Disappointing Thorpdale sale

Liam Durkin

THEY do say farming is a gamble year after year.

That notion was clearly evident after the Absolute Angus Bull Sale on Wednesday, March 29.

The Autumn sale attracted a great deal of interest to the Trafalgar South property.

Unfortunately, the interest did not translate into many sales.

Of the 69 lots, 31 were sold.

Potential buyers study the guide
Potential buyers study the guide at last month’s Absolute Angus sale near Thorpdale.
Photos: Liam Durkin

The remaining 35 had no bids, while three were withdrawn.

Attendees saw the top price early in the piece – lot’s one and three to be precise, each going for $16,000.

Absolute Angus principal stud Anthony Pisa attributed their price to new ground genetics and a “very strong” maternal side.

The auction was also open to digital bidders. Seven lots were sold online amid a total of 38 bits.

In a nod to modern technology, an Elders auctioneer operated with the phone constantly held to one ear, relaying messages from what he heard on the ground through the other.

Overall, an auction average of $8871 came in, after asking prices for each lot started at $6000.

Online buyers came from as far as Bairnsdale, Murrindindi (near Yea in the state’s high country) and Saint Germains (near Kyabram in the state’s north).

While conceding it was a tough day, Mr Pisa put on a brave face, and was willing to take some small mercies out of the sale.

“It was a bit disappointing because the bulls are high calibre, obviously not enough buyers, but what sold, sold well,” he said.

Damp conditions may have played a part in stopping people attending in person, not allowing potential buyers the chance to really examine what they might be investing in.

The sale also coincided with the end of the buying season, and with store prices down, a natural decline in sales was always a possibility.

“There has been a lot of bulls around, the weather probably didn’t do us the world of good, but it was a challenging sale,” Mr Pisa said.

“I think the dry weather, lack of confidence probably, it will be interesting moving forward to see how the market progresses, I think there is a lot of positivity.

“We have new ground, progressing into the Angus bull making a lot of difference, a lot of people are after genetics, all the top price bulls are on new ground, we are focussing still on fertility, growth, and longevity, that is the most important thing.”

Moving forward, Mr Pisa will continue to work on his stud both in Gippsland and further afield in Echuca, where a number of calving programs are set to get underway.

He is expecting 600 stud calves on the ground this year.

Despite sales being down, those attending Absolute Angus were treated to great hospitality, with a coffee cart serving high quality food, and some stylish Absolute Angus merchandise available to take home.

Some very stylish caps were available for attendees.

Although the day itself may have been a financial disappointment, small things like that all form part of the auction experience, which will hopefully lead to greater returns when the next Absolute Angus Sale is held.

Gippsland Farmer

The Gippsland Farmer is a monthly agricultural newspaper reporting on rural news and distributed FREE and direct to an area covering from Cann River through to South Gippsland. For more than 40 years Gippsland Farmer has reported on a range of issues and industries including dairy, beef, vegetables, sheep, goats, poultry, organic farming, and viticulture.