The Baker family kicked off the bull sales’ circuit in the south east of South Australia last Thursday (11th February) in a very exciting way.

In a fantastic result at their 9th Annual Woonallee Elite Production sale at Furner, pharm they achieved a total clearance of 93 Simmental and SimAngus bulls at a superb average of $7409. Also, information pills the setting of a new national Black Simmental record price of $27, illness 500 was an individual highlight.Woonalee 2016 sale 1

The Woonallee sale has always attracted buyers from most states of Australia and New Zealand on the back of stud sales including females. This year was a stand-alone bull sale, but still attracted nationwide bidders, with 86 registered amongst the huge crowd of around 400 people. Fifty three were successful in their bidding with every Australian state represented. While stud breeders have tended to dominate past sales’ results, with the 40% increase in bulls offered this year, this sale had a very strong commercial buyer prominence and feel about it.

Stud buyers were still significant in their buying support, as indicated with the Black Simmental sale topper at $27,500 and the setting of a new National Black Simmental record price. Woonallee held that record from 2013 at $22,000 until three days prior to this sale when a bull in WA sold for $24,000. Coincidently it was Western Australians who were the purchasers of this new record priced bull, making that record so short-lived.

Kevin & Janice Hard, Naracoopa stud, Denmark bid via phone connection to beat all comers and secure the lot 43 bull, Webb Tank K090 (P) (AI). On the back of strong pre-sale interest this bull was brought forward in the catalogue to commence the first Black Simmental run.

The 18 month old and 762kg son of TNT Tanker U263, Tank K090 was originally purchased by Woonallee in May 2015 at nine months of age when Woonallee purchased the entire Webb Simmental herd of 213 head of cattle. The National Black Simmental record has been held by Webb Simmentals from 2011 to 2013 and Woonallee since then, except for those three days preceding this sale, so it was perhaps fitting that it was reclaimed by Woonallee with a Webb bred bull. Tank K090’s Breedplan figures were just like his phenotype; wonderfully balanced EBVs across the board, with no particular standout trait.

To achieve a 7% increase in sale average on last year’s great result while offering 40% more bulls was a magnificent achievement by Tom and Lizzy Baker and their dedicated staff headed by stud manager Deon Chester. The result was really a combination of the greater confidence in the beef industry at present, and the outstanding quality and presentation of the entire draft.

It most certainly vindicated the Baker family’s decision to invest in the extra black genetics with the Webb herd purchase which enabled them to offer 60% of black bulls in this catalogue.

Underbidder on the top priced lot was Graham Lloyd, Nell Partnership, Springsure, Queensland who paid the second top price of $13,000 for a Black Simmental at last year’s sale. He compensated on missing the top priced lot by purchasing Woonallee King Kong K209 (P) (ET) (AI) for $15,000 four lots after the sale topper, this being the overall equal third top price this year. Woonallee is also retaining semen in this impressive black son of 3D BLK Full Throttle 483X.

The 34 Black Simmentals averaged $7588, while 22 SimAngus bulls averaged $6227, the latter topping at $10,000 to Duck Island Partnership, Keith, SA.

Black Simmentals may have been the most prominent in numbers and achieved the top price, but the 30 traditional Simmentals bulls were highly sought after and achieved the highest average of $7950, topping at $15,000. While this top was well short of last year’s $45,000 and Woonallee’s overall breed record of $46,000 set in 2013 when the York family, Billa Bill Park Beef, Miles, Qld purchased Woonallee Goldrush G061 (P), the average was higher. An $8500 purchase by Scott and Claire York this year for a Willandra Gomez son was a significant discount on their previous purchase.

The $15,000 traditional top price this year was paid by Peter and Odette Morley, Broomey Park, Molong, NSW for the powerful and impressive lot 1 Woonallee 2_DSC_0574_4_4_D-1 (2)bull, Woonallee Kenworth (P). Sired by Willandra Gomez and going back to the legendary Woonallee BHR Tornado on the dam side, the 1040kg and 20 month old bull commanded the sale ring and got the sale off on a top note.

The Morleys not only announced their presence with this purchase but went on to be the dominant volume buyers, purchasing eight traditional Simmentals, including four of the first 10 offered, and averaged $9500. Their purchases accounted for 11% of the total sale gross.

