Pickering ram sale sizzles to $6000 high

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Email Bob Garnant

Against a tight season, the Pickering family’s annual ram sale at Cascade flourished with its first total clearance result while achieving a stud record average price.

Scott and Sue Pickering’s annual combined Derella Downs and Pyramid Poll sale offered a total of 93 Merino rams and 138 Poll Merino respectively, with all 231 rams selling to a top price of $6000 and average price of $1531.

“Amazing, the support was fantastic,” Mr Pickering said after the sale, which brought in five new buyers, of which two were restocking back into sheep as a result of increased wool and sheep prices.

Again topping the sale were staunch repeat buyers Rod Taylor, of Epasco Farms, and Roger Nankivell, of Condingup, with another local commercial producer, Peter McCrea, throwing competitive bids on the top line.

Mr Taylor, who runs a 20,000-head pure Merino breeding flock, showed absolute industry confidence with his $6000 top-price on a Merino ram in lot 7, which recorded a micron reading of 20.6, 3.3 standard deviation, 16.2 coefficient of variation plus Australian Sheep Breeding Values which included a trait-leading Merino Plus figure of 146.

“I like the ram’s wool type and frame size and it will go to work in the farm’s nucleus flock to produce flock rams,” he said.

“The sale offered a very even line of rams, a credit to the Pickerings.”

Elders Esperance wool agent Melissa Brumley said the Epasco wool clip sold to a top of 1105c/kg greasy in July for blue tag wethers.

“The 15 bale line averaged 20.8 micron, 72.8 per cent yield, length of 66mm and a strength of 46, and Epasco’s total offering of 135 bales all sold above evaluation, ” she said.

At the ram sale, Mr Taylor bought a total of six Merino rams for an average price of $3033.

The $5750 top-priced Poll Merino ram, offered as lot 4, was secured by Mr Nankivell.

“I had great success with a similar Pyramid Poll ram sired by Gunallo 50, which I bought last year at the sale for $6500,” he said.

Mr Nankivell also paid $3000 for a Willandra 20 sired Poll Merino ram this year.

“I am pleased with how my farm’s ram breeding program is progressing and producing excellent flock rams for our 1100-head commercial ewe flock,” he said.

Mr Nankivell’s top pick recorded a 20.9 micron ram with a SD of 3.3, CV of 15.8, and recorded a MP+ of 151.

In dollar terms, the sale began like it ended, with lot 1 selling for $3100 to new buyer Snow Chisholm, of AH Chisholm, Ongerup, and the last ram selling for equal money to account Fang, of Esperance.

Mr Chisholm said he was selecting for heaving cutting Polls with fleece-rot control benefits after buying a second ram for $1900.

Regular buyer Bott Livestock, of Esperance, secured four Polls to a top of $3600 and average price of $2025. After being competitive on the top line of Polls, Mr McCrea was successful on a couple of the early pens, buying a total of six rams to a top of $2500 and average price of $2000.

Munglinup producer Tim Compagnoni, who trades as Newleigh, took home 10 rams to a top of $2400 and average price of $1740.

“The Esperance season has been tight, which has been keeping me busy feeding sheep through winter,” he said.

“It was not until the end of June that we had some serious rain.”

Mr Compagnoni said he was selecting for below 21-micron rams that had long soft wool with plenty of fleece weight and early yearling weights on the ASBVs.

New registered bidders to the sale included volume buyer SJ & BJ Schulz, of Williams, who secured a total of 19 Merino rams to a top of $2500 twice and average price of $1895.

Stephen and Binda Schulz and their son Lewis were selecting for plain big-bodied types with early maturity and good staple length fleeces for their eight-monthly shearing program.

Mr Schulz said he was looking for a ram supplier with volume and he was keen to give the Derella outcross genetics a go.

“We have a 80/20 sheep/cropping program including a 4500 pure Merino breeding flock which has been averaging well over 100 per cent lambing,” he said.

Other new buyers included farmers keen to re-stock sheep on to their farms, including Michael Hart, who trades as MI & CM Hart, of Esperance, who bought 17 rams for an average price of $976.

Also moving back into sheep, account SC & FH Tiller — Livestock, of Albany, secured 21 rams for an average price of $1086.

Landmark Brindley & Gale auctioneer Neil Brindley said it was an excellent sale with quality rams on offer sought after by repeat buyers and those attending for the first time. Also back enjoying the sale, Mondo Meats celebrity butcher Vince Garreffa spit-roasted a pig, which was a hit for the luncheon.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails