Battle of nations’ genetics
THE best Australian and US angus genetics will go head to head at the Ascot Spring Sale this September.
Progeny of Australia’s top-priced angus bull Millah Murrah Kingdom (valued at $150,000) and America’s highest selling angus North Dakota’s SAV International 2020 (valued at $400,000), will be on offer at the Warwick sale.
However, Ascot Charolais and Angus owner Jim Wedge was quick to shrug off the notion the ritzy genetics would result in another record-breaking sale for them.
While Mr Wedge would love to see his cattle beat the Queensland angus record, set at their 2016 sale for an average sale price of $12,604, he felt it was unlikely.
Sales of top-end stud sires, including a $70,000 bull, drove up their overall average last year, he explained.
“Those big prices bring up the averages. Of course, we would like to match it, but realistically I don’t think we will be that high this year,” he said.
“We broke the Queensland record last year for the overall angus average and for selling the top-priced angus bull, it’s something we always strive to improve, but last year was an exceptional year for us really. I doubt whether we will match it this year.”
Most bulls would be sold at more humble prices, between $4000 and $8000, he predicted.
At the moment the 65 angus and 55 charolais sale bulls are looking like the perfect picture of fat, happy cattle. It’s a sight that brings Mr Wedge and his wife Jackie a great sense of pride.
“Most of the bulls are just coming in off pasture or crop. There is just a little more preparation leading up to the sale,” he said.
“Our female herd is getting better and better each year. We are spending more time and money on our female herd, with AI programs and embryo transfer programs.
“We are just starting to see the results of that now. We buy the best possible bulls we can and use the best cows with our AI programs.
“When we see our cattle and our bulls looking really good it does give you that sense of pride and accomplishment.”
When the Rural Weekly caught up with Mr Wedge, he was in the midst of the hefty paperwork trail of cattle logging: getting all the linage, carcass statistics and information ready for the catalogue.
The stud is now utilising their second property at Glen Innes, which has allowed them to boost their herd.
Mr Wedge said the bolstered numbers were to meet the strong demand for angus cattle.
Although genetics from SAV International 2020 brings a certain star power to the sale, Mr Wedge believed the market was still dictated by more traditional traits.
“We mainly focus on the Australian genetics as we know they suit the conditions,” he said.
“But every now and then you have to use some outside genetics, so your breeding pool doesn’t get too tight.
“So people are not necessarily chasing American genetics, they are just chasing good bulls that have good carcass qualities, and are good types.”
The yearling bulls sired by Millah Murrah Kingdom offered for sale will be some of the first sold in Australia. The sale will be held on September 29.
Catalogues will be available on request closer to the sale date. Visit www.ascotcattle. com.au.
TOP FORM: Angus bulls ready for the annual Ascot Spring Sale on September 29.
More than 50 head of polled charolais bulls will be up for sale.