Multi-breed ram sales wet Esperance whistle
There may be good reason for dampened spirits in some parts of the dry Esperance region.
However, Wattle Dale Merino stud principal Dave Vandenberghe’s outlook was far from gloomy after this year’s Esperance multi-breed ram sale.
Held at town’s agricultural showgrounds on September 6, the Scaddan-based stud — run by Mr Vandenberghe alongside his wife Katherine and family — sold 138 rams.
With Landmark auctioneer Neil Brindley deftly collecting bids that peaked with the $3800 paid for Lot 118, a Wattle Dale Poll Merino secured by Elders stock agent Nigel Hawke, on behalf of account Arkle Farms.
Mr Hawke said the ram was chosen on the basis of its Australian Sheep Breeding Value figures, and visual appraisal that confirmed that it was the type of animal his clients were seeking.
The twin born, April-shorn ram’s ASBV figures included a 126 GFW, 20.6 YCFW and a 189 MP+.
“He is a reasonably high indexed ram, a twin with good greasy fleece weight, balanced across all facets as well as presenting well with well-nourished wool,” Mr Hawke said.
“The ram would be used by the buyers as a part of their Merino nucleus flock, with Merinos being run at Lake Shaster and Bedford Harbour Station, near Munglinup.”
Wattle Dale’s $3600 second equal top-price rams were secured by Bott Livestock for lot 34, and JC and TB Sullivan for lot 46.
Bott Livestock was a major purchaser of Wattle Dale sires, securing 19 rams for use over their Merino flock at Munglinup.
Andrew Bott said that Wattle Dale rams were chosen as part of the family farming enterprise’s strategy to increase the fleece yield of their 3000 head Merino flock.
“There is nothing wrong with the sheep we have, but we are looking to put more density on our sheep,” he said.
Mr Bott said the fact that Wattle Dale had invested so much time in data collection and genetic evaluation meant that it made buying rams easy.
Mr Vandenberghe said that given the “awful” year Esperance was experiencing, with shortages of feed, water and frost damage as the backdrop to the recent fall in wool prices, he was pleased with the support the stud had received at the sale.
Mr Brindley said that the price paid for Wattle Dale’s top-priced ram reflected the animals ASBVs, and the quality of the animal itself.
“The prices paid for the rams are reflecting their ASBVs,” he said.
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