$6500 top for Pyramid Poll ram

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Together with valued repeat buyers and a few new faces, the Pickering family’s ram sale was a great success last week at Cascade.

Scott and Sue Pickering offered up 210 rams from their Pyramid Poll and Derella Downs Merino studs with 182 selling to a top of $6500 and average price of $1256.

Celebrating their 21st year of stud registration, Mr Pickering labelled the Merino industry as “sexy” with renewed interest gained from very competitive wool and sheep values as compared to other commodities, particularly from the grain sector.

With the help of exceptional seasonal conditions, it could be said the couple “killed the pig” with some new buyers active at the sale and ready to invest in livestock which is presently one of the best options going in agriculture.

There was certainly plenty of optimism before the sale when celebrity chef Vince Garreffa served up a pig on a spit for lunch and voice-for-hire Verity James entertained the large gathering with some humorous antics.

Last year’s top-price buyer Roger Nankivell, of Condingup, said his property escaped last year’s Esperance fires as he prepared to secure the $6500 top-priced ram.

While the price was not as hot as last year’s record $10,000 topper, Mr Nankivell was only too pleased to secure a Gunallo 55 sired Poll Merino ram which would continue work in a 120-head nucleus ewe flock.

“The ram will go towards supplying flock rams for our 1100 self-replacing ewe flock,” Mr Nankivell said.

The 20.1 micron ram was a Merino Plus trait leader as measured (145) and recorded using Australian Sheep Breeding Values.

The underbidder on the Gunallo 55 son was account MR & H McCrea, who went on to secure two Derella Merino rams for $4500 and $4250 and one Pyramid Poll for $2000.

Also securing rams off the top order, Epasco Farms’ Rod Taylor paid $6000 twice for a pair of Ejanding 105-sired Derella Merino rams which will go to work in an 800-head nucleus flock.

Brad and Vanessa Whiting, of Munginup, were back at the sale to secure the $5000 second top-priced Derella Merino ram, but most impressive was their buying order of 25 rams in total to an average price of $924.

Bott Livestock Trust, located at Esperance, was keen to secure 12 rams ($1842 average) this year to a top price of $3000 for a Poll Merino.

“We are diversifying away from crops and lifting our sheep numbers from a mating of 2200 ewes this year towards 2800, mostly Poll Merinos,” a Bott representative said. “We were selecting for soft handling wool.”

Also taking advantage of the quality line-up, Todd Fiegert, of Dajan Park, Condinup, secured four Poll Merinos to a top-price of $3750 and average price of $2212.

Hargate Park livestock manager Karl Witt, of West Lort, also vindicated that rising livestock prices and lower grain prices was a signal to increase stocking numbers.

“We are looking at going from 5000 matings to 7000,” he said.

Mr Witt said he was under budget securing 17 rams to a top of $1600 and average price of $941.

Making a significant impact, return buyer Ayers Family Farming secured 18 rams to a top of $1500 and average price of $989.

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