Cows fetch top prices

Grocott's Mail - - OUTSIDE - By SUE MACLENNAN

Abuyer paid the top price of R80 000 for a bull at the an­nual Fron­tier Bon­s­mara sale at the Hob­son & Co auc­tion yards this week. The bull was one of a group of 58 from Eastern Cape breed­ers Craig Han­d­ley and Justin Stirk that fetched the av­er­age price of R47 120.69.

A Han­d­ley stud preg­nant cow fetched the record price of R50 000 in a group of 15 an­i­mals with an av­er­age price of R22 666.67.

The sale hall was packed shortly af­ter the mid­day start of the auc­tion. A who’s who of farm­ers from the dis­trict at the top of their game, there were also a num­ber of younger and emerg­ing farm­ers, and a group of pupils from Hoer Land­bouskool Mar­low there to ob­serve the sale.

The spe­cial­ist na­ture of the Bon­s­mara breed means buy­ers from other prov­inces make the jour­ney to spot and pick up qual­ity breed­ing stock.

“The sale is al­ways well at­tended but this year es­pe­cially so,” said Paul Hob­son.

The mood of bid­ders was very mea­sured, Hob­son said.

“There were lots of in­ter­ested par­ties, but the eco­nomic cli­mate is such that peo­ple are re­ally bid­ding to their bud­get,” he said.

Par­tic­u­larly no­table the en­thu­si­asm for cows.

“The fe­male mar­ket was very buoy­ant and very high – the high­est it’s ever been,” Hob­son said and the R50K paid for the Han­d­ley cow was a first.

“It’s partly due to the game in­dus­try be­ing in a bit of dis­ar­ray,” Hob­son said. “It’s also was due to the drought be­gin­ning to break.”

Farm­ers sold off an­i­mals dur­ing the drought and were now re­stock­ing.

Bon­s­maras are con­sid­ered a bench­mark in sci­en­tific breed­ing.

A suc­cess­ful South African ex­per­i­ment bred for beef, they are a cross be­tween Afrikan­der, Here­ford and Shorthorn, re­sis­tant to drought, par­a­sites and dis­ease.

In other sales, a stud cow with a calf fetched R13K; 62 com­mer­cial preg­nant cows av­er­aged R18 189.52 (top price R21 500); com­mer­cial cows and calves R17 142.86 (top price R20 500) and com­mer­cial preg­nant heifers R17 710.53 (top price R21 000).

Maclennan Photo: Sue

Spot­ters look out for bid­ders at the Fron­tier Bon­s­mara Sale on Wed­nes­day 15 Au­gust.

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