Landscape image of the Reiland Angus property

Commercial producers back in the game and pay to $24,000 at Reiland Angus autumn bull sale

Graham and James Houston, Houston Pastoral, Burrowye, with Jess Reynolds, Reiland Angus, and the equal top price bull Reiland Stetson S953 at $24,000.

Repeat commercial producers keen to purchase bulls in volume found value buying to a top price of $24,000 at the 2023 Reiland autumn bull sale.

Interfaced with AuctionsPlus, the sale was hosted by the Lucas family at Killimicat Station, Tumut, on April 19 and drew 33 registered buyers.

A total of 79 bulls were offered with 74 sold to a top of $24,000 twice and an average of $9189.

Repeat client Houston Pastoral, Burrowye Station, Burrowye, Victoria, secured the two top price bulls, Lot 17 Reiland Stetson S953 and Lot 47 Reiland Simmons S397.

Stetson boasted positive calving ease, low birthweight, top 15 per cent 600-day growth at +134kg and top 5 per cent eye muscle area at +11.8sqcm. Sired by Stoney Point Kingpin K211, the August 2021 drop bull weighed 800kg, had a scrotal circumference of 40cm and an intramuscular fat EBV (estimated breeding value) of +3.4 per cent.

Simmons ranked top 14 per cent for calving ease, had a birthweight EBV of +2.8kg, top 9 per cent marbling at +4.2 and top 5 per cent eye muscle area at +11.6sqcm. Sired by US bull GAR Ashland, the July 2021 drop bull weighed 690kg, and had a scrotal circumference of 41cm.

Houston Pastoral principal Graham Houston liked the two top price bulls for their frame, carcase, and muscle.

Graham and son James were after growth, weight and marbling in their purchases of five bulls for their 3500-cow commercial herd. Houston Pastoral was a finalist in the 2019 MLA Eating Quality Award and is acknowledged as a premium supplier to JBS based on quality and quantity, regularly recording marble scores of 6 and 7 in grass fed steers. 

“Through the processing system and genomic testing, we are identifying dams and sires that produce quality eating meat which is good for the environment based on stayability and feed conversion reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” Graham said.

“That is a testament to the bull breeding program at Reiland and their genetics.”

Graham said the enterprise was experiencing the best autumn in 20 years with three good falls of rain, while a slowdown in the herd turn-off in the US could work in Australia’s favour to push up feeder steer prices however government assistance was required to boost skilled labour in the red meat processing sector. 

The family have founded their Burrowye Angus stud using foundation Reiland genetics and have their first registered calves on the ground. Their foundation cow, the $25,000 Reiland Braebell J563, flushed with 23 A grade embryos with an 83 per cent pregnancy rate in recipient Reiland blood cows in the first round. 

The second top price at Reiland of $21,000 was paid by repeat commercial client Bannister Station, Goulburn, for Lot 5 Reiland Steel S1198, an August 2021 drop son of US sire GB Fireball 672.

Steel ranked top 3 per cent for eye muscle area at +13.0sqcm, top 10 per cent marbling at +3.9, and top 5 per cent carcase weight at +89kg. Reiland Angus retained 50 per cent semen and marketing rights in this young sire. 

Another repeat client, Proudford Agricultural Company, Narrawa, NSW, partnered with Dougal Kelly, Riverview Wallah, Rugby, NSW, to pay $12,000 for Reiland Stewart S390 and $16,000 for Reiland Salamander S616. 

The Proudford family went on to purchase a further six bulls to a top of $19,000 for Reiland Simon S373, a 710kg son of Stoney Point Kingpin K211. Simon ranked top 4 per cent eye muscle area at +12.8sqcm and top 6 per cent $A-L index. 

Riverview Wallah, also a long time Reiland client, invested in a further five bulls to a top of $20,000 for Reiland Safari S1183. A son of Avalon Angus Lubar L20, the spring 2021 drop bull weighed 734kg with Reiland reserving the right to collect semen.

Among the three new clients were the McArthur-Onslow family, Goulburn, taking home four bulls to a top of $11,000.  Long-time clients Oldbury Farm, Sutton, bought a truck load of seven bulls to a top of $12,000. 

Adam Wheeler, Towong Station, Towong, returned after an initial visit last year and bought three bulls to a top of $8000 for the 500-cow spring calving herd which produces feeder steers for JBS and Rangers Valley.

 “I am looking for bulls with calving ease without sacrificing growth and carcase quality,” Adam said. 

Andrew and Rachael Purcell, Braeburn Pastoral, Brungle Creek, invested in five bulls to a top of $13,000 and were after moderate birthweight and calving ease. 

“We are not chasing a huge EMA but prefer positive fat for producing replacement females,” Andrew said.

Matt Mooney, Wokolena Pastoral, Kyeamba South, bought three bulls for $6000 each and Matt Reynolds, Mount Hugel, Adelong, bought four bulls to a top of $16,000. Matt likes a low birthweight and moderate mature cow weight to give an efficient female. 

Reiland Angus co-principal Mark Lucas described the beef industry as a “rollercoaster” and paid tribute to loyal commercial clients. 

“Last year bulls were overpriced and this year commercial producers are buying very good bulls at very competitive prices,” he said. 

Mr Lucas said the beef market outlook was positive with “red meat processors trying to claw back the market but they won’t be able to hold it”.

“Quality beef is our focus and trajectory with a catalogue of higher carcase value animals, fundamentally keeping in balance the growth and weight,” he said.

“We have adopted a beef profile, International Genetic Solutions which is an emerging scheme whereby bulls are analysed through TACE (Trans-Tasman Angus Cattle Evaluation) or BREEDPLAN but also another process focusing on longevity and stayability of the cow, and economic beef production of the herd.”

Auctioneer Brian Leslie said the bulls presented well and represented good value buying with the vendors keen to meet the market. 

“These bulls have plenty of calving ease, growth, IMF and phenotypically looked good – they try for the total package here and that’s what people get,” Mr Leslie said. 

“Generally, the clearances haven’t been as high this autumn compared to last year and bull sale averages have come back in line with the industry.”

On display was an Optiweigh unit, a portable in-paddock autonomous weighing system for collecting accurate real time data on individual and mob weights. Reiland Angus will be using the Optiweigh in the spring bull cohort before it moves onto commercial clients’ herds under a Reiland Angus client reward scheme. 

The lucky bull buyer drawn from the hat for a 10-day trip to New Zealand to visit the East Coast Angus bull sales was Will Sullivan, Ballandry Pastoral, Strath Creek, Victoria, after purchasing Lot 27 for $8000.

Selling agents were Elders and Ray White Livestock GTSM with guest auctioneers Brian Leslie and 2023 ALPA National Young Auctioneer winner Harry Waters, Elders Gundagai. 

Reiland’s private treaty bull sale will be held on May 23 and the spring bull auction on September 1.