Thursday, April 25, 2024

Top Angus genetics feature in dispersal sales

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Long-established North Island studs Atahua and Wairere bringing heifers, cows and calves to market.
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Buyers will have great opportunities to go deep into proven Angus beef genetics during March and April when long-established North Island studs Atahua and Wairere have dispersal sales.

For the Tuesday, March 19 Wairere Angus sale at Meremere, near Hawera, there will be over 100 recorded heifers, in-calf heifers, PTIC cows and calves.

At the Monday, April 8 dispersal sale, Atahua Angus will put up all its breeding females, comprising 40 mixed-age cows, 26 first-time calvers and 30 rising two-year-old heifers, plus all the associated calves.

There will be 140 to 150 lots in total, being all recorded, tested and transferable females and their calves. A bull sale in June will complete the exit from stud breeding.

In the autumn season for dispersals, cows and the older heifers are pregnancy tested, but not too big for transport, and the calves are usually weaned before or after the sale.

Wairere Angus has been at the forefront of the industry for several decades, including being among the first to utilise Breedplan and ultrasound scanning.

It is a foundation member of Angus Pro in 2021 – now one of 40 members.

In the 2023 bull sale line-up, Wairere Angus featured this fine trio. Photo: Andrea Mansfield.

Stud principal Cedric Lander aims to wind Wairere Angus down after its final bull sale in early June.

“In recent years we have put more and more carcase into cattle, including using plenty of artificial breeding, bringing in American and Australian genetics.

“We mainly focus on high growth rate, rather than worrying about birthweight.

“By selecting sires, individually mating cows, and using artificial breeding where that suits best, we have kept the EBVs rising and improved the overall averages of the females,” Lander said.

At his 2023 bull sales, Wairere Angus principal made one of his last public addresses in the sale ring.

Alan, Michele, Colin, and Louise Dalziell are the owners of Atahua Angus in Manawatū, after Alan and Colin’s parents established it back in 1961.

Atahua has regularly brought in bloodlines from Australia and Canada, and since the early 2000s has morphology tested sperm, aiming for results of more than 70% normal sperm to guarantee their clients fit-for-purpose bulls.

A firm supporter of the Beef Expo, formerly known as the National Angus Show and Sale, Atahua Angus has amassed a total of 10 Supreme Champion Angus titles and six Champion of Champion titles over the decades.

A highlight was the 1992 auction when one of its bulls, Atahua Legacy, sold for $155,000 to a syndicate of Kaharau Angus and Rangatira Angus at a record price for a New Zealand bull, bid by the late Colin Williams.

The Angus stud has operated on the 240 hectare home farm at Kiwitea. For 25 years that was run in conjunction with an Āpiti hill country block of 290ha, which was sold in May 2023.

One of the highest-priced lots through the ring at the 2023 Atahua Angus bull sale was sold for $15,000.

Speaking for the family, Michele Dalziell said the decision to disperse the stud is an emotional one, but all agree it is the right time.

They will continue with commercial beef cattle farming and look back with pride on the “legacy” of Atahua.

PGG Wrightson Livestock national genetics manager Callum Stewart has had a lifelong connection with Atahua, going back through his father Bill, also a livestock representative.

“Although their dispersal sale marks the end of an era, Atahua won’t disappear. No matter where the breeding focus goes in future, I know the bloodlines the Dalziells have built up over more than 60 years will continue to provide value in Angus herds across New Zealand for generations to come,” Stewart said.

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