When Jersey bull 21-394 (Lot 17) entered the auction ring at Ashvale Jerseys stud in Gropers Bush recently, Mr Dobson told bidders it was his best work to date.
“I can’t produce much better than that.”
A bidding war ensued and the auctioneers hammer fell at $4500, as Ivan Lines set a record for the most paid for a bull at the annual sale, beating last year’s record of $4250.
The record was fleeting, as Jersey bull 21-430 (Lot 31) fetched $4600.
Dairy farmers from “over the fence”, Graeme and Raewyn Black, paid the highest price for a bull in the history of the sale.
Rodney and Jocelyn Dobson moved to Southland in 1993, after dairy farming on the Hauraki Plains.
The herd had been DNA-tested and production data gathered for the past 15 years.
Mr Black said the appeal of Lot 31 was its production figures.
They had been sheep breeding for years and knew the value of chasing stock with good genetics.
Mrs Black said they bought three bulls at the sale to put over their heifers.
“It’s nice and handy to come to the sale — we can just walk them home.”
She praised Mr Dobson for sharing his knowledge since they entered the dairy industry.
“It’s been invaluable.”
They were in their third season on their dairy farm, where 550 cows were milked by a contract milker.
“We know if we get it right from the start, the rest will fall into place.”
The Blacks also run a sheep farm nearby.
Spring had been “fabulous” on their farms, Mrs Black said.
“It’s been really pleasant.
“It’s the best we’ve had. It’s going very well at the moment,” Mr Black said.
Of the 53 rising 1-year Jersey bulls on offer at the sale, 49 sold for an average price of $3136.
Mr Dobson said he was “astounded” by the sale result.
“I supply as good as I can and the punters put the value on them.”
He believed his average price would be the highest of any dairy bull sale in New Zealand.
“I’m ecstatic, considering an average-grade bull could be bought for around $1100,” Mr Dobson said.
He was not set to retire yet, he said.
“I’ve got bull calves for next year, so I’ll keep going for at least one more year.”
— Last season’s lambs continued to sell well at last week’s Waiareka stock sale, despite a slight easing in schedules.
Quality was very good and half of the hoggets made more than $200.
Ewes also sold well, the majority of the pens being medium to heavier types.
A range of prices.—
Top hoggets, $220-$250; medium, $160-$179; heavy ewes, $173-$190; medium, $140-$160; lighter, $101-$122; store lambs, $84-$123; rams, $80-$100.