Bull and female sale 2018

Whitney  Dollemore, Pastoral Research Officer, Katherine

The annual bull and  surplus female auction from the Selected Brahman and Composite programs was  held on the 20 – 21 June 2018. The Selected Brahman and Composite programs are  designed to objectively select for fertility, functionality and adaptation  whilst maintaining growth under extensive Northern Territory (NT) conditions.  There were impressive results from both the male and female sales with full  clearance of the bulls and Composite females, with only 16 Brahman females  passed in due to age.

Bull SaleBrahman Female SaleComposite Female Sale
Average Price ($)2,9001,9281,500
Top Price ($)7,0003,2001,500
Numbers offered838363

Figure 1: Top priced bull from the 2018 sale DRF50160M sold for $7,000

Figure 1: Top priced bull from the 2018 sale DRF50160M sold for $7,000

The bulls and females from this  sale are from the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) Selected  Brahman and Composite herds. These herds have undergone rigorous selection for  generations with a particular focus on fertility and adaptability. This can be  seen in the figures. The live export selection index, created specifically by  NT producers, calculates a single dollar value to enable a quick view of the  relative earning capacity of each bull. The index is an estimate of the profit  that will be generated from the sale of the bull’s male progeny and the longer  term profit from the reproduction capacity of the retained daughters. It is a  combination of the Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) for growth, carcass and  fertility traits. Some of the highest ranked bulls using this selection index  in the Brahman breed were presented in this sale. Of the DPIR bulls sold 53 are  ranked in the top 20% and two bulls are in the top 1 per cent for profitability  in the Brahman breed.

The bulls are bred from heifer  and first calf cows at Douglas Daly Research Farm and breeders at Kidman  Springs in the Victoria River District. All of these cows are from a line of  cows which readily reconceive after calving and produce an average of 152kg  live weight per cow per year. The EBVs (Figure 2) give you a picture of the  overall genetic trend of how this herd (red) and how the selection has  influenced both fertility (in lower days to calving/rebreeding and higher  scrotal size) and growth (18 month/600 day weight) in comparison to the Brahman  breed average (green).

Figure 2: EBV herd averages for the DPIR Selected Brahman and Composite herds and the Brahman breed (Jan2018).

Figure 2: EBV herd averages for the DPIR Selected Brahman and Composite herds and the Brahman breed (Jan2018).

Bull selection is critical for  profitability, the number of calves that will be produced by your breeder herd  in 10 years’ time can be attributed to the type of bull selected and purchased  this year. A bull that is selectively bred in an equal or harsher environment  than your own is likely to produce daughters and steers that are highly adapted  and productive in your environment. A bull and his daughters, your future cows,  must fit their environment to stay in the breeder herd; it is much more  profitable to select a cow to fit the environment than try to change the  environment through supplementary feeding and/or parasite control. Genetic  selection is a cheap, cumulative and permanent change which is determined by  your breeding goals.

For more information please  contact Whitney Dollemore 08 8973 9749 or whitney.dollemore @nt.gov.au.

Last updated: 11 September 2018