Angus must change its 'terminal' breed direction, says leading geneticist
WIDER FOCUS: Leading New Zealand geneticist, Professor Dorian Garrick, says Angus breeders need to focus more heavily on measuring and improving maternal traits.
First ever yearling bull sale a huge success for Mt Mable Angus.
First ever yearling bull sale a huge success for Mt Mable Angus. 26 quality yearling bulls sold to mostly beef farmers on the 24th of September. 3 other 2 year old bulls were also offered and sold on the day. The average over the whole 29 bulls was $3,831.03. A local Dannevirke buyer and one from Central Hawke’s Bay paid the top prices of $6,000 each for lots 7 and 5 respectively.
9 bulls went to Northland purchased on behalf by a sale regular Rhys Dackers of Carfields, Dargaville and another 6 have gone back into the Ohura district. Based on the strength of this sale and the calving ease low birthweight bulls that are being born to our heifers in 2018 we intend to have another yearling bull sale in 2019.
There will still be many very high quality bulls to select from at our annual two year old bull sale on the second Monday of June in 2019.
Thankyou to all our buyers, under bidders and representatives from PGG Wrightson, Carfields, John Griffiths Livestock and others who all contributed to making it a very rewarding day for the Mt Mable Angus breeding programme. We could not put on the day without the help of family, friends and neighbours – their assistance is very much appreciated.
DD Genetic Defect US Angus Association Official Description
Rangatira Mack tops bull demand with $50,000 price tag
High export beef prices are behind consistently strong bull sales at studs around the country, report Kate Taylor and Pat Deavoll.
Rangatira Mack sold for $50,000 to Mt Mable Angus Stud, Central Hawke's Bay.
Gisborne's Rangatira Angus has once again sold the season's highest-priced bull. However, the angus bull fetched just half of 2015's big earner.
Charlie and Susie Dowding sold 54 bulls for an average of $12,740 – one of them to Kevin and Megan Friel at Mt Mable Angus, Central Hawke's Bay, for a season-topping $50,000.
History was made at their 2015 sale when Rangatira 13-38 generated feverish bidding and was eventually sold for a record $100,000.
Susie said they were "overwhelmed and humbled" by the support shown at this year's sale by both new faces and repeat buyers.
Charlie said they appreciated the support they had been given.
"We were pleased with the strong line-up of bulls we had to offer this year. It's also a reflection on beef prices being sustained. That's been reflected across all of the sales."
Megan Friel said their new bull, Rangatira Mack, will breed "incredibly well" for them.
"There's not a cow here I can't imagine he wouldn't cross over really nicely. We're very excited."
She said they were pleased to be in a position to buy a top bull after a strong sale of their own last month, which netted an average just over $10,000, but also they had found the bull they wanted.
Three other studs were bidding on the bull eventually bought by Mt Mable. The first bid of $20,000 was made by a stud and the underbidder was Springdale Angus, which went on to buy another bull with the same sire pedigree.
Friel said they were impressed with the bull's pedigree.
"His sire is Cobra 10-546, which has a Kaharau prefix, going back to Dandaloo Admiral 741, who bred incredibly well at both Kaharau and Rangatira. Cobra sons were well received last year and sold very well at Taimate Angus in Marlborough as well this year.
"The cow line goes back to Tarangower Vice, which sold for $55,000 at Expo in 2007."
Friel said that as well as the pedigree, he had appealing 600-day growth figures and a strong phenotype.
"He is a really nice looking bull with good confirmation and structure. He carries his 945kg very easily. He has very good actual scanning data as well. He was the one for us. We had several other bulls marked and they all went to studs (after his sale)."
At the 2015 sale, Rangatira 13-38 was bought by the Bayly family of Cricklewood Angus, Wairoa. The-then rising two year old angus bull was lot 18 on the catalogue and was sired by Mt Mable Thor 660 – a son of the stud's well known Fat Boy, who is still going strong as an eleven-year-old.
