The widespread dry conditions certainly had an impact at the 22nd Roma Droughtmaster bull sale on Friday, but buyers were still willing to pay for top-quality sires, pushing the sale to a high of $30,000.
Of the 139 bulls on offer, 104 sold for a 75 per cent clearance rate and average of $5861.
Paul and Paula Russell, Locarno Droughtmasters, Dingo, paid the top money, taking home Heitiki Kidman from the Lloyd family, Heitiki Droughtmasters, Delungra.
By Heitiki Arist-O-Crat, out of a Heitiki cow, the 2015 October-drop, polled bull tipped the scales at 884 kilograms and measured 42 centimetres in scrotal circumference, with an eye muscle area (EMA) of 136cm, intramuscular fat (IMF) of 4.4, and P8 and rib fat depths of 16 and 10mm respectively.
Beth Streeter, Palmvale Brahman Stud, Marlborough, paid a second-top price of $19,000 for Riverland Mocatta 1538/7, offered by the Little family, Riverland Droughtmasters, Wycarbah.
By Bundy D-Max, out of a Riverland cow, the 2016 November-drop bull tipped the scales at 863kg and had a scrotal circumference of 42cm, with an EMA of 130cm, IMF of 5.4, and P8 and rib fat depths of 13 and 8mm respectively.
Limited volume buyers were in action, with Cattle JV Pty Ltd, Rewan, Rolleston, taking home 10 bulls for a top price of $11,000 and average of $5450, while Andromeda Cattle Company, Eddington, Mungallala, purchased eight bulls for a top price of $11,000, averaging $5500.
Droughtmaster Australia chief executive officer, Neil Donaldson, said it was a pleasing result.
“The season has been pretty ordinary west of here for a long, long time, and we haven't had much buyer support from out in that area, so it's really pleasing that we managed to get the 75 per cent clearance and get a pretty solid average,” he said.
“Certainly the sale would have been a lot stronger if we could've had some buyers from west of here, but we keep on working on buyers to the north, south and east, and concentrate on them because some of them have had a reasonable season.”
The sale was conducted by Elders, Landmark, and GDL.