2016 Fall Update
Two weeks of warm weather with only nominal rainfall is just what we needed to start off November. It has been the wettest harvest in our 11 autumns at Applecross, and there is still water lying in the fields. The two week break has allowed us to at least get the bulk of the fall work done – the paddocks are clean, the manure is out, and most of the feed is in the yard, just in time to bring the cattle home to their pre-calving winter quarters. It is always a great feeling to have ‘the necessities’ of fall work done before winter arrives in force.
It will be a different December for us this year – after selecting from our calf crop and evaluating the cow herd, we have decided not to sell bred heifers this year. A 75% bull calf ratio in 2015, meant we only retained 6 heifers of our own and, while we did augment that number with a few purchases last fall, we felt like we would only weaken our herd if selections were made for Fleckvieh Equation. The good news is that a year off with no prep-work will allow us to relax and take in the fall sales as buyers only, as we continue to look to diversify and augment the quality of our cow herd.
We are quite happy with the group of heifer calves we have retained (in sufficient numbers that it appears certain we will only have a one year hiatus from Equation). After a really strong FGAF WowEffect bull calf group in 2015, he turned his attention to a really neat heifer group for this year, leaving us with multiple stand-out daughters. We liked the ‘Wow’ offspring so much that we successfully acquired the walking rights to him for 2016 – you will see plenty more of the ‘WowEffect’ in the future. The bull calf group is also steadily putting on the pounds. We are only wintering 4 bulls for the Red Deer Bull Sale this year, but they continue to showcase our herd philosophy – moderate framed, maternally focused bulls that show a balance of calving ease and strong performance. It is early yet, but we are quite happy with the overall quality of our 2016 calf crop.
With fall sale season upon us, we look forward to a steady diet of fabulous discussions with fellow breeders, and the inspection of plenty of top quality genetics, which are sure to make for some difficult decisions (and hopefully a fair bit of luck that the chosen animals are available at the right price point).
We look forward to visiting at the sales,
2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale Report
A gorgeous week-end with sunny skies formed an appropriate prelude to the 2016 Edition of Transcon’s Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on Monday March 21st, where a very strong set of Simmental Genetics were presented to an enthusiastic group of commercial and purebred cattlemen.
The excellent selection of quality bulls from both purebred and traditional Simmental breeders led the sale to maintain the strong results achieved in 2015. 62 bulls sold with an average of $6 859, an increase of $100 over last year.
Sale highlights included another great lead-off string from Starwest Farms, who provided the high seller with lot 31 Starwest Pol Combine, an impressive heavyweight that combined their top Fleckvieh and purebred genetics. For the second consecutive year, the renowned JNR program brought 4 of the top bulls to town – averaging a very consistent $12,625. On the purebred side, new consigners Red Top Livestock also had a very exciting debut – their top two bulls averaged $16,000, and they had a very impressive overall line-up.
The Applecross bulls continued to be well received. Some highlights are as follows:
- Our high-sellers on the day were two WowEffect sons, as both APLX Warner 5C and APLX Waylon 8C were selected for $8,000. Waylon is now at work in the legendary Eagle Ridge herd, under the close eye of Danny and Loretta Blain. Warner is headed north to Kaitlyn Matters and 4 Matt Simmentals at Vermillion
- Gordon Leslie ‘swept the page’ and purchased all three of our more moderate calving ease bulls that were lots 68-70. APLX Phoenix, APLX Reno and APLX Cairo will all be making their home near Leslieville, AB.
- In total, 7 of our bulls found homes within 30 minutes of Applecross, so we look forward to being able to keep a close eye on their progeny.
We would like to thank all the bidders and cattlemen who took the time to inquire and inspect the bulls we had on offer. With our larger numbers this year, we experienced a tremendous amount of interest – both in visiting with us on-farm prior to the sale and then through the pens on sale week-end itself. We felt our bull string really showcased our breeding philosophy, so it is very gratifying to see their acceptance in the industry.
Once again we also thank Transcon for all of the work that they do working the phones and managing the sale. Jay Good and his team always put on a first class, professional event that we are proud to take part in.
With bull sale season wrapped up, our attention turns to breeding season, and our never-ending quest to provide new, better and different genetics to share with the industry.