Friel said they were "stoked" to see ongoing strong sales of Thor sons at this year's sale.
Three Thor sons went to studs – Brookwood bought Lot 2 for $47,000, Cricklewood bought Lot 3 for $38,000 and Argyll Angus from Northland bought Lot 8 for $12,000.
It ended up being a two-way relationship for Mt Mable and Rangatira this year as the Dowdings bought the Friels' top-price bull for $19,000.
Tangihau sold 20 out of 20 bulls for an average price of $15,475. All of the bulls sold at the Gisborne Combined Angus Bull Sale including four to studs - Lot 4 Turiroa and Whenuapapa for $40,000, Lot 5 for $40,000 to Cricklewood and Lot 7 for $42,000 to Kaharau.
Ratanui Angus sold 30 of 30 bulls at an average of $9333. Lot 4 was bought by a commercial buyer for $16,000. Mel Story said at 1000kg it was the heaviest bull they'd ever sold – the average was usually around 850kg.
Stern Angus also had total clearance of bulls with 101 bulls sold with a high price of $47,000 – sold to Tangihau Angus. Stern owner James Fraser described the bull as a trifecta – "a bull with great pedigree, great phenotype and great EBVs. He's a beautifully sound, deep-bodied bull and with superb temperament. We used him as a yearling and will retain semen for use within the stud."
The Wilding family of Conway Flat, Canterbury, is celebrating after their on-farm bull sale netted them a record of more than $1 million. Te Mania Aberdeen Angus stock manager Will Wilding said the sale was "fantastic."
"It couldn't have gone any better for us."
About 400 people attended the sale of 117 two-year-old bulls. The average price paid was $9628 for a bull. The top price was $28,000 for Te Mania 15347. Te Mania 15311 also sold for $26,500. Prices were up $1500 on last year, and only one bull was passed in.
The top hereford price for the season has gone to Koanui Polled Herefords in Hawke's Bay with some sales still to be held in Gisborne. Koanui Exfactor 5041 was sold for $29,000 to Craigmore Polled Herefords.
Cousins John and James Murray of Woodbank and Matariki studs found a new way to get clients to their combined on-farm bull sale north of the Clarence River, North Canterbury.
Their farms were cut off from the south by slips brought down by the earthquake that struck Kaikoura last November. To get visitors in on sale day the cousins enlisted the help of a helicopter. Prospective buyers were flown in from Mangamaunu on the coast north of Kaikoura.
John said 65 people flew by helicopter across no man's land and eight fixed wing aircraft also landed punters on the top-dressing strip.
"We were so lucky with the weather with no wind so it was easy for everyone to fly in and out. It was a relief."
There were 94 registered buyers out of a crowd of 300.
Woodbank Angus stud averaged $7200 for 53 bulls and Matariki Herefords averaged $7900 for 48 bulls. The top price for Woodbank was $15,500 and the top price for Matariki $15,000.
James said there was positivity in the beef industry.
"After three years of drought we were really happy with how the bulls looked," he said.
"These were the bulls that suffered through the drought and it's pleasing to us the way the offering has come through with brilliant quality and condition."
He said a lot of the Matariki bulls were going to Southland and a few to the North Island.
"Getting those to the North Island will be easy. It's getting them south that is the problem. They have to go north to Blenheim, then south through the Lewis and on from there."
Woodbank will hold its yearling sale, complete with helicopter rides, in early October.
Rangatira sells priciest NZ bull
Gisborne Herald - by Murray Robertson
Published: June 29, 2017
Packed gallery greets 54 young bulls up for auction in the Coventry Station rostrum yesterday.
TOP NZ PRICE: Lot 4 (pictured) at the Rangatira Angus bull sale yesterday on Coventry Station at Muriwai sold for $50,000.
