3/30/2013 7:00 AM
By Shannon Sollinger Virginia Correspondent
ALDIE, Va. — The 20th annual Whitestone Pasture Performance-Tested Bull Sale sent 75 yearling bulls and 43 yearling heifers through the ring March 23, and the top price of the day was Gary McDonald’s $39,000 bid for Lot 44, Whitestone Winchester A242. His new addition will join his Shen-Val Farm herd, in Middletown, Va.
“We were looking for a bull with extra thickness and muscle shape and thought this bull would work,” said son Jeremy McDonald, the eighth generation on the family farm.
The sale featured the first crop from Whitestone’s 2011 sale topper, Whitestone Black Arrow, who sold for $150,000 to a syndicate that includes Whitestone, Tanner Farms of Mississippi, Locust Hill Farm, Triple Bar Ranch, Lazy Point Farm, One Day Angus, Diamond Angus (all of Virginia), Carlson Angus of North Dakota and Genex/ CRI AI Stud of Wisconsin. His 12 yearling sons went for prices ranging from $7,500 to $2,400.
The sale-topping bull’s maternal genetics also make him a good fit for the Shen-Val herd, Jeremy McDonald said. The McDonalds were also intrigued by the bull’s dam, Bardolia of Peak Dot 908T. They added a full brother to her Genex sire, SAV 004 Predominant 4438, to the herd several years ago. Offspring of the 004 bull dominated a recent Peak Dot sale in Canada, and he is known for producing excellent cows.
Shen-Val runs a herd of 300, both commercial and seed stock. Their new addition’s combination of outcross genetics and a nick with the herd’s existing genetics will make him a good fit, Jeremy said.
“It’s new genetics for our herd. Something different to sell bulls locally. His granddam and great-granddam are both donor cows in the Peak Dot herd.”
Peak Dot was selling bulls this spring, Jeremy sad, but trucking a purchase from Saskatchewan and passing quarantine would add money and time to the purchase.
Whitestone manager Mark Duffell purchased the sale topper as a pregnancy from a Mississippi ranch to add the genetics of the sire, SAV 707 Rito 9969 to the Whitestone herd. He will collect semen from his sale topper — Whitestone retains a semen interest in all its bulls — before sending him on to his new owners and use him in the Whitestone program, Duffell said.
The 9969 bull, Duffell said, has “a lot of muscle and is a bull noted for his production numbers.” He is establishing a reputation for producing offspring of moderate frame, great depth and excellent muscling.
Lot 15, Whitestone Jubilee B005 (a son of SAV Final Answer 0035 and SH Lady 7321 939) brought the second highest price of the day, $32,000 from Doug Hardee, bidding for Bruce Cuddy’s High Ridge Farm in North Carolina.
Jubilee was born New Year’s Day 2012 at 72 pounds and tipped the scales at 1,480 pounds three weeks before the sale. He came recommended for use with young heifers.
High Ridge dispersed its herd in 2006, Hardee said, and is rebuilding. This bull, he said, brings low birth weight, calving ease, and “the most capacity. He’s got really good rib on him.”
At the day’s end, the 75 bulls brought an average price of $4,958 for a total of $371,850. The open heifers, consigned by long-time Whitestone customers and partners Tanner Farms of Mississippi and Kentwood and Martin farms of Virginia, averaged $2,093 for a total of $90,000. The sale total was $461,850.
Duffell said he is “absolutely tickled to death” at the results.
“The sale was right where we wanted to be,” he said. “Everyone could afford a bull.”