Summary: 78 bulls offered; top price $20,000; average price $7318; clearance 99pc
Solid repeat buyer interest helped stamp the 19th annual on-property Strathmore Santa Gertrudis bull sale at Blackall a success on Tuesday afternoon.
All but one of the 78 bulls offered were sold under the hammer and the sale average of $7318 was similar to the 2018 figure of $7494.
Strathmore spokesman Ben Walker said they had expected a reduction with poor seasonal conditions in such a large part of the state, and were very pleased to record such a good clearance rate.
"As well as new interest, such as from the Mt Playfair Cattle Co at Tambo, we had lots of support from repeat buyers," he said. "It gives us confidence that what we're breeding is the right product."
Their top priced bull, Strathmore Penzance P232 (P), was bought for $20,000 by repeat buyers and in-laws Bevan and Maree Pearce, Bendalla stud, Longreach.
Mr Walker said he had been his pick of the draft as well.
"The thickness went all the way through him, and being poll helped," he said.
Mr Pearce agreed, saying he liked his stretch, scale and muscle pattern, and he would be using Penzance in their single sire herd in the Bendalla stud.
Penzance could be described as the very model of a modern Santa Gertrudis, coming in at 800kg at 22 months of age and having a daily liveweight gain of 1.15kg.
As well as an eye muscle area of 137 square centimetres, his semen morphology was 83 per cent and his scrotal circumference was 39cm.
The Pearce family rounded out their purchases at the Strathmore sale with three more bulls, Strathmore Paprika P448 (PS), having a daily liveweight gain of 0.99kg, Strathmore Paradox P74 (AI) (P), with a liveweight gain of 1.05kg, and Strathmore Patron P198 (PP), whose liveweight gain was 1kg.
They paid $7500, $15,000 and $13,000 for them.
The second top price of $16,000 was paid twice, by Rick and Alice Greenup, Eidsvold Station, Kumbia, and by the Chapman family of Rowanlea Cattle Co, Calliope.
The Greenups selected Strathmore Prolific P150 (P), weighing 770kg, semen morphology of 89pc, and a scrotal circumference of 40cm.
For the Chapmans, it was Strathmore Propel P434 (PS) who caught their eye, weighing 710kg at 21 months, and with a daily liveweight gain of 1.03kg.
He had semen morphology of 91pc and a scrotal circumference of 40cm.
Bob and Andrea Speed, buying for the Brigadoon Cattle Co and needing bulls for Linda Downs at Boulia and Tarlton Downs near Alice Springs, were the sale's volume buyers, with 17 bulls for an average $4352.
They are on top of the seven bulls purchased earlier in the day at the Barcoo Breeders sale at the Blackall saleyard complex.
Ms Speed said they normally bred their own bulls but they needed to bump their numbers up and had been happy with last year's Strathmore purchases.
"The Speed family has always been Santa Gertrudis people - they fit our needs at all stages, whether breeding, backgrounding or finishing," she said. "We also like that they're acclimatised to the conditions."
Eddie and Trish Dennis, Mistake Creek Cattle Co, Clermont, bought the next highest number, 12 in all, for an average price of $7041.
They paid a top of $10,000 twice, for Strathmore Periwinkle (P164 (P) and then for Strathmore P510.
Mr Dennis said they had acquired Clermont district property Doongmabulla recently and were consequently running short of sires for their Santa Gertrudis and Brahman infused cow herd.
"The timing of these sales was right for us," he said.
Strathmore principal Ian Walker made special mention of Cec Russell on the day, the carrier who brought the first King Ranch bulls west for the Walker family, who was in the sale crowd.
He also acknowledged Santa Gertrudis general manager Chris Todd in the audience, saying they had had a long association dating back to Mr Todd's time as a stock agent at Dalgetys in Blackall.
- Agent - Elders