It was the highest price paid for any bull of any breed in New Zealand this bull sales season. He is off to stud in southern Hawke’s Bay. Picture by Paul Rickard
RANGATIRA Angus sold the top priced bull of any breed sold in New Zealand this rising two-year-old bull sale season yesterday at $50,000 and studmaster Charlie Dowding was thrilled about it.
A packed gallery greeted the 54 young bulls up for auction in the Coventry Station rostrum yesterday morning.
They were treated to quick-fire high stakes and thrilling bidding across not just the top-priced animal (Lot 4) but also across two others (Lots 2 and 13) that got up to $47,000 each.
Another top bull (Lot 3) went out the door for $38,000.
The $50,000 auction was won by Friel Farms, the Mount Mable Stud from Kumeroa south of Dannevirke.
Stud owner Kevin Friel said he thought the bull was the best one in the Rangatira lineup.
“He had the best Angus type, plenty of meat, beautiful feet and sound temperament.
“We had a really good sale ourselves two weeks ago so we were keen to reinvest here in Gisborne today.”
In all eight Rangatira bulls were sold to stud.
“We would like to thank everyone for their spirited bidding right through the sale today and for their support,” said Rangatira studmaster Charlie Dowding afterwards.
“It has been an overwhelming and amazing sale for us.”
The stud sold all 54 bulls in the catalogue for an average of $12,740, which was higher than that achieved by the stud over the past two years.
“I am relieved we have it all behind us now. It is always somewhat of a nerve wracking experience,” Mr Dowding said.
“We have aimed for meat and weight at this age for our bulls, and the buyers are looking for the same things.”
Auctioneer Bruce Orr said he struggled to find the right superlatives to describe a fantastic sale.
“Today we saw the pinnacle of breeding black cattle nationally. A lovely line of cattle confirmed by the interest, support and prices achieved.”
Of the total line up 28 made five figures, down the catelogue as far as Lot 52 that sold for $10,500.
“The strength of this catalogue stands out,” said co-auctioneer Neville Clark.
“The sale was as strong at the back as it was at the front.”
As Mr Orr said after the last bull was sold, “Sadly, that’s it. We have come to the end of a great sale of quality, quality cattle!!”
Friel Farms, $50,000: Brookwood Station Ltd, $47,000: I.D and K Borck partnership, $47,000; Cricklewood Station, $38,000; Tauwhareparae Station, $11,500, $10,000, $12,000, $10,000, $9000: G.M Shannon partnership, $13,000, $14,000; Ricky Alabaster Family, $9000; Te Uranga B2 Inc, $13,500; Quinn and Sons Ltd, $12,000; Tahu-nui Ltd, $10,000, $10,500; S.M Duncan partnership, $13,000; Kereru Station, $10,000; Arawood Farm Ltd, $13,500; G.R McIntyre, $8000, $8000;Rissetto Station, $12,500, $15,000, $8500, $9000, $9000, $10,500, $7500; Mangaheia Station, $7500, $9000, $10,000, $8500; Mangatawhiti Station, $14,500; R.P Purdy, $12,000; Toromiro Station, $9000, $8000; KML Trust, $14,000; Ingleby Co Ltd, $10,000, $14,000; T.A.H Jowsey, $14,000; Tuahu Station, $11,000; Rural Livestock Ltd, $7000, $6000; Leros Lands Ltd, $9000; Monte Farm and Forestry, $7500, $9000; M.J and J Charteris, $8500; Belfast Grazing Co Ltd, $9500;
Tawhara Farm, $7000; Fernyhurst Farm, $9000; Paparatu Station, $8000; PGG Wrightson as agents, $8000; Hereheretau Station, $8000.
