Landfall Angus Stud Co-Principal Frank Archer with Farm Insurance Specialist Peter Wilkinson (left to right)

Despite the global pandemic playing havoc with their autumn bull sale, Landfall Angus Stud in Tasmania achieved their highest average ever. Preparations for the spring sale are currently in full swing so the bulls are looking their best for sale day on 16 September 2020.

The turnout to Landfall’s autumn bull sale, held on 23 March 2020, was significantly reduced due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and speaking as part of Achmea’s Keeping Farmers Farming series, Stud Co-Principal Frank Archer was concerned it would impact the result.

“Several clients were unable to attend to attend the property sale in March and unfortunately, they will also be unable to attend the spring sale.

“On the flip side however, the positive outcome of COVID-19 is that it has further strengthened the relationships with our clients as we have had to further assist them in selecting bulls for their breeding programs when they are unable to attend sale day,” Frank said.

The Archer family have been farming their property on the northern outskirts of Launceston since 1876 and established the Landfall Angus Stud in 1948, with the purchase of 12 cows from the mainland which were shipped to the family’s farm in Tasmania.

Frank and his brother Ed along with other members of the family are fifth generation farmers and have grown the stud significantly during their tenure, they run 2200 stud cows and hold biannual bull sales, through which they offer more than 300 Landfall sires annually.

Landfall’s March sale offered a catalogue of 154 bulls and despite their concerns over reduced on-property attendance, the stud sold 152 bulls to an average of $9,243 and a top of $33,000.

Frank said their outstanding results were due to a combination of factors, including having an online auction platform through AuctionsPlus* to allow the remote purchase of their sires.

Of the 152 bulls sold, 64 were purchased through AuctionsPlus, and 138 bulls were bid on by 42 online buyers.

To put that in perspective, Frank said in normal circumstances, AuctionsPlus would see less than 10 per cent of the stud’s total purchases.

He believes a strong cattle market was also a factor in their sale success, with confidence still relatively strong in the early stages of the pandemic.

Landfall is a client of Achmea and the specialist farm insurer also has a multi-year strategic alliance with Angus Australia.

It is a relationship Frank is grateful for and he said Achmea’s contribution to the stud’s bull sale added to buyer confidence.

“I cannot put a dollar value on the service that Achmea has provided Landfall for the sale, it instilled even more confidence in buyers knowing that the bulls will be covered for three months at the fall of the hammer.

“The support by Achmea helps provide Landfall and our clients another way to improve a beef breeding enterprise’s bottom line.

“Unprecedented times or not, adequate insurance is important to any business and their activities but having an insurance cover on a young bull when he is going to work for the first time is particularly important.

“I look forward to working with Achmea in the future,” Frank said.

While Frank is unsure how the Landfall spring bull sale will go, with uncertainty still surrounding COVID-19 restrictions, he says the spring sale will definitely go ahead and Landfall will work closely with its clients who are unable to attend the sale on the day.

“On farm we are busy getting the bulls looking their best for sale day and conducting fertility testing and vaccination programs. This is in amongst calving, grazing fodder crops and the other things that come with late winter/early spring.

“Buyers can look forward to seeing another offering of quality bulls that bring a high- performance genetic package in the appealing Landfall phenotype,” Frank said.

Achmea Regional Manager Lori Vamvas said the Landfall brand and the trust that the brand provided to cattle farmers are also a driving factors to the success of the Landfall’s sales.

“Landfall has a great reputation in Tasmania and on the mainland for producing quality cattle and providing great after sale service, it is a testament to the family-run organisation,” Lori said.

Achmea has launched the Keeping Farmers Farming series to share important risk management strategies, stories from farmers and insurance insights to help protect the livelihoods and business continuity of farmers around the country.