Summary: 58 bulls offered; top price $8000; average price $4529; 86pc clearance.
Alpha's Andrew and Donna Donaldson finished with the winning bid and four new sires for their operation at the conclusion of the Bendemeer on-property bull sale at Clermont on Friday.
Begun five years ago by Burnett Enterprises predominantly to distribute bulls to other properties in the Burnett Group, the sale has received growing outside buyer interest, and they invited neighbouring seedstock producers Winvic Pastoral to join in at the 2018 sale.
It was a Hereford composite bull from Winvic's Alice and Darren Marks' five lots offered this year that caught the eye of the Donaldsons from Surbiton South.
They paid $8000 under Helmsman auction conditions for the 29 month PP bull weighing 976kg.
According to Winvic 62's breeders, his Hereford grandsire was in the top 1 per cent of the Hereford Breedplan for a number of traits, including 600 day weight, scrotal size, eye muscle area, retail beef yield and intramuscular fat.
"He's one of our most balanced bulls," Alice Marks said.
Mr Donaldson said that as well as his statistics, the bull had good confirmation and colour.
"His dark red colour will go well over our Droughtmaster herd," he said. "Our son Eddie bought bulls here at the last sale and we've been very impressed with their performance - they're a class above anything else we've been using."
The bull had an average daily weight gain of 0.97kg, a scrotal circumference of 44cm, and semen morphology of 71pc.
The Donaldsons also purchased two Bendemeer low Brahman composite bulls sire by Kildare South Devon bulls from Bendemeer Brahman cows, and a Bendemeer Braford bull sired by Burradoo Retreat 2251.
For the bulls offered by Burnett Enterprises, an equal top price of $7000 was paid by Burnett Enterprises' Jo Jo manager Gavin Vallis, and Kalang Pastoral Co's Steve Burnett.
Mr Vallis secured the top-priced Bendemeer high Brahman content bull, ID 8474, for the property west of Springsure.
The two-year-old scurred bull's sale weight was 632kg while his average daily weight gain was 0.71kg, his scrotal size was 32cm and his semen morphology was 71pc.
Steve Burnett, who manages the Burnett Group and lives at Monteagle, Clermont with wife Lizzie, paid $7000 for the Bendemeer low Brahman composite bull, ID 8602, which was bred from a Bendemeer Braford sire and a Jo Jo commercial Simmental-cross dam.
Weighing 800kg at two years of age, the horned bull's average daily weight gain was 0.93kg, his scrotal size was 39cm and his semen morphology was 75pc.
Of the 14 registered bidders at the sale, 10 were outside operators, securing 10 of the 58 bulls on offer.
Three found a new home at Moonomoo Station, Pentland while Coovin Pastoral Co, Clermont bought one of the Winvic sires, and Mt Douglas Pastoral Co, Clermont, bought two, one from Winvic along with a Bendemeer Braford bull.
Within the Burnett operation, Kalang Pastoral Co bought 20 bulls, Frankfield Pastoral Co bought 11, and Burnett Enterprises (Jo Jo) bought 10.
Doug Burnett said the sale of bulls to their own properties should give outside buyers confidence they were bidding for what the vendors would want to use.
"It was a business decision to start the sale, to create competition so the bulls have real market value," he said.
"We're glad buyers were able to go away with a bull, as that was our focus, rather than the clearance rate.
"We're just glad that other producers are happy to invest in commercially relevant genetics."
There were 36 lots sold last year as against 51 this year, and last year's average was $3944/hd, compared to $4529 this year.
Alice Marks said that given the seasonal conditions, the support was incredible. The average for their five bulls was $5900.
"All our bulls had more than one bid, which backs up our kill data," she said.
"We have similar breeding objectives to Doug and Amanda (Burnett) on a smaller scale.
"We've always sold paddock bulls and were collecting EBVs for our own use, when we identified bulls that were above average that we made available to others."
She said the introduction of Herefords was to correct sheath looseness in their Brahman and Braford cattle, and to work towards polled sires.
"We achieved both but the nicest thing is that the temperament improved as well," Ms Marks said.
Sale attendees also heard Michael Beattie from Herefords Australia speak on genomics and its potential to generate profit.
- Agent - Hoch and Wilkinson