The difference between Facts (reality) and Fiction (assumed figures)
27 April 2016 – 10 Mt Mable steers killed at Silver Fern Farms. Average live weight of 534.10 kg. Average carcase weight of 290.5 kg. All 10 steers graded within the Silver Fern Farm’s Master Grade as per their EQ system – it is a rarity for a mob of animals to achieve a 100% inclusion rate – the national average for New Zealand is apparently 29%. So rare apparently that Kevin White, the local Silver Fern Farm’s buyer did not initially send the kill sheets through – he wanted to check with the processing plant that all 10 had in fact been accepted into the EQ Master grade. All of these animals were steered because they were the poorest bull calves at weaning time – effectively cull animals – they had only ever received grass or silage and were given no special treatment. Their average Angus Pure index was $80 against the breed average of $116 and their Carcase weight EBV was an average of +26 against the breed average of +54 – again strongly suggesting that the Australasian Group Breedplan does not reflect Mt Mable cattle fairly or adequately. In a recent newspaper article a prominent South Island breeder, breeding solely for carcase data (estimated) stated that fodder beet is the answer to consistently marble New Zealand beef – based on the above we strongly disagree and suggest that while it may be the case for the genetics imported from feed lot finishing countries – it is not our experience of our New Zealand bred cattle .................... obviously.
Gisborne bull sells for record $100,000
June 24 2015
Rangatira Angus Stud's "lot 18" that has been sold for an on-farm New Zealand record price of $100,000.
A Gisborne bull has entered the six figure mark for the first time at a New Zealand farm sale after making $100,000.
History was made at Charles and Susan Dowding's, Rangatira Angus Stud bull sale in Muriwai, Gisborne, when Rangatira 13-38 generated feverish bidding and was eventually sold to the Bayly family of Cricklewood Angus, Wairoa.
The rising two year old angus bull - born August 14, 2013 - was lot 18 on the catalogue and was sired by Mt Mable Thor 660 who is a son of the stud's well known Fat Boy, who is still going strong as a nine-year-old.
At Mt Mable what you see is what you get
Fourth Genetic Defect Identified
There is a new kid on the block in the form of another genetic defect being identified - this one has been christened Developmental Duplication .... henceforth known as DD. We first heard a whisper about it on an US cattle internet chat site a couple of years ago - where calves born with a fifth limb or parasitic twin were being discussed. Since then Dr Beever, who narrowed down and identified the responsible genes for the other defects (AM - curly calf, NH - hydro head and CA - fawn calf. Mt Mable is completely free of any suspects or pedigree links to any of these diseases) has identified the allele responsible for DD and after extensive testing of affected cattle and AI sires in the US, at this stage there appears to be two related but chronologically distant lines of cattle which carry the disease in NZ.
The first and long time ago introduced Ken Caryl Mr Angus - imported and used in the 70's and therefore having little expected impact as his carrier status will be long diluted or culled out, and secondly more recently and with a much bigger impact (some could say HUGE), B/R New Design 036 - he and many of his sons frequent many pedigrees here in NZ, in Australia and the US - 036 was deemed by many to be the best thing in Angus Cattle for some time and was promoted accordingly. A little like the AM and NH carrying CA Future Direction.
Mt Mable will have limited testing to do to remove minimal suspect ratings of 1 and 2% from a few of our cows that can trace their lineage back to Mr Angus - recent introduction of 036 genetics via great grand son Braveheart of Stern, and grand son Turihaua Century, are expected to have a lesser impact as seemingly, according to the Australian Breedplan, Te Mania Unlimited U3271, (a son of 036 and common link to these bulls) now has a suspect rating of just 2% (as at 31/08/13) and if he is not tested and cleared in the meantime, this should be diluted down to Free Untested for both of these bulls, as neither have any other possible pedigree links to other DD carriers. We will test all our sire bulls as a matter of cause, as we do for all defects whether there is deemed to be a need to, or not. As we have had no unusual births, and fertility has never been an issue for our herd, we feel confident to assume that like the other defects, our careful research and pedigree analysis of all our sires will protect our herd from any wholesale problems.
The most disturbing thing in our mind about yet another defect coming to light, is not it's identification as, in all species, genetic mutations which cause defects occur all the time, but the apparent regularity with which this particular allele is inherited, (which apparently the scientists agree on), and the unexpectedly low incidence of birth deformities being evidenced, then the most common affect of this defect is in all likelihood embryonic death ie abortions.
