Our 2021 Red Deer County Bull Sale Report
March 13th was another great edition of the Red Deer County Bull Sale at the Innisfail Auction Mart, in Innisfail, Alberta. It was a gorgeous spring day, with unseasonably mild temperatures in Central Alberta which, despite all the uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, led to a robust crowd enjoying comfortable weather to inspect bulls in their large outside pens. Customers had the opportunity to have a hot lunch and preview a diverse group of bulls presented by a number of great consignors, before watching them strut their stuff in the sales ring.
The three lead bulls in the ring were all from the Keato Meadows program / Jonathan and Ebony Kittlitz of Ft. Sask. Despite being regular consignors at this sale for more than a decade, this was their first time being selected to lead the sale! Their headliner status did not disappoint, as their lot 34 bull ‘Keato Pld Ben Hur 951G’, both led off the sale and ended the day as the overall high seller, for $18,500 to Lakeview Simmentals at Meacham, Sk. One of the cool features of the Red Deer Bull Sale is that, over the years, numerous breeders have been given the spotlight in the lead-off spot, so it was great to see Jonathan and Ebony’s program showcased and recognized with the high selling bull!
Over the past few years, the Red Deer bull sale has evolved from one devoted exclusively to Simmentals, to one now involving both Angus and Herefords. It has been great to meet and get to know these up and coming breeders, who also bring different perspectives and a whole lot of enthusiasm to the sale. In this regard, we would specifically like to recognize the Bricker’s from Chestermere Stock Farm – their Hereford string was very impressive, averaging a very strong $8,228 across their nine lots.
In all, nine bulls ended up topping the $10,000 threshold at this years’ event, with the high-sellers split fairly evenly across all breeds, including both fullblood and purebred Simmentals. Overall, 62 lots sold for an average of $6,630.
The highlight of the day for Applecross Cattle was the selection of two lots by Arthur Smith of Smith Simmental Ranch from Ft. Sask. Arthur has been a long time supporter of the Lone Stone Farms Simmental program at Westlock, where he had acquired several ‘APLX Envoy’ daughters over the years. This year they turned their attention to our curve-bending lead bull, APLX Daytona 55G, who they acquired for $11,250. Later on in the afternoon, they were also successful in acquiring our heifer bull candidate, APLX Cairo 14H, for $6,500. We hope these two youngsters perform just as well for their program as their ‘Envoy’ daughters have.
It was also great to see the return of two of our previous clients. Frank Deur of Crossfield selected ‘Diego’ at last years’ Red Deer Bull Sale, so it was awesome to connect and have him select our homo-polled youngster, APLX Watson 29H. We were also super excited to see Linda Bingeman / Conestoga Farms successful in acquiring APLX Dalton 50G. Linda had been to Red Deer in 2013 to select ‘Ajax’ from our program, so it was nice to see her back looking for another APLX bull. Repeat buyers are the foundation of any successful bull sale!
APLX Denzel 9H is Ontario bound, after being selected by Brian and Lynn Vail, of Clarksburg. Vailview Farms have been long time customers of my parents operation (Dora Lee Genetics), so with Dora Lee winding down, it is pretty cool to see the Vail’s decide to connect with the Alberta based Smalls! It is not a surprise that Denzel goes back to one of our founding Dora Lee females, DLD Lady Western 48R.
Our final bull, APLX Dillon 57G, stayed right here in Red Deer County, after he was selected by Ryan Layden of Layden Farms, just east of Innisfail. It is always neat to send bulls long distances, but having our prefix on bulls in the ‘neighbourhood’, is also a great experience.
Overall it was a tremendous day for Applecross Cattle at auction. Our 6 bulls all found great homes, and it was fun to meet new people and visit with old friends on a gorgeous afternoon in Innisfail!
Once again we need to recognize the team at Transcon for doing a tremendous job working the phones and managing the sale. Jay Good and his team are always a quality, sales management group – constantly on the phone while inspecting cattle for prospective buyers. Bull sale season is a tough gig – there is a different sale every 48 hours, across three provinces, so it can be easy to lose focus – but we always admire their professional approach. We look forward to working with them again later in the year to market our females at Fleckvieh Equation!
We also want to give a big shout out to the Innisfail Auction Mart. It is simply a great venue for marketing bulls. The Daines and their team are awesome hosts, provide first class service, and are great people that showcase a strong desire to host successful agricultural events. We are super supportive of the sales’ decision to relocate to Innisfail!
With both the bull sale and calving now behind us, our thoughts move directly to breeding season. We have a couple of (new to us) high profile options for AI and a brand new walking bull to test out. It is an exciting time for Applecross Cattle to continue in our quest to provide new, better, and different genetics to share with the industry.
Until next time,
We are pleased to present seven herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2021 Red Deer County Bull Sale on Saturday, March 13th at 1:00pm at the Innisfail Auction Mart, Innisfail, Alberta. This is our eleventh year at this event, and we are proud to be included in the strong offering that is always presented by this progressive group of breeders.
Our 2021 offering continues to showcase our philosophy of highlighting the maternal strengths of the Fleckvieh Simmental breed. We firmly believe that the future will bring an increased herd size on the same amount of available labour. This means that with less labour available on a per cow basis, birth weights will come down to improve calving ease, and that gradually more and more horns will be bred off the cattle. We have moved slowly to incorporate the polled gene into our herd, as our goal is to try and accomplish this while maintaining the strong performance and mothering ability the Simmental breed is known for. In a market that suggests continued strong demand for beef, we think our bulls on offer all provide the maternal characteristics that will produce tremendous replacement females.
At the top of the pen is the third set of sons to be offered from NUG Delmonte 81D, who has clearly left his stamp on our herd. Dark red, smooth polled, non-diluting, amazing gain to feed efficiency ratio, and a quiet temperament are the adjectives that immediately come to mind when we think ‘Delmonte’. Loaded with hair and heavily pigmented, plenty of power yet moderate birth weights are common across the group of ‘Dalton’, ‘Dillon’, ‘Daytona’ and ‘Denzel’. These four Delmonte sons all bend the curve, with very intriguing EPD profiles, that balance calving and maternal strength with strong performance numbers.
We have tried something a little different this year, by bringing a couple of calving ease bulls to town. It has always been a struggle for us to evaluate sons from first calf heifers, as they typically just don’t have the performance to stand up to our strict bull pen selection criteria. This year we have two bulls that made the grade, ‘Gideon’ and ‘Cairo’, who both present as intriguing options for the heifer pen. Joining these two bulls in our ‘junior division’, is ‘Watson’, who is a unique youngster with potential, having only a February 20th, birthday.
We want to ensure our bulls will work for many years, so feet, legs and temperament are very important traits for us. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, and have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction. All of the bulls are quiet and used to being around people. We like working and walking through docile cattle, and feel the herd bull should be no exception.
Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of the bulls. (For those reading this on phones, the bulls name or lot number can also be entered into the search bar, to locate their individual page). On each of the pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings – hopefully, sharing pictures will provide a better glimpse into the extended pedigree. It is also not unusual for us to have walked 4 or 5 generations of each respective cow family. As 2021 has been an eventful spring, we also plan to have videos of each of our sale bulls the next couple days. Please check our Applecross Cattle Facebook page for up to date info on our sales offering.
Transcon’s 2021 Red Deer County Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on March 13th at the Innisfail Auction Mart!