The Squiers family, who run three meat sheep studs in Quairading, offered a big selection of rams at their 29th annual on-farm sale with prices reaching $3500 for a Shirlee Downs Prime SAMM. The Shirlee Downs and Dongadilling Poll Dorset, White Suffolk and Prime SAMM ram sale held on September 16 and conducted by Elders in conjunction with Nutrien Livestock, offered a total of 259 rams. In all, 239 rams sold on the fall of the hammer for an average price of $1318, up $108/head on last year when 250 rams sold for an average price of $1210. From the selections of 12 stud rams offered, one Poll Dorset and one White Suffolk sold at auction, while another four Poll Dorset passed-in rams sold in negotiations soon after. Shirlee Downs stud co-principal Chris Squiers said the Poll Dorset stud rams struggled to find buyers, but he was pleased that all 142 Poll Dorset speciality selected rams sold for fair values. “It seems WA Poll Dorset studs are up against increased interest in the White Suffolk breed,” he said. “Today’s sale had good competition on our line-up of White Suffolk rams, with a few new buyers. “We will be offering both Poll Dorset and White Suffolk stud rams at the Perth Royal Show Ram Sale.” The Poll Dorset specialty selected portion of the catalogue offered and sold 142 rams to a top of $3100 and average price of $1267, up $210/head on last year when 160 sold for an average of $1066. The $3100 top-priced Poll Dorset ram was was secured by Lake Grace lamb producer Grant Marshall. This ram, Shirlee Downs tag number 244 recorded LambPlan figures of 0.52 BWT, 12.3 WWT, 18.8 PWWT, 2.3 PFAT and the sale’s highest recorded Terminal Carcase Production Index of 151.9. Mr Marshall said he selected the ram for its good figures and will put it over older Barloo blood Merino ewes to produce six-month-old lambs that dress out at about 23kg. He secured a total of nine Poll Dorset rams for an average price of $1844 to run in a 1500 head crossbred enterprise. The James family, who trade as Stockdale Partners in Hyden and have used Shirlee Downs genetics for 10 years, secured a $2500 stud Poll Dorset ram to put over Nepowie blood older ewes to produce crossbred lambs that dress at up to 26kg. Chris James said he was selecting for good growth rates and eye muscle depth. He also secured two other stud Poll Dorset rams that were passed in at auction for $3000/head and added another four speciality selected rams at an average price of $1775 to the buying order. Also buying off the top line of Poll Dorset rams was repeat buyer Kevin Couper, who secured eight rams to a top of $2200 and average price of $1850. “I was selecting for quick growth rates and good length of body and smooth shoulders to put over Merino ewes,” he said. From the White Suffolk offering, new buyers Darrell Beattie and his son Oscar of Undaminda stud in Canna, were looking for a balanced type when they secured one of the two stud rams offered — Shirlee Downs tag 38 TW for the $2500 top-price. This ram recorded LambPlan figures of 0.55 BWT, 11.0 WWT, 15.9 PWWT, 1.5 PEMD and 140.7 for TCP Index. From the White Suffolk speciality selected catalogue, the increased offering of 64 rams resulted in 63 sold to a top of $2300 and average price of $1388, up $150/head on last year when 42 rams sold for an average of $1238. Buying support came from 12 different accounts with Karlgarin-based Abban Farms securing the two $2300 equal top-priced rams and another lot for $1800. A volume of 12 rams was secured by Nutrien Livestock Kellerberrin agent Rex Luers on behalf of repeat buyer BM Stokes of Tammin. Mr Luers also secured 10 rams for NP Burges & Co. Tenterdin-based lamb producer Ron Watterson secured seven rams and also bought three Prime SAMM rams. The Prime SAMM section of the catalogue offered 41 rams, with 32 sold to a top of $3500 and average price of $1292, down $121/head on last year when 40 rams sold for an average of $1413. Badgingarra-based Sandown Prime SAMM stud co-principal Graham Sutherland paid the $3500 top-price for the 21.2 micron Shirlee Downs tag 1096, that recorded figures of 0.37 BWT, 3.1 WWT, 3.9 PWWT, and a 1.5 PEMD. “The ram has good figures and carcase attributes and carries a nice white wool,” he said. Katanning lamb producer Daniel Cornish paid the $2200 second top-price for a Prime SAMM ram and bought a total of four rams for an average of $1575. “We market seven-month-old lambs at an average of 25kg dressed weight,” he said. “I was selecting for big frames with clean body lines.” Elders auctioneer Graham Curry said the Squiers family put in another big effort to put up 259 well-bred rams. “Every ram was bred to a high standard which brought strong demand from commercial producers,” he said.