Another Oustanding result for Woonallee

21 February 2011

Woonallee sets new quality benchmark


An increased offering of Simmental and composite bulls and Simmental heifers, that went even deeper in top quality than usual greeted a large crowd of around 400 at the 4th Annual Woonallee Elite Production sale at Furner last Thursday (10th). The draft of 43 Simmental and 9 composite bulls was as good as any draft of bulls offered anywhere in the country, whether assessing on genetic merit, growth and development, or presentation.

Add to this, the 21 Simmental heifers that were arguably even better, plus the 9 semen lots, then it becomes easier to understand why cattle producers travel from all states of Australia and overseas to attend this sale and bid for the elite genetics on offer.

At day’s end the Baker family was ecstatic with the result, with 48 bulls and the 21 heifers finding new homes and along with the semen lots, the sale grossed a wonderful $379,650, topping at $21,000 for bulls and a record $13,000 for heifers. Principals Tom and Lizzy Baker have been conscious of the possibility of average prices being perceived as too high by some commercial producers and this was their motivation to offer more bulls this year. However, sometimes perceptions are just that, with realities often quite different, like this year as there was outstanding value to be had.

The headline sale, one that cannot be passed over was $21,000 for lot 1, Woonallee Essendon E061, the Grand Champion bull at the 2010 World Simmental Conference show at the Melbourne Royal and sired by Woonallee Hadau A032. This was the 6th year in 7 Woonallee sales that the top price has exceeded $20,000, a wonderful achievement by the Baker family. Essendon was purchased by the Staley family, Juraley Simmental stud, Yarram, Vic, regular supporters of Woonallee genetics in past sales, especially through the purchase of elite females. The underbidder was Audrey Weightman, Topweight Simmentals , WA who was bidding via phone hook up.

Besides the building of their own quality herd, the Staley family recently purchased the entire Upper Wingan stud run by Haliotis Fisheries, Mallacoota, a stud built on top Woonallee genetics. The Staleys felt they now had the number of high quality females to warrant an investment in an outstanding bull and to quote Neville Staley, “You can’t do much better than the Grand Champion bull at a World Conference & Melbourne Royal Show can you?”

They later reinforced just how serious they were with the purchase of 3 outstanding heifers, topping at $8,500 for a mated daughter of BHR Draco 628N.

A big factor in the past Woonallee average bull prices has been the widespread stud competition on the top bulls. On the back of Woonallee’s World Congress successes, stud demand was again expected to be strong, but the recent floods in Victoria and particularly Queensland seriously impacted on some breeders who were planning to attend and compete. Ultimately, six bulls still went to stud buyers and these six averaged $9,333.

While the average for the 41 Simmental bulls sold was still a very strong $5,488, when this stud component was taken out, the remaining 35 Simmental bulls averaged $4,829. A further 6 Simmental x Angus composite bulls averaged $4,167. A better indication of value is throughout the catalogue of 52 bulls offered 28 (54%) sold for $4,500 or less and 31% sold for less than $4,000 showing there was a plentiful supply of cheaper and great value bulls, especially in a commercial industry currently experiencing buoyant prices.

At the top end, Ashley Ness, Seddon Simmentals, KI, SA was a strong bidder on lot 1, but was successful with his second choice, Woonallee Ernie E028, a fantastic son of Barana Zorro Z144, placing the winning bid of $10,000.

It is no coincidence that commercial producers who purchase top performance genetics receive top results with their progeny. Money outlaid is usually returned in higher profits, while money saved often proves costly in lesser performance. Appreciating this, repeat clients Michael Skeer, Furner (2 top bulls at $5,000 & $7,500), Peter Morley, Molong, NSW (2 top bulls at $7,000 & $5,000), Rosebank Pastoral, Casterton, Vic (2 also at $7,000 & $5,000), AP & MA Hickey, Mortlake, Vic (2 at $7,500 & $4,500), Dale Bateman, Millicent (2 at $7,000 & $6,000), Turners Mahonga Park, Rand, NSW (2 at $7,500 & $4,500), Chris Bateman, Millicent (2 to $7,000), Glen Ewan Pastoral Co, Swan Hill, Vic (1 at $8,000), LS Johnson & Son (1 at $5,000) and M Houston Pty Ltd, Forbes, NSW (1 at $5,000) were prominent commercial bull buyers.

