$7,000 for Merino ram
WHAT do you get when you cross a quality Merino ram line-up with loyal return buyers and a scattering of new clients who have faith in Merinos?
The answer: a very strong and consistent sale which averages $1509 and tops at $7000.
This was the scenario at last week's Eastville on-property Merino and Poll Merino ram sale at Wickepin.
The sale was red hot from the outset and remained strong throughout with no extreme highs in prices.
So strong was the bidding and consistency of buyers on occasions it was hard for the Elders' selling team headed by auctioneers Dennis Roberts and Rohan Vaughan, to keep up with the bids.
By the end of the sale 135 rams of the 140 offered had been sold (nine more than 2011) at an impressive average of $1509, which was back $20 on last year's average of $1529 when the stud offered and sold 126 rams.
Once again it was the Poll Merinos which were more in demand and as a result all 51 Polls offered were sold for an average of $1641, which was up $37 on last year when 52 sires were offered and sold.
When the selling switched to the Merinos bidding on occasions was just as intense but with more rams on offer buyers had the chance to be a little more selective and in the end 84 of the 89 rams offered were sold for an average of $1429.
In comparison to last year when 74 Merinos were offered and sold there were nine more Merinos sold and the average was back $48.
Elders auctioneer Dennis Roberts was very impressed with the final sale outcome and said given the season and where the majority of the stud's client base came from it was an extremely good sale.
"To sell nine more rams this year and the average to be back only $20 on what was a red hot sale last year makes it a very solid sale," Mr Roberts said.
"Given some of the stud's clients are in marginal areas this season it was great to see they are continuing to invest in Merino genetics.
"Overall it was an excellent presentation of rams which were well sort after by existing and new clients.
"The growth and whiteness in the wools was evident throughout the whole team and this was highlighted by the strong buying support right until the last ram."
Equally as happy with the sale was Eastville co-principal Brett Doncon, who said although the average was slightly back on last year's sale it was pleasing to sell more rams.
"I think overall it was a very solid sale given the season," Mr Doncon said.
"We again received strong buying support from return clients, but we also picked up a couple of new clients which is always good."
With a quality line-up of Merino and Poll Merino rams showing excellent growth and quality wools, buyers weren't short of choices to fill their orders.
However it was an upstanding, stylished woolled Merino ram in pen one which attracted the most interest and got the sale off to a flying start.
Bidding started at $5000 on the long-stapled, plain-bodied ram and quickly rose as two serious buyers made their intentions clear but in the end it was Elders stud stock representative Kevin Broad who had the final bid on behalf of return buyer Derek Hooper, Wanjalonar stud, Narembeen, who was unable to attend the sale.
Mr Broad said Mr Hooper had seen the ram during the Merino field days and was impressed by its structure and wool quality.
"He liked his stylish wool combined with his lovely plain body and square behind," Mr Broad said.
The ram will be used in the Wanjalonar stud over East Mundalla and Woodyarrup blood ewes.
The long, deep-bodied 104kg ram had current wool measurements of 20.6 micron, 3.4 SD and 99.7 per cent comfort factor (CF).
Pushing Mr Broad along the way on the top-priced ram was third year buyer Russell Murray, CS & AR Murray & Son, Kulin.
After missing out on the top-priced ram Mr Murray secured the second ram offered at $2200. The productive woolled ram weighing 98kg had wool measurements of 21.6 micron, 3.2 SD and 99.3pc CF.
The second top price in the Merino catalogue was $2400 and this was paid by Lockerbie Trading, Beverley, for a stylish free grower weighing 102kg and measuring 21.2 micron, 3.2 SD and 99.6pc CF in the wool.
The Beverley operation also secured a second Merino sire measuring 21.2 micron at $2200 early in the sale.
Buying strongly and showing a 100pc preference for the Merino rams was the Young family, WG Young & Co, Kondinin, who have been buying rams at Eastville since 2000.
By the end of the sale they had put together a team of eight Merino rams at an average of $1788.
Included in their team was a well-grown 98kg, 21.4 micron ram at $2200.
Also only intent on buying Merinos was D & D Warburton, Wandering, who purchased eight sires at an average of $1350 which included three sires at $1600, while Colin Wiese, CR & MJ Wiese, Narrogin, was also only in the hunt for Merinos and purchased five for an average of $1360.
In the Poll Merino run it was a long-stapled, deep-bodied ram with plenty of stretch which attracted the $2600 top price when it was knocked down to return buyers Brian and Sue Holmes, Geramar Pty Ltd, Hyden.
Mr Holmes, who was only after Poll sires after switching to Poll rams three years ago, said it was the ram's body length and brightness in the wool which were its stand-out attributes.
The bright, white woolled 95kg ram had wool figures of 20 micron, 2.8 SD and 99.9pc CF.
The top-priced Poll ram wasn't the only ram headed back to Hyden with the Holmes', who intend to mate 1200 ewes this year to Poll sires.
By the end of the sale they had put together a team of 10 at an average of $2180.
Another not afraid to bid up in the Poll catalogue was MJ & LM Schorer, Pingelly, who purchased three sires at an average of $1933 including a long-stapled, well-balanced ram at $2300.
Others to buy pay top dollar and secure sizable drafts of Poll sires were return buyers the Milne family, MA Milne & Co, Borden, who secured five sires to a top of $2000 and average of $1660, while buyers of five years Alf and Adam Watts, LR Watts & Co, Pingelly, who intend to mate 3000 ewes to Merinos this season, purchased eight Polls to a top of $1900 and an average of $1513.
The volume buyer of the sale was Elders Narrogin which purchased 12 Merinos at an average of $1617 and one Poll ram at $1700 for an undisclosed Eastern Wheatbelt client.
Not far behind in the volume stakes purchasing 10 Merinos for a $1020 average and one Poll at $1000 was Geoff Hodgson, Jefan Pty Ltd, Kulin.
Others to buy both Merino and Poll Merino sires were W & G Wilson, Narrogin, who purchased nine rams (eight Merinos and one Poll) for a $1244 average; Richard Smith & Son, Goomalling, which purchased eight rams (seven Merinos and one Poll) for a $1313 average and Fleay and Fleay, Wickepin, which secured eight rams (three Merinos and five Polls) at a $1275 average.