Moojepin Merino rams hit $8500 top

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian
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The Thompson family, of Moojepin Merino stud, put up 130 fully measured Multi Purpose Merinos last week, clearing the lot to a top price of $8500.

Moojepin stud co-principal David Thompson said bidding competition on the top lots was an indication of his stud’s breeding prowess of using strict visual assessment backed by Australian Sheep Breeding Values.

“We are producing a highly productive sheep that checks all the boxes for both meat and wool traits and is leading the pack in fertility,” he said.

“Most of our clients are achieving 130 per cent lambing.”

Brad and Lach Patterson of Bullock Hills, Katanning, secured the sale-topper.

The stylish ram out of lot 34 in the catalogue, Moojepin tag 160464, measured in the top one per cent for four traits including 8.3 PWT, 11.9 WWT, 2.5 PEMD, 25.3 YSL and the top 5 per cent in YFAT of 1.4.

“We believe that in addition to visual assessment, the ASBV figures can work in our sheep flock just as well as Australian Estimated Breeding Values work in the Bullock Hills cattle stud,” Brad said.

The Pattersons will turn the ram out to a selected half of their 200-head nucleus flock to breed flock rams for their 5000 commercial ewe flock, with the balance of the nucleus flock being mated to a more traditional type.

“Moojepin genetics have given us increased fertility, growth rates, as well as a significant increase in carcase yield,” Brad said. “All male progeny are turned off at approximately 12 months of age after two shearings, gaining acceptable clean fleece weights and averaging a 26kg carcase weight.”

The $8250 top price was secured by repeat buyer Kane Page, who trades as KJ & RJ Page, of Pingelly, and kicked the sale off buying the very stylish Moojepin tag 160181. This ram measured 6.2 WWT, 8.8 PWT, 3.5 YEMD, 2.3 YFAT, 2.8 PEMD, 3.5 YEMD, 19.3 YCFW and 26.4 YSL.

Mr Page also paid $6000 for a second ram.

Broomehill sheep producer David Meyer, of the Meyer Trading, bought nine rams to a top of $4100 and average price of $2456.

David and Sophie Forrester, of Glenkeith Grazing, Kojonup, bought a total of 11 rams for an average price of $1872.

With several Eastern States interests at the sale, Mr Thompson said many were chasing high-valued rams with ASBV figures. Leading the charge to the West was Nigel Kerin, of Kerin Poll Merino stud, who paid $5500 through Auctions Plus for his first Moojepin ram.

About 30 rams will be heading across the Nullarbor with account Egerton Farms manager Pat Hyland, of Lal Lal, Victoria, taking the bulk with his purchase of 14 rams to a top of $2200 and average price of $1686.

Mr Hyland was a first-time buyer of rams after using a Moojepin semen sire last year.

First-time Victorian buyers included Jason Gordon who bought six rams for an average of $2017, and Edward Blackwells, of Hamilton, Victoria, who secured four rams for an average of $1525.

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