REAL AUSTRALIA

The Voice of Real Australia: They sold that bull for how much?

The $280,000 Australian Angus record top-priced bull with Elders agent Andrew Bickford, Bathurst, auctioneer Paul Dooley, Tamworth and Millah Murrah's Ross and Dimity Thompson and their daughters Millie, Olivia and Twiggy. Photo: HANNAH POWE
The $280,000 Australian Angus record top-priced bull with Elders agent Andrew Bickford, Bathurst, auctioneer Paul Dooley, Tamworth and Millah Murrah's Ross and Dimity Thompson and their daughters Millie, Olivia and Twiggy. Photo: HANNAH POWE

This time of year there's a lot of money changing hands in the agricultural world.

And this year it's big money.

On farms across the nation at the moment it's bull and ram selling season - and there's been some big headliners this year, with millions of dollars changing hands as farmers chase the perfect genetics for their stud.

There was a bull that sold for $280,000 - an Australian Angus breed record just last week, in a sale that totalled more than $4 million across the 114 bulls sold.

It follows very soon after the last record was broken - a bull at $225,000.

(Just for measure, the overall Australian record is $325,000 for a Brahman bull in 2017.)

Not all the recent glory has gone to the cattle. Last month, a ram set a South Australian on-property auction record, selling for $58,000.

And it's not just sheep and cattle that go for crazy prices.

Geoff and Bernadette Davidson and their daughter Sarah, Moorundie Poll, Keith, SA, with their lot 4 ram, which made $58,000. Photo: CATHERINE MILLER

Geoff and Bernadette Davidson and their daughter Sarah, Moorundie Poll, Keith, SA, with their lot 4 ram, which made $58,000. Photo: CATHERINE MILLER

Dogs have been known to fetch high heights too.

The NSW Riverina based Wagga Wagga Working Dog Club registered a top price of $34,000 for Eveready Spud, a black and tan dog aged three years six months.

Even working within the industry, sometimes it can be hard to explain why this one animal is worth the equivalent of a mortgage - or at least a hefty house deposit.

But essentially it's about investing in the future of the national herd of cattle or flock of sheep that we want to have, with high quality food and fibre produced as efficiently as possible, with efficiency usually meaning better environmental and animal welfare outcomes.

And not every sale will soar to those heights.

Most sales involve auctioneers trying to sell anywhere from 50 to 250 animals in a day, multiple times a week, and trying to convince the audience to put their hands a little deeper into their pockets.

Now, all auctioneers have their own patter, but there seems to be something a little special about the turn of phrase of stud stock auctioneers.

One of the favourites that came up lately was a ram described as a "bull with wool", which is apparently a good selling point.

As bidding approaches a turning point, whether that's $1000 or $10,000, the language changes: "it's just a psychological barrier - you can go past it!"

Or "it's a long ride home in the car to think about it".

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