Furner stud success

A complete clearance of almost 130 bulls and females was achieved at an annual Furner sale last week with the average prices well in excess of 2020.

Co-proprietor Tom Baker welcomed a gathering of 300 to the 17th annual sale of his prominent Woonallee beef cattle stud on Thursday afternoon. Mr Baker acknowledged the assistance of his staff and all who had worked for the success of the sale.

“It is a great time to be in the cattle business,” Mr Baker said. In all, Woonallee Simmentals offered 103 traditional, black and red bulls together with 26 females. The bulls averaged $11,147 which was $3056 more than last year.

The sale high of $40,000 was paid for the 886 kilogram Woonallee Noble Prize. The successful bidders of the black Simmental bull were Stuart and Samantha Moeck, Valley Creek Simmentals, Bowral, NSW and Bouchard Livestock International, Canada.

They have secured the North American semen marketing rights. All 26 unmated heifers sold for a $6250 average. In comparison in 2020, 23 heifers sold for an average $5000.

The highest price female of $17,500 was paid for black Simmental Woonallee MS Lewis R062. The daughter of NGDB Structure 34D was sold to Stephen and Robyn Vivian, Knockando Beef Cattle, Mannum. Elders and Nutrien conducted the on-site sale with online bids coming from Elite Livestock Auctions and AuctionsPlus.

As well as local buyers, there were 106 registered bidders from five Australian states and Canada. Among those to register successful bids were Millicent’s John Mullins and Furner’s Chris Bateman.

The first on-site sale was held in 2005 and attendances well in excess of 200 are commonplace. This year’s sale attendees had to comply with certain COVID-19 protocols.

The proceeds of one bull was donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in recognition of the assistance rendered to a Baker family member midway through 2020.

The top price a year ago was $50,000 for a bull called Woonallee Phar Lap. Given its name, it was fitting that it crossed the Tasman Sea to a New Zealand stud.

The 2021 sale was preceded by an open day at the stud which was part of the annual South Australian Beef Field Days.

Political and farming identity Dale Baker had founded Woonallee Simmentals in 1972 and was involved in the stud until his death in 2012 at the age of 73. The stud is now operated by his son Tom and his wife Lizzie. Deon Chester has been the stud manager for several years.

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