Sale summary: 90 bulls offered; average price $6705; top price $15,000; 100pc clearance.
There were smiles all around from six happy vendors at the Artesian Droughtmaster bull sale at Blackall on Monday when they smashed last year's average price of $5941 and almost matched the 2018 top price.
After a tentative start - the first bull into the ring was later purchased while the sale was in progress - buyers showed their appreciation for the 30 extra bulls offered this year.
Dean and Julie Allen, Western Red Droughtmasters, south of Longreach, repeated last year's success and again sold the top priced bull.
Western Red Maxi went to fellow sale vendors Medway Droughtmasters, Bogantungan for $15,000.
The milk tooth 24-month-old bull weighed an even 800kg, had a scrotal circumference of 41cm, an eye muscle area of 128 square centimetres, and semen motility of 85pc.
Mr Allen, also the sale chairman, said Maxi's sire, Yaralla Lyndon, had been used in the stud for six years and given them lots of calves that were true to type.
"He's put his stamp on Maxi too, his length, bone, skin type and overall beef quality," he said.
Purchaser Hamilton Donaldson described him as having a beautiful sirey head and plenty of length.
"We've seen that his sire has done a good job for Western Reds," he said.
Locarno and Yaralla studs shared the second top price of $14,000, paid each time by the Carrington family's Rondel Droughtmaster stud at Winton.
They swooped early in the sale to secure lot 12, Locarno Nemisis, 22 months, then bought lot 76, Yaralla Whisper, 24 months, sired by Locarno Korbin.
Nemisis weighed 950kg, had an EMA of 144sq cm, and semen motility of 85pc while Whisper weighed 780kg, had an EMA of 118sq cm and semen motility of 95pc.
Yaralla's Ken McKenzie said he was really pleased Whisper had gone west to the Carringtons.
Likewise, Locarno's Paul Russell said the Carrington family was well respected in the industry and it had been pleasing to see Nemisis go there.
"He's the first calf by Needmor Clifford we've put through the ring," he said.
Mr Russell said the 100pc clearance was probably their best result at Blackall.
"Other Droughtmaster sales have stayed solid and showed the way," he said. "Droughtmasters seem to have that reputation in dry weather."
Mr Allen said it was always a risk to catalogue more bulls in the climate but the strength of the current market had given them confidence the result would be in their favour.
Springsure's Arcturus Downs was the sale's biggest volume buyer, selecting 15 bulls, paying a top of $8000 three times for an average of $6733.
It was the second time they'd bought there and manager Fred Peters said it was a good sale for the commercial operator, giving him quality bulls to look at and a lot of them.
He breeds for the Japan ox market and said Droughtmasters were good mothers and turned off early maturing bulls in his country.
Not far behind him in the volume stake was Blackall's Braemar Investments and spokesman Craig Scholes said it continued to be an attractive venue as well as having good vendors.
"We've got good lines to pick from here," he said.
He selected nine bulls for a top price of $9500 for Western Red Mellow Yellow, averaging $6000.
Sid and Tricia Goodwin, Tandarra, Springsure bought seven bulls, as did LL and SD Bode, McKinlay.
The best average among the vendors went to Ken and Kerry McKenzie, Yaralla, with $7977.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service will receive $3500, the proceeds of 10pc of the sale of one nominated bull from each stud.
- Agent - Landmark