Sale summary: 37 bulls av $3283; top price $4500; 82pc clearance.
The crowd may have been sparse but those present at the Black Stump bull sale at Blackall on Tuesday all secured what they needed amid ongoing trying weather conditions.
Of the 16 bid cards given out, 15 of them were used at the sale. In the circumstances, the outcome was hailed as an A1 result.
Originally set at 63 head, 45 Angus, Brangus, Simmental, Simbrah, Santa Gertrudis and Droughtmaster bulls were put through the sale ring for an 82 per cent clearance rate.
The top price of $4500 was reached twice and indicated that Droughtmaster genetics were in demand on the day.
Clayton and Mel Arnold, Gelebelle, Muttaburra, were the first to outlay the amount, for Noanga Parker, a composite Simmental/Droughtmaster bull offered by Lindsay and Janet Allan from Curlewis on the Liverpool Plains, NSW.
The 26-month-old polled bull bred from the Lindsay's Droughtmaster bull Clayfield Eathan, tipped the scales at 836kg with P8 and rib fat measurements of 10 and 6mm, an eye muscle area of 125 square centimetres, and a scrotal circumference of 39cm.
Noanga stud principal Janet Allan said he was out of one of their highly regarded Simmental stud matrons, and both she and the sire had long breeding records on their side, producing calves year after year.
Clayton and Mel Arnold finished the sale with two of the Allan's Simmental bulls as well as the two Simbrah bulls offered by Rod and Lyn Sperling, Rodlyn, paying $3000 for each, and one Rodlyn Droughtmaster bull, also for $3000.
With 100mm of rain under their belt north of Muttaburra over the last month, they plan to put the Simmental genetics over Braford cows and the Droughtmaster over Brahman heifers.
Clayton said he was keen to beef his herd up with his purchases.
Blackall's Ron and Moira Kent were the other purchasers to outlay $4500, for Rodlyn 17/15, a 21.5 month polled herd Droughtmaster bull that could be registered.
By Vitwood Patrick, he weighed 708kg and had a scrotal circumference of 39cm. His P8 and rib fat measurements were 12 and 11mm.
While the Kents had not bought from the Rodlyn stud before, Mr Kent said the price was right to jump into the market on Tuesday.
"We're normally Shorthorn buyers but there's none available, and we've had Droughtmaster before.
"It puts a bit of variety into what we're doing."
He liked studmaster Rod Sperling's assurance that the bulls had done it tough feedwise, saying they would get more of the same at their new home north east of Blackall.
"We had to replace some bulls - you've got to look forward don't you," he said.
Mr Sperling said the Vitwood sire had been bought as a cow and calf unit because he liked the look of the bull calf.
"If I could breed them all like that I'd be happy - he's nice and long, quiet and has a hooded eye.
"I like the beef qualities of Droughtmasters and their tropical attributes.
"They seem to have a bit more acceptance with markets."
The Schmidt family's Burenda Angus stud from Kaimkillenbun received a top price of $4000 from the Hayllor Family Farming Co from Dalby, for Burenda Nickelodian N518 (SV), aged 19 months and weighing 668kg.
Also recording a top price of $4000 was Blackall-based Swan Hill Santa Gertrudis stud, paid by the Clarenden Cattle Co, Blackall, and S Forrest, Colac, Quilpie.
The Allans sold 10 Simmental and Droughtmaster bulls for an average $2750; Swan Hill Cattle Co sold six Santa Gertrudis bulls for $3333; R and L Sperling sold eight Simbrah and Droughtmaster bulls for $3214; and Burenda Holdings sold 21 Angus and Brangus bulls for $3062.
Volume buyers included Moonie's Thompson Business Trust, buying 10 Angus bulls, and Argyle Station Pastoral, Glendilla, Cunnamulla, who bought five Angus and Santa Gertrudis bulls.
GDL's Mark Duthie said considering the difficult weather circumstances, they hadn't tried to break records, just to sell bulls, which they'd achieved.