growth rates are his real feature, they are outstanding,” he said.

“We will use him in an AI program over third and fourth calvers in the 700-head Banjawarn herd of Angus-Charolais-Murray Grey cross breeders we have recently acquired along with land at Esperance to breed replacement females.”

Along with securing this bull Mr Forrester secured another four Murray Grey sires for the family’s operation, which runs 4000 Murray Grey and Murray Grey-Brahman cross breeders at Kanandah station, to be the volume buyer in the Murray Grey run.

He also paid $5250 and $5000 for other bulls in his team of five to average $6350.

Mr Forrester said the purchase of land at Esperance would allow them to expand their organic operation.

“We don’t see any issues with maintaining our organic operation down there,” Mr Forrester said.

“It will allow us not only the opportunity to breed cattle down there but also take cattle down from the station.

“There is a good perennial pasture base at Banjawarn so it will help us to meet autumn demand which we are currently struggling to meet from the station.”

The operation sells the majority of its cattle to Coles, Woolworths and Blackwood Valley Beef.

Long-time Monterey supporter and South Australian breeder Rod Gregurke, Tarlina Murray Grey stud, Port Lincoln, put the disappointment of losing out on the sale’s two top-priced Murray Grey bulls behind him, when the rising three-year-old Monterey Jukebox J132 entered the ring and he bid strongly on it before finally securing it at $12,000.

Mr Gregurke purchased the bull in partnership with one of his long-time commercial clients John Giddings, Port Lincoln.

The silver, May 2013-drop bull was by Monterey Corroboree and ranked in the top 1pc for 400 and 600-day weights and all the indices as well as top 5pc for 200-day weight, carcase weight, EMA and retail beef yield.

Jukebox had been retained for use in the Monterey herd in 2015 with the stud selling three quarter share and possession of the bull.

Mr Gregurke said while they were initially disappointed not to get lot two or three, they were extremely pleased with their purchase which will be used naturally in both buyers’ herds.

“He is a proven bull with Gary using him at Monterey last year,” Mr Gregurke said.

“The bull has fantastic conformation, colour, size, temperament and bone.

“At least you see what you’re getting with a three-year-old bull.”

A fourth Murray Grey bull made double figures when return buyers Max and Neville Foster, FJ & M Foster & Sons, Cowaramup, paid $10,000 for the 848kg, silver Monterey Kaincaid K167.

The well-muscled bull was a son of Monterey Gindalbie and ranked in the top 5pc for 600-day weight, carcase weight; top 10pc 400-day weight, EMA and retail beef yield and top 15pc for 200-day weight, while its heavy grassfed index of +$64 ranks in the top 15pc.

There were numerous buyers to secure bulls for more than $7500 and these included – Maxine and Penny Greville, Gingin Pastoral Co, Gingin ($9500); Landmark Margaret River agent Jock Embry ($8750); SR Latch, Karridale, ($8250); HA & SA Panizza, Williams ($7750); Ocean View Corporation, Coolup ($7750) and Silver Angus Pty Ltd, Mylor, South Australia ($7500).

Three buyers each purchased three Murray Grey sires and the strongest of these buyers were regular Monterey clients Chris and Daryl Avery, WC, BE & DC Avery, Nannup, who averaged $6833 across their team.

They paid $7500 twice for Yamba Bonanza B32 and Monterey Freight Train B132 sons.

Busselton producers RH Norman & Son also bought three sires to a top of $6500 and average of $5417, while long term clients Wulura Farms, Busselton, averaged $5083 and paid to a top of $6000 for its three selections.

Other multiple buyers with two bulls next to their names were Rangeview Farm, Mandurah ($4750 average) and TJ Buller, Karridale ($4000).

The stud also offered a black Murray Grey bull during the sale with its proceeds going to the Scott River Charity Ball, which raises funds for the Royal Flying Doctor and local community projects.

While the bull failed to sell under the hammer it was quickly snapped up after the sale for $4000 by John and Barbara Dunnett, Mileannup Pastoral Co, Nannup.

p Angus

A strong list of Angus buyers had to bide their time until the first run of 40 Murray Grey bulls were sold before they could bid on the quality catalogue of 36 Angus bulls.

And like their grey counterparts, buyers bid actively on the blacks to drive averages skyward.

While five of 36 bulls were overlooked at auction, buyers pursued selected lots with 31 bulls selling to average $6613.

This marked a significant $1738 increase in average from last year’s sale where there was a complete clearance of 34 bulls to average $4875.

Following their $9500 Murray Grey bull purchase earlier in the sale, Maxine and Penny Greville, Gingin Pastoral Co, Gingin, found themselves in a drawn out bidding tussle before paying the $16,500 top Angus bull price for the impressive Monterey Kodak K17.

The 946kg Kodak was a mid-March, 2013-drop son of homebred parents Monterey Diplomat D184 and Elegant A69 and displayed a huge EMA of 125cm2 and 5.8pc IMF along with frame score (FS) seven and 42cm scrotal circumference (SC).

Maxine Greville said they liked everything in general about Kodak.

