Strong demand for the quality genetics offered by The Grove Shorthorns was evident at their 35th on-property sale at Myall Grove, Condamine, on Thursday, with bidders pushing the sale to a top of $55,000.
Of the 117 bulls on offer, all sold under the split selling system of an open auction and Helmsman Auction for a 100 per cent clearance rate, to average $8504.
Marc and Christine Ross, Lanstal Pty Ltd, Pinjarra, WA, were the top-price bidders, taking home The Grove Playstation M0244 for $55,000.
Sired by The Grove H0055, a bull which the Ross’ purchased several years ago, and out of The Grove C677, the polled bull tipped the scales at 970 kilograms and measured 40 centimetres in scrotal circumference, with an eye muscle area (EMA) of 146cm, 10 millimetres of rib fat, and an intramuscular fat (IMF) of 7.4 per cent.
Mr Ross said they were impressed by the performance of The Grove H0055 in their herd and were intent on adding The Grove Playstation M0244 to their stud breeding program.
“He'll go straight into our stud breeding program to increase the muscle and the IMF,” Mr Ross said.
“He’s just an outstanding calf which will really complement where we're trying to go with our shorthorn program in the west.
“We’ve been using H0055 heavily in AI programs and just can't get enough of the progeny at the moment.”
A second-top price of $24,000 was paid by the Weebollabolla Shorthorn Stud, Moree, for The Grove Terabytes M0661.
The 2016 Spetmeber-drop, polled bull weighed 980kg, and had a scrotal circumference of 39cm, with an EMA of 143cm, 12mm of rib fat, and an IMF of 8pc.
A number of volume buyers were in action on the day, with Bush Holding, Alpha, taking home seven bulls for a top of $11,000 and average of $8642, and Landsdowne Pastoral, Tambo, also purchasing seven bulls for a top of $10,500 and average of $7214.
Essex Grazing Co, Middlemount, took home six bulls to a top of $18,000 and average of $11,250.
The Grove stud principal, Spencer Morgan, said they were very humbled by such a pleasing result.
“We can only hope that they go out and do justice to what we believe they will,” he said.
“It was very good to see a few new faces jumping in to try and hopefully use The Grove Shorthorn for what we think they're good for.”
Having used the mixed selling system for several years, Mr Morgan said it’s benefits were evident in such a tough season.
“I think if we'd put the bulls in the ring we would've had bulls that didn't sell, but the electronic helmsman, it just allows those who missed a bull because of their budget to reassess and place a bid on another sire.
“It's really beneficial to both parties, but us as a seller in a tough year like this, I think it’s how we achieved the 100pc clearance.”
The Morgan family is constantly pushing to achieve the goal of ‘quality beef and more of it’, and it was clear that this drew many stud and commercial breeders to the sale.
“What we’re really trying to do through our entire herd is performance recording,” Mr Morgan said.
“We try to follow through as much as we can through the getting carcase feedback, and adding that to the data we collect for Breedplan, the normal traits that everyone collects.
“We're trying to push that quality end of the market traits, so IMF, and retail beef yield, and then combine them with fertility and soundness, that's the balancing act.”
Speaking of the top-priced bull, The Grove Playstation M0244, Mr Morgan said this bull displayed the traits they were aiming for.
“He was a really sound-footed, clean skin, free-moving fella, and under the hide the scan data tells us he's got everything we're looking for.”
The sale was conducted by Grant Daniel and Long, and Landmark.