The volume Simmental bull buyer for the second year in a row was MJ & LH Fischer, Strathalbyn, bidding through Elders Strathalbyn’s Darryl Sims. They were able to hit the real value lots this year, paying from $3,000 to $4,500.

One of the most interesting lots was lot 3. This lot comprised three 10 month old polled youngsters by 3 exciting new polled sires in the Woonallee program. The winning bidder got to choose from the 3 with the other 2 going back into the Woonallee stud herd. The successful bidder, operating via phone hook up and with an $8,000 bid was Nigel DeVeth, Murphy’s Creek, Qld and bidding for his sons Joshua & Jesse, JD Simmentals. They purchased last year’s top price bull at $20,000 and now have another outstanding young sire in their sire group. They selected 3A, Woonallee Fascinate F150, sired by Gibby’s Real Deal C025.

In the semen lots at the end of the sale, Gibby’s Real Deal semen topped at $155/straw, this going to Phil Withers, Nalpa Pastoral, Narrung. Semen from Woonallee BHR Tornado also topped at $155/straw, this package of 10 straws going to CS Wooding through TDC Penola.

The 9 semen lots averaged a solid $115.55/straw. Regan Burow, Yerwal purchased 3 of these semen lots on top of the lot 8 bull, Woonallee Earthquake for a relatively cheap $6,500.

Sheringa Pastoral, through Chay & Merritt, Millicent and KL & LE Mowat, through Elders Camperdown paid the equal top price of $5,000 for the black composite bulls, these 8 averaging an excellent value $4,167.

A further red composite was offered by Woonallee with proceeds to going to the Queensland flood appeal. This bull raised $3,500, with local vets Kevin & Toni McGrath placing the winning bid. Sale agents Elders also offered the bull commission free.

While the bull sale was outstanding, the female offering exceeded that in quality and results.

A new Woonallee female record of $13,000 was set when Five High Clare (P) F014, sired by Woonallee BHR Tornado C120 sold to repeat Woonallee buyers Tom Sanson and Claire Dalton, Gold Creek Simmentals, Tekaraka, via Gisborne , New Zealand . The heifer was offered by Woonallee for the Five High daughter stud of client Phil Webb. Gold Creek purchased top semen lots last year and Tom Sanson plans to leave the heifer at Woonallee and flush her in embryo transfer programs, importing the embryos into their Gold Creek herd.

“After going through the offering we felt this female was the one to give our program a lift. She has all the structure and cosmetics of the breed spot on, and we felt she offered extra volume and carcase attributes over the other heifers,” Tom Sanson said.

It is not often a heifer that equalled the Woonallee sale record of $10,000 has to take second fiddle, but that was the case with Woonallee Rambler F26 (P), from the same sire. Brought forward and offered first in the heifer draft, she went to JD Simmentals who had earlier purchased the lot 3 “pick of the pen” bull for $8,000. They then added another heifer for $3,500.

Underbidders on both these top priced heifers were Nathan & Leah Skirving, Rosehill Simmentals, East Sassafras, Tasmania . They then outlaid $5,500 & $4,500 for 2 other young unmated heifers by Woonallee Boulder, so while disappointed they didn’t go home empty handed.

Also contributing to the Tasmanian buying was the Goss family, Mountain Air Simmentals, Sheffield . They bought an unmated heifer for $5,250 and a mated heifer for $5,500, both sired by Woonallee Hadau A032, the sire of the top priced bull.

John Leek, through Everitt & Sely, Melbourne was a strong bidder on the females and was successful in picking up the first mated heifer for $5,500, plus another unmated heifer by the same sire as the two top priced heifers for $5,750.

Six Creeks Simmentals, Mt Gambier paid $5,500 for another Tornado C120 unmated daughter to be the highest South Australian buyer.

Other than the Staley family’s $8,500 & $5,500 mated heifer purchases, the Patterson family, Bullock Hills Simmentals, Katanning went to $7,000 to secure Woonallee Polly E25, a Woonallee Boulder B116 daughter and mated to the polled Woonallee Elevate. They were share purchasers of last year’s top heifer at $7,000.