Dry cows are one of the biggest costs to beef farmers and commercial farmers must be able to rely on their seed stock providers to identify and rectify on going fertility issues within the pedigreed herd. The value of not tolerating dry cows and investigating likely causes, coincidences etc cannot be overstated.
"2013 Sale Done and Dusted"
11 June 2013
The 2013 sale is now behind us for another year and we are happy with our results. We sold 44/45 offered for an average of $6736 with top price of $12500 for Lot 1 going to A Smith of Te Manuiri Station – Lot 3 went as a stud bull to Delmont and Penvose Studs in Southland for $11,000. In view of the difficulties faced by many this farming year we are gratified by the support shown to our breeding program.
Many regular and returning buyers were again present at the sale along with lots of new faces too – just how we like it.
- Mt Mable Totara 748 (Herd Book No 12188011748)
. He was bought by Penvose Angus, Wedderburn and Delmont Angus, Clinton for $11,000.
Angus stud moves across main divide
01-05-2009 | Heartland Beef
Buying a large farm before selling your two existing farms is not something many would consider.
But when Mount Mable Angus stud owners Kevin and Megan Friel saw the property they had fallen in love with come on the market again, they didn't hesitate.
They bought Pukerimu Station near Norsewood at auction with their last bid in early 2008, and a year later they are still smiling.
The story started back in 2006 when the station first came on to the market.
They were farming Kevin's family property at Ohura in the King Country, but were quietly looking at expanding their operation and changing location.
"The girls were all going to pony club at Piopio which was 90 minutes away, and Caitlin was at school in Hamilton, so we also had to go up to Te Kuiti every weekend to catch the bus," said Megan.
The Ohura farm was 660ha effective, with the majority of it being hill country with some river flats.
They travelled down to Hawke's Bay and secretly arranged to view Pukerimu.
"Although we were very excited after looking at the farm, we just didn't think we could do it financially," said Megan.
Ultimately Pukerimu was sold for a lot less than they had been told it would sell for, which was disappointing.
So they went to plan B.
After looking at various properties around Piopio, they decided to purchase 104ha of mostly rolling country with some flats.
But the long distance between the two farms soon started taking its toll.
Kevin spent a lot of time on the road between the two farms, and the situation was not sustainable for the family.
So when Pukerimu came onto the market again in November 2007, they made the decision to go for it.
"We couldn't believe our eyes," they said.
And they got it, just.
"After the fall of the hammer, we rang our real estate agent and told them to put our properties on the market," they said.
The Ohura farm sold within a month, and on the advice of an agent they decided to take the Piopio farm to auction.
With takeover on Pukerimu set at the end of April, the stress levels esculated when no bidders turned up to the auction at the start of March.
Luckily, they sold the farm to a local within three weeks of the auction and the rest, as they say, is history.
Pukerimu Station is 1042ha; 880ha effective and an area of 117ha in pines with the balance being shelterbelts and gorges.
The well established shelterbelts of pines are a feature of the property, and provide stock with valuable protection in cold weather.
Moving stock, feed, machinery and all the furniture was a huge job.
It took sixteen unit loads to move the sheep and cattle, staggered over a period of four days.
"We also had one of baleage, one of hay and baleage and one of machinery," they said, "plus all the horses and furniture."
The decision to transport all the stock was because the sheep flock on Pukerimu was an assortment of various breeds.
Although it was a costly exercise, the benefit of having a familiar flock built up over many years made the exercise worthwhile.
Megan said the cows especially suffered, as after the drought they were in the lightest condition she had ever seen them.
"They arrived at 10:30pm and it was sleeting and freezing cold," she recalls, "and Kevin said we had better go and have a look at them, fully expecting to find some tipped up."
"But they were all fine, just staring at him as if he was totally mental for sending them down here."
