SA's bull sales defy border woes

SA's bull sales defy border woes

Beef
Elders studstock's Tony Wetherall and Ross Milne took plenty of bids on AuctionsPlus at Nampara stud's successful annual sale on Tuesday with 11 bulls knocked down that way.

Elders studstock's Tony Wetherall and Ross Milne took plenty of bids on AuctionsPlus at Nampara stud's successful annual sale on Tuesday with 11 bulls knocked down that way.

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The Victorian government's snap five-day lockdown of the whole state created some sleepless nights for stud breeders ahead of SA Angus Week, but it has not stopped some spectacular sales this week.

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The Victorian government's snap five-day lockdown of the whole state created some sleepless nights for stud breeders ahead of SA Angus Week, but it has not stopped some spectacular sales this week.

Many of these studs' clients straddle the SA-Vic border or are located further into Vic, but as it turns out these buyers were still able to attend sales or bid online.

This helped many sale averages lift 30 per cent to 40pc on 2020, in line with the rampaging cattle market rises.

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Elders stud stock auctioneer Ross Milne said a few Vic producers were unable to get their essential service travel permits at short notice to attend SA sales, but many cross-border community residents had been able to freely move within the 70-kilometre zone either side of the border.

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AuctionsPlus had also been a heavy hitter at sales.

Vic buyers were particularly active at Nampara stud's sale on Tuesday at Lucindale, securing 11 lots through AuctionsPlus of the 74 bulls to sell.

There were 131 buyers logged on to the sale and 116 viewers on AuctionsPlus.

Nampara stud principal Natalie Hann said it was fortunate they had great interest at their SA and Vic field days, where many buyers had made their selections and were then confident to bid online.

"It was very pleasing that they trusted the program and trusted the type that we are trying to produce," she said.

The re-opening of the border to regional Vic is welcome news for the state's remaining bull sales, including Pathfinder, which has its SA sale today at Naracoorte. Each year, 20-30pc of the bulls from this sale head into Vic.

Stud principals Nick and Sara Moyle, who reside at Penshurst, Vic, were in SA when the lockdown was announced. They opted to remain here rather than risk being stranded on "the wrong side" of the border for their sale.

Mr Moyle said they had been "working around" the border closure, offering independent evaluations on the bulls and ensuring Vic buyers knew they could follow the sale and bid through Elite Livestock Auctions.

"Nothing ever goes smoothly in farming, we just have to make the best of the circumstance," he said.

"Selecting a bull is a really personal, visual thing so buying online will not suit everyone but hopefully most will."

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