In-demand UltraWhites to $4900

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian

Eastern States and local buyers flocked in numbers to the Hillcroft Farms UltraWhite ram sale and the increased demand pushed prices up to a top price of $4900, with all 180 rams sold to stud record average price of $2684/head.

The cross-bred rams on offer, consisting of both Dorper and Poll Dorset genetics, are unique to Hillcroft breeding, and marketed as easy-care shedders (wool-free).

The relatively new UltraWhite genetic package is catching on across Australia, with several new buyers showing up at the Bradford family’s annual sale last week at Popanyinning.

Glen Park White Dorper stud principal Brendon Duncan, of Wentworth, NSW, who has already had success with the UltraWhite infusion, was the first to invest in this year’s progressively heavier ram line-up, making his phone bids through Landmark agent Roy Addis on lot 1 which he bought for the $4900 top-price.

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Mr Duncan is using the UltraWhite infusion into his flock to add more size which appeals to his pastoral ram-buying clients.

Mr Addis said Mr Duncan selected the ram for its visual appeal and balanced LambPlan figures of BWT 0.134, WWT 8.408, PWWT 13.014, PFAT -0.573, PEMD 0.804, Carcase+ 176.62 and 20:20 Index 110.32.

Mr Duncan also bought rams for $4500, $3100, $2400 and $1800.

The under bidders on the sale topper were first-time visitors Jack and Dione Carter, of Nyngan, NSW, who had a big impact on the sale, securing a total of 19 rams to a top of $3000 twice and average price of $2500.

“We are keen to see how the UltraWhite infusion works in our pure White Dorper flock with potential for improved growth as a result of the hybrid vigour and LambPlan figures showing high growth rates on the Hillcroft Farms rams,” Mr Carter said.

Hillcroft Farms studmaster Dawson Bradford Sr offered an extra 20 rams this year in preparation of the influx of new buyers.

“Although we are a ways off of where we want to go with the UltraWhite, our stud flock is improving every year,” he said.

The support for Mr Bradford’s challenge to improve the potential for the prime lamb industry was evident in the buyer registry of 60 bidding accounts.

South Australia farming partners San Jolly and Ann Wallace, of Kapunda, secured their first pick of the ram line-up from lot 15 paying $4200.

“We thought it was the better ram in the catalogue,” Ms Jolly said.

Repeat buyer Jamie Broun, of Beverly, paid $3400 for his structurally correct top pick out of lot 2.

Anton O’Kane, of NSW, bought his first four UltaWhite rams to a top of $3300 and average price of $2875.

“I will put the rams over a flock of 400 White Dorper ewes to gain bigger lambs,” he said.

Also from SA, first-time buyers Barry Woolford, his son Nathan and grandson Ned, bought 17 rams to a top of $3100 and average $2388.

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