The level of volume buyers in attendance at this year's Droughtmaster National Sale was a testament to the quality of bulls on offer.
The sale generated strong buying interest from a variety of seedstock and commercial cattle producers looking for herd improvers and replacement bulls to improve their bottom line.
After two days of competitive bidding, it was the the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries who secured the most bulls to be the largest volume buyers at the conclusion of the sale.
DAF purchased 16 bulls for an average of $7375 for its Spyglass Beef Research Facility north of Charters Towers.
Spyglass Station manager Stephen Anderson is a repeat buyer and has been supporting the Droughtmaster National on behalf of DAF for the past ten years.
"It was a very good sale, very well presented articles; it just keeps getting better and better and that's why we come back and why we'll keep coming back," he said.
Mr Anderson returned to the sale in search of replacement bulls for his commercial Droughtmaster breeding herd, as well as bulls for various research trials up north.
"We run two breeds on Spyglass - Brahmans and Droughtmasters. Some of these bulls will go into a Repronomics trial and the others will go into the commercial breeding herd," he said.
"The Repronomics trial commenced in 2013, and primarily focuses on measuring the reproduction of the bulls' daughters, from reaching puberty and their ability to start oestrus again after their first calf."
Mr Anderson said he selects his bulls based on their Breedplan figures, as well as their structural soundness, and was impressed by the overall quality of cattle in this year's sale.
"It was a very high quality sale, and it's good to see the averages and prices that were made," he said.
Repeat buyer Geoff Hodgkinson from Cairo Grazing, also managed to walk away with quite a solid yarding of bulls at the conclusion of the two-day sale, purchasing 11 bulls for an average of $7909.
Mr Hodgkinson is based at Cairo, a 23,067 hectare cattle property near Clermont, and has been attending the sale on and off for the past 40 years.
"I thought the quality was an improvement on previous years, and it felt like there were two sales. There was a stud sale and a commercial sale going on," he said.
When it comes to selecting sires fit for his herd, Mr Hodgkinson said there are three main criteria that contribute to his decision making.
"I look for temperament first, and then the length in the bull and a correct pizzle that's up off the ground," he said.
Mr Hodgkinson normally fattens bullocks, but has tapped into the feeder steer market to take advantage of the strong cattle prices.
"We normally fatten bullocks but we have been selling feeder steers lately because they're worth so much money, so I came to the sale chasing some more bulls to try and mate an extra 300 odd heifers," he said.
Other volume buyers included Bingcliff Pastoral, Mt Hope Cattle Co, O'Connor Partnership, Ingrid O'Neill, JS Cattle Co, and KLD Pastoral.
Bingcliff Pastoral purchased 14 bulls for an average of $5142.
Mt Hope Cattle Co purchased 12 bulls for a cracking sale average of $12,083.
O'Connor Partnership snatched up 10 bulls for an average of $8100.
Ingrid O'Neill secured nine bulls for a $6333 average.
JS Cattle Co and KLD Pastoral purchased eight bulls each, for an average of $6750 and $7125 respectively.