Landscape image of the Reiland Angus property

Reiland blood calves top Gundagai weaner sale

Reiland blood weaners topped the 77th annual weaner cattle sale at Gundagai on June 8.

Toby and Amanda O’Brien, and Lorraine Sutton, “Willow Glen’’, Gilmour, sold the top price pen of steers, Reiland and Bongongo blood, for $1020.

The spring drop, 10-month-old steers weighed 320kg liveweight, returning 318c/kg.

Their heifer portion sold for $660.

In the heifers, Anthony and Freda Nicholls, Gundagai, topped the yarding at $955 with Reiland blood 11-month-old females, weighing 340kg.

The O’Brien and Sutton partnership have been using Reiland genetics for more than 15 years.

Lorraine and her late husband John were traditionally dairy farmers, supplying the Tumut Butter Factory, until market forces dictated a change to Angus cattle.

The family runs a split calving herd of 180 Angus females, with heifers joined over six weeks and cows over eight.

Mr O’Brien said progeny were usually either turned off as weaners in the Gundagai weaner sale or grown out to feeder or slaughter weights.

When choosing sires, he looks for calving ease, temperament and growth.

“They must have a strong maternal pedigree with milking ability as well as being quiet,’’ he said.

“With buying from reputable studs like Reiland, structural soundness is a given and this is peace of mind.

“Also, Reiland is in my local area, resulting in excellent customer service.’’

Mr O’Brien said all females were pregnancy tested by Ian Masters after joining, with any empties culled.

“Those females not raising a live calf are sent to the saleyards – there are no second chances.’’

Mr O’Brien said using Reiland Angus genetics gave the family multiple marketing options.

“Using Angus gives us market flexibility – calves can go off as weaners, be finished to heavier weights for Teys or Cargill in December/January or sold as feeders, ‘’ he said.

“Even though the Gundagai sale was well down on last year, the five year rolling average resulted in it still being a reasonable sale, and we were happy with the prices.’’

Anthony and Freda Nicholls offered a run of 39 Reiland blood heifers and steers at the Gundagai weaner sale.

The steers, aged 11 months, sold for $875.

Normally the couple finish steers to feedlot entry weights but seasonal conditions dictated an early turn off.

Mr Nicholls said 12-month-old steers had been sold as feeders at 360kg due to the dry.

The Nicholls have used Reiland genetics for more than eight years and select bulls on growth, carcase yield, shape and calving ease.

“I don’t look for large and wide heads as I believe that leads to dystocia,’’ Mr Nicholls said.

“I select on 600 day weights as I need steers to finish fairly quickly to target the feedlot entry weight of 440kg.’’

Anthony and Freda run a split calving herd of 700 females, with both cows and heifers joined over nine to 10 weeks.

“I recently sold six-year-old Reiland blood cows, PTIC to Reiland bulls for an August calving, weighing 573kg, for $1405 on AuctionsPlus,’’ Mr Nicholls said.

“They had been productive cows all their lives and were only sold due to the dry seasonal conditions.’’