“He is a standout bull,” she said,

“He is soft and has plenty of muscling and we think he will make a real impact on our herd.”

The Grevilles will use Kodak over deep, heavy mature cows to breed replacement females for their herd of 300 Angus breeders.

The majority of the Greville’s Angus breeders are mated to Murray Grey sires in a terminal mating program while a percentage is mated to Angus to breed replacement females.

Penny Greville said they really liked the Murray Grey-Angus cross mainly because of the hybrid vigour they can get into their calves.

“The cross allows us to get good weight into our calves and the meat quality you get from the cross is exceptional,” she said.

The operation calves down from the end of March through to July and when the calves are weaned at 10 months old they average between 350 to 400kg.

The next bull into the ring didn’t let the tempo slip with Monterey Katapult K71 selling to Jordan Swainston, Albany, for the $14,500 second top Angus bull price.

Katapult tipped the scales to 902kg and displayed excellent raw data of 6.5 FS, 124cm2 EMA, 5.8pc IMF and 46cm SC.

The late April, 2014-drop bull was a product of Monterey Far Out F177 and Monterey Miss Vanilla E200.

Mr Swainston, who returned to the Monterey sale after buying for the first time last year, said Katapult had a big frame and a great rump and will be used over mature cows to breed replacement females.

The Swainston family, who are currently running 180 breeders, have been using Angus bulls in their herd for 10 years and their aim is to get to a pure Angus breeding herd.

They are also aiming to increase their breeding herd to 350 head as they will have land coming out of blue gums.

When it comes to selling their steer and excess heifer calves, the Swainstons sell anything that is more than 300kg at 10-11 months old in December as weaners and the rest are run through until September/October and sold to Harvey Beef off grass.

Brett Chatley, Landmark Manjimup, representing an undisclosed local account sourced two bulls for $12,000 and $7500.

The $12,000 bid went to Monterey Kyoto K110, a 902kg son of Monterey Colossus C44 with high scan data of 6.2 FS, 125cm2 EMA, 5.6 IMF and 44cm2 SC while the $7500 got them Monterey Kempsey K19, a handy Carenda Stockman D34 son.

Other higher prices paid in the Angus section included C & NC Staniforth-Smith, Boyup Brook, who bid to $9500 and $6000 for two bulls.

Their top purchase went to Monterey Kung Fu K21, a 852kg classy late March, 2014-drop son of Carenda Stockman D34 and Monterey Ebony B142 with raw data of 7 FS, 123cm2 EMA, 4.8 IMF and 40cm SC.

Mal Barrett, Elders Boyanup, representing K & AL Payne, Boyanup, paid $8750 for Monterey Kashmir K66, a 802kg thick and soft son of Monterey Colossus C44 with scan figures of 6.4 FS, 118cm2 EMA, 5.7 IMF and 44cm SC.

Jamie Abbs, Landmark Boyup Brook-Bridgetown, was juggling a number of buying orders throughout the sale and collected numerous bulls for his clients.

This included two Angus bulls at $8250 and $8000 on behalf of JHH Bowie & Co, Bridgetown, and two bulls at $4000 each for DC Ingram, Bridgetown.

Darren White, Peaceful Bay, mirrored the Bowie account, also paying $8250 and $8000 for two Angus bulls.

Volume Angus bull buyers were Alec Williams, Elders Margaret River, buying for Telina Downs, Esperance, which collected four Angus bulls paying from $4500 to $6000 for their selections.

Mr Williams said Telina Downs had been buying from Monterey for the past eight years and ran a herd of 600 breeders, which are predominantly Angus.

“They feedlot their own calves and also buy calves in so they certainly have an idea of how the Monterey bloodline is performing,” Mr Williams said.

“They have been really happy with the progeny of the calves they are getting from the Monterey sires and the performance the calves are achieving in the feedlot.

“They have also been retaining the top-end of their heifer drop and these are also performing as matrons in the paddock.”

Mr Williams purchased a few more Angus bulls at the sale for clients including two for Gypsy Hills, Augusta, costing $4000 and $5000.

p Females

The sale finished with a run of PTIC Murray Grey and Angus heifers, which sold to a top of $1950 for both Murray Grey and Angus heifers and averaged $1831 for the 34 sold.

In the breakdown 20 from 28 Murray Grey heifers sold for an average of $1808 and 14 from 34 Angus heifers sold for an average of $1864.

Taking home both the top-priced pens was Semini Enterprises, Cowaramup.

The top-priced Murray Grey pen contained two slick grey heifers which were aged 22 months and were PTIC to a lightweight silver Monterey Murray Grey bull and due to calve from March 20 to May 20.

The top-priced Angus pen was made up of five classy 20mo heifers which were PTIC to a light birthweight Monterey Angus sire and due to calve from April 15 to June 20.

The Cowaramup operation also paid $1850 for another pen of five silver Murray Grey heifers which had the same mating details as the top-priced Murray Grey pen.

Pushing Semini Enterprises on the top pens was Elders Manjimup representative Cameron Harris, who finished with four Murray Grey heifers for $1800 and then nine Angus heifers (four at $1900 and five at $1750).

Monterey top price