Millah Murrah Hits $16,000

By Andrew Norris (Courtesy The Land Thursday September, 2010 page 81)

In a strong result, the Millah Murrah Angus draft, of 82 bulls all sold at last week’s on-property auction at “Goonamurrah”, Bathurst, to a top of $16,000 to average $6100.

The top-priced bull, Millah Murrah Equator E123 (AI) (ET), was a son of the popular BT Equator 395M from the Hazeldean Renaissance R13 daughter, Millah Murrah Flower Y99.

Equator E123 sold to repeat buyers, Robert Gill and his son, Stephen, “Alexander Downs”, Merriwa, who also bought the top-priced bull two years ago.

Robert Gill said he bought the bull for its softness, weight for age (824 kilograms at 17 months), doing ability and muscling.

The bull has a 6.8 frame score, a massive 45-centimetre scrotal circumference and a daily weight gain of 1.57kg.

He will be one of five Angus sires run with 300 Angus cows used to breed replacement females for a 700-cow herd.

The surplus heifers and steers will go through the family’s own retail meat business, which is why they also pay close attention to the softness.

“The softness is important for meat eating quality”, Mr Gill said.

The bull, their sole purchase, had been their pick since the Ausmectin Southern Beef Week in June.

Mr Gill said he admired the bull’s ability to carry so much weight at a young age, without being too large.

The second top price of $12,000 reached twice, was paid for Equator sons: Millah Murrah Equator E47, sold to Clunie Range Angus, and then Millah Murrah Equator E108, sold to first-time buyers, John and Pam Farragher, “Seaham Grange”, Seaham.

The Guest family, Clunie Range, Coolatai, picked out Equator E47, and another bull for $8000 that they bought on agents’ recommendations before the sale.

Brett Guest, Clunie Range, said Equator E47 would bring to their herd an outcross and tremendous weight gain (1.43kg/day), combined with a low birthweight (+2.5 estimated breeding value) and high growth (+106 600-day weight value).

The 18-month-old bull weighed 806kg in a frame 7 and would be used on heifers as a back-up sire in an artificial insemination (AI) program, he said.

The Guests’ other purchase, Equator E28, would be used as an AI back-up sire on cows and weighed 784kg at 18 months.

The other $12,000 bull, Equator E108, the only purchase for the Farraghers, will be used in their commercial Angus herd.

Mr Farragher said they had “framey cattle” and had come to buy a bull that would add more bone and thickness.

“This bull had a lot of bone and, of course, a lot of bone allows for a lot more muscle, which he has got”, Mr Farragher said.

The bull also came recommended for its great female background, which suited their goal of breeding replacement females.

The Farraghers’ surplus females would be sold through agents, Bowe and Lidbury, and the Maitland saleyards, where they had previously had great success, and they would also use the bull to breed vealers and yearlings.

Equator E108 weighed 798kg at 17 months and had a daily weight gain of 1.49kg.

Volume buyer, Rimanui Farms, represented by its livestock manager, Mark Brazel, “Boonaldoon”, Moree, bought eight bulls through Pitman Deakin director, Andrew Pitman, Moree.

Rimanui joins 1500 cows a year, breeding for the feedlot market, and Mr Brazel said he was after an even line of medium maturity bulls.

Rimanui went to $5000, twice, and averaged $4250, and Mr Pitman also bought two for Allan Gillogoly, “Montrose”, Moree.

These will be used to breed replacement females and Jap ox steers in Mr Gillogoly’s 1700-cow herd.

Mr Pitman also bought a bull for Finley Pastoral Company, Garah, for its crossbreeding operation.

Millah Murrah co-principal, Ross Thompson, said it was great to see buyers come from a broad geographic spread, with 100 registered bidders travelling from as far as Injune and Roma in Queensland, Moree and Kyogle, Hillston and Licola, Victoria.

However, there was also strong local support, with a third of the bulls going to areas such as Bathurst, Oberon and Orange.

About 75 per cent were repeat buyers and the BT Equator progeny had met the strongest demand, averaging $7500 for the 14 sons offered, Mr Thompson said.

Ten paddock bulls were sold immediately after the official sale.

The average price was up $500 on last year and was the second best in the history of their on-farm sales.

The gross was their best yet and Mr Thompson said they would be offering a bigger draft next year.

The selling agents were Elders and auctioneer was Paul Dooley, Tamworth.