Average down, top price up at Challara

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Bob GarnantCountryman

An improved season was good reason for the Wilkinson family, of Challara stud, Badgingarra, to up their ram sale numbers.

But unlike last year, it made for a buyer's sale.

The overall average price of $1262 for 106 sold was down from $1328 last year, but Challara co-principal Peter Wilkinson was pleased after selling 17 more rams.

Another improvement for the Wilkinsons was a $4500 top price which was well up on the $3000 received at the 2010 sale.

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The highly valued ram came with both Merino Select and wool measurement figures, including a 19.8 micron fleece and a comfort factor of 99.6 per cent.

Yorkrakine producer Des Tilbrook, who was the top bidder, was also successful on the second top-priced ram, paying $3200.

Both rams were Leahcim 445 sired Poll Merinos.

Mr Tilbrook said the long-bodied rams were brothers and would go to work in his 200 nucleus ewe flock to produce flock rams for the farm's 2000 commercial ewes.

"We have bought Challara rams for more than 10 years," he said.

Mr Tilbrook said improvements had been fewer fly-strike occurrences, higher wool yields, bigger bodies and improved fertility.

"We received a top of 1015 cents for our wool last season, the best since 1988," he said.

Buying from the top line of rams, Brian Stacy, of Stacy Partners, Watheroo, paid to a top of $2800 and bought a total of five rams for an average of $2100.

"We have been buying Challara rams for three years and have noticed increased wool cut," Mr Stacy said.

Volume and repeat buyer Jason Teakle, of Northampton, bought a total of eight rams for an average price of $1712.

Mr Teakle was seen smiling all the way through the sale for good reason.

"We are having a good season, back to the consistency as known from the Northampton area," he said.

Landmark auctioneer Deane Allen also enjoyed what was his first Challara ram sale.

"Although some areas of WA are light on ewe numbers, ram sales should be on the up and up as better sheep and wool prices are on the back of a better season," Mr Allen said.

Challara ram sale * TYPE OFFERED SOLD TOP PRICE AVERAGE Poll Merino 76 74 $4500 $1373 Merino 40 32 $2100 $1006 TOTAL 116 106 $4500 $1262

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