The Morleys run a large 1000 head breeding herd of commercial Simmentals under the management of Gus Shannon, targeting the 500kg steer market, primarily selling to the supermarkets at around 16 to 17 months of age.

“We like the modern Simmental and what we are doing with them. They give us easier calving through smaller calves, faster growth and earlier maturity and allow us to successfully reach our target market specifications,” Peter Morley said.

“Tom and Lizzy’s bulls are fair dinkum, they are genuine and really perform and suit our sire needs,” he added.

NSW buyers provided very strong commercial buying support with long term clients, John and Jennifer Turner, Mahonga Park, Rand purchasing four traditional bulls, Moorabie Station, Broken Hill, four bulls (Blacks and SimAngus), Landmark Albury’s Tom Wilding-Davies purchasing three for Romani Pastoral Co (also Blacks and SimAngus), and Ray White Braidwood account Binbrook, Tooma purchased three Blacks; these being the biggest volume purchasers amongst them.

Regan Burow, account Burow and Mooney paid the second top traditional bull price of $14,000. This was for Woonallee Kilkenny K110 (P), another top Willandra Gomez son and maternal brother to a $16,000 female in Woonallee’s highly successful female sale last November.

Another group of seven solid red bulls provided a fourth alternative Simmental option for buyers. These were particularly sought after by Queensland Brahman breeders and included the overall sale’s second top price of $18,000.

Brett Nobbs, NCC Brahmans, Duaringa paid this for Woonallee Kawasaki (P), the 22 month old ET son of LFE Red Casino 3036X. Woonallee has retained semen in this impressive bull. In his relatively new Simmental venture, Brett purchased from Woonallee for the first time at their female sale last November. Matt Kirk, Carinya Brahmans, Mundubbera, Qld picked up two of these red bulls at $7000 and $6500, while Peter Scholl picked up Woonallee Kryptonite (P) (ET) (AI) for a bargain $8000. These seven red bulls averaged $7929, just marginally below the traditional bulls.

There were many new and repeat Victorian bidders, with Pembroke Pastoral, Telangatuk, Vic paying $10,000 for Black Simmental Webb Dew it Right K181 (P) (AI) to be the top priced bull to go to that state. Ross and Matthew Marriot, Murroka Pty Ltd, Bairnsdale have not purchased from Woonallee for several years since they converted to Blacks, but with the large black offering here this year they were back again and purchased three of the SimAngus bulls at a $7000 average. Also from Bairnsdale, AJ, JP & RG Simpson averaged $6167 for two Black Simmentals and one SimAngus.

Northolm Pty Ltd, buying through Elders Scottsdale, Tasmania paid $8000 for a Black Simmental, thus ensuring all states were represented in the buying honours.

Naturally South Australian producers provided most buying support. Local area agents Chay & Merrett were particularly supportive, being the buying agent for 14 registered bidders. Of these, 12 were successful in buying a total of 18 bulls, collectively accumulating 15% of the overall sale gross. Amongst these, KJ & HA McGrath (four bulls to $6500), Tony Bateman, Avonel Pastoral (three bulls to $7000), and PD Green (two bulls at $5000 each) were multiple bull buyers amongst them.

Operating through Landmark Millicent, Dale and Trish Bateman also purchased three Black bulls to $8000, while McCarthy Livestock operating through Elders Lucindale purchased three Black Simmentals and one SimAngus to $6500 to be the other prominent volume buyers from SA.

A feature of the sale was the strong and consistent middle ground buying strength, with 84% of the bulls selling in the tight price range from $5000 to $9000. Only eight bulls sold for $10,000 or better and only seven bulls sold under $5000.

Speaking after the sale, joint Elders Auctioneer Ben Finch said, “It really was a perfect sale. There was rock solid quality from the start to the finish and the prices were mostly in a tight and affordable range with no real extremes. With the extra strength in the beef cattle job it seemed everyone had $5000 to spend for the right stock. If you have got them your cattle will probably sell, but if you are off the mark you will probably miss out,” he said.Woonallee 5_DSC_0578_D (3)

Sale Summary

Traditional Black Red SimAngus Overall
Offered 30 34 7 22 93
Sold 30 34 7 22 93
Top $15,000 $27,500 $18,000 $10,000 $27,500
Average $7950 $7588 $7929 $6227 $7409
Agents: Elders Naracoorte
Auctioneers: Ben Finch and Ross Milne