Although they brought 60 bales of baleage with them from the King Country, they were forced to buy 40 more for $200 per bale.
"But we all made it, and we're still smiling," said Megan.
The Mt. Mable Angus stud consists of 170 stud cows and 40 commercial cows.
The stud cows will begin calving at Pukerimu on August 1, with the commercial herd following two months later.
Calving percentage historically has been between 90-95% across both herds.
The genetics for the stud are not pure NZ genetics, but NZ-bred bulls.
"We haven't used any American semen for more than 10 years," said Kevin, "and we prefer to actually see the stock as opposed to AI."
Being a relatively small herd, they are very careful about the choices they make as they are aware that one wrong move could spell trouble.
Kevin has seen the good the American blood has done for the industry in the late 1970s/early 1980s, but believes it was used for too long in some cases and resulted in temperament, foot and constitution problems.
The systems used for feeding some cattle in the United States involve grain feeding for most of the year, which is in direct contrast with NZ's grass fed systems.
As young stud breeders getting into the industry, they saw that there was a large difference between what stud breeders were asking for, and what farmers wanted.
So they made a conscious decision to target what their farmer buyers wanted and so far this has worked well.
The isolation of the stud on the Ohura property was one of the problems for potential buyers, and they are looking forward to inviting their clients to the much more accessible Pukerimu Station.
"What gave us the confidence to move in the end was the fact that we were selling enough bulls to regular buyers, and we hoped that they would continue to come regardless of where we were located."
In the earlier days of the stud, the majority of the bulls were sold in the local district but buyers nowcome from anywhere in the North Island.
Between 35 and 40 bulls are presented at the on-farm auction every year, with some paddock sales as well.
The remaining progeny not required for sale are fattened and sent to slaughter.
Constitution and temperament are the two main keys to any animals culled during the year.
Cows can remain in the breeding herd up until 15 years of age if their calves are still up to the rigid standards enforced.
Coming from a background in the corporate banking sector in Wellington, it took Megan a while to get used to life on the farm.
"Kevin and his parents would be looking at a mob and saying that one is another one's daughter and those others are related, and I just thought to myself, they are just black cows," said Megan.
So Megan used her knowledge of spreadsheets to enter all the data on the stud animals, which was invaluable for her understanding of the individual traits of the animals. This is a husband and wife team that seems to work well.
Kevin is in charge of any fertiliser and selling, and Megan handles marketing, finances and tries to keep herself away from anything to do with the sheep.
"I'm definitely a cattle person," she said.
Currently they are in the process of converting the existing deer handling facility into an on-farm sale facility for the bulls.
The stud was named after the highest trig point on their Ohura farm and was registered by Kevin's parents in 1967.
Kevin and Megan took over thirty years later.
With 155ha of flats, they are looking forward to implementing a cropping programme over the next couple of years.
Annual rainfall is around 2000mm, and the farm does get a couple of snowfalls a year.
Nestled under the Ruahine ranges, the station is deceptively high in altitude.
The house is 400m above sea level, and the farm rises to a maximum of 800m.
Soil Ph is between 5.7-5.9 and Olsen P ranges from 11-23.
"Apparently this area has a high P retention rate. Only time will tell how we manage that to get the desired results," said Kevin.
They have recently put on a 50/50 mix of lime and superphosphate at a rate of 400kg/ha on the flats and Kevin said he was pleased with the response already.
Because of the high cost of fertiliser, they only plan to put a maintenance application on the hill country.
Their interest in Dicalcic fertiliser started in the King Country when Kevin drove past a particular property a number of times, and noticed a difference in the pasture.
Unable to contain his curiosity, he called in, asked the farmer what he was doing differently, and was told about Dicalcic.
After using lime on their King Country farm, they have seen the benefits of the increased worm activity, pasture growth and stock health first hand.
Pukerimu, they believe, will benefit from the use of Dicalcic as the worm activity is low and can do with a boost.