By Fiona Gowers
A horned bull sold on 9 September at Andrew Bassingthwaighte’s Yarrawonga Santa Gertrudis stud at Wallumbilla has reset the breed’s bull record.
Yarrawonga Katmandu R236, the second of 158 lots into the ring, went for $150,000 to Scott and Wendy Ferguson, Glenn Oaks stud, Nobby, incidentally breaking their record of $126,000 set last year.
Katmandu is the son of Yarrawonga H Bomb (P) – the 2018 Brisbane Royal junior champion and grand champion bull – and the first of H Bomb’s calves sold.
Mr Bassingthwaighte said the bull, which topped the scales at 914kg at 23 months and had an eye muscle measurement of 137 square centimetres, was the “all round perfect package”.
“Katmandu is a standout,” he said. “He is very correct, there is plenty of meat in him and his body is thick and soft.”
The sale marked a milestone for Mr Bassingthwaighte and his wife, Fiona with the catalogue filled solely with Yarrawonga bulls for the first time.
Mr Bassingthwaighte said the huge support received from both studs and commercial clients had been “gratifying”.
“Our aim is to supply a consistent product, which is reflected in the many grand champions the stud has won,” he said.
“To achieve this, we have injected the best genetics from other producers – as well as our own – with about 2000 stud cows in the breeding program.
“We also run a large AI program.”
Beef producers from Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, NSW and the NT bought bulls at the Yarrawonga stud sale, while in Queensland, buyers came from Cloncurry to Esk.
“Our client base has become a bit more diverse due to drought because these poor breeders haven’t been able to buy bulls for 10 years,” Mr Bassingthwaighte said.
“It has been dry for so long.”
According to Mr Bassingthwaighte, “many domestic variables” are driving the market and he predicts it will continue to rise.
“Everyone is trying to buy back in (to the beef industry) because cattle prices are so high,” he said. “And there is confidence in the industry moving forward.
“Farmers have money in their pockets and the great thing about farmers is that money doesn’t stay in their pockets for too long. They love spending it on stock and machinery.
“People want quality and are willing to pay for it. Everyone wants better EBVs (estimated breeding values), better temperament, better fertility. Everything better.”
“It’s just a bit of a challenge for us poor bull breeders as we have to keep lifting the bar and producing better bulls. The pressure is next level!”