Billandri bids to $2700

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Dual Purpose + was the index advantage behind a 200-ram total clearance at Billandri Poll Merino sale last week at Kendenup.

Stud co-principal Bill Sandilands said he preferred to present “all the figures” — traits recorded by Merino Select — to his prospective ram buyers so they can make a more informed decision.

“We penned up the sale team with the DP+ figure in mind,” Mr Sandilands said.

Billandri’s sale catalogue stated the biggest economic gain from 10 years of DP+ recording was in the number of lambs weaned, with the likely response being +4.5 per cent increase resulting in a 45 per cent contribution to economic gain.

“Fleece weight, yearling body weight and carcase traits also measures which are big contributors to economic gains,” he said.

Along with the figures, buyers were also doing their visual selections, confident of Billandri’s commitment to performance measurement.

The successful bidder on the $2700 top-priced ram was Darren Retallack who was bidding on behalf of account Rovadam, a Bremer Bay farming enterprise owned by Ron and Val Harland.

This 17.6 micron ram recorded a DP+ Index of 166, well above the 153 average on Merino Select.

Mr Retallack also paid $2000 for a 17.6 micron ram with a DP+ of 160.

“Other than the ram’s figures, we selected for pure white fleece quality,” Mr Retallack said.

“The rams will be used in a nucleus to breed flock rams for the farm’s 2200 commercial ewes.”

Last year’s top-price buyer, David Mills, of Eneabba, returned to the sale to secure the $2500 second top-price ram and another ram for $900.

The superfine woolgrower made his first appearance last year looking for larger frame types with extra staple length.

“The first-drop lambs from the rams I bought last year are very encouraging,” Mr Mills said.

Several repeat volume buyers were active at the sale including John Sexton, of Kojonup, who attended with his son Ash.

They bought 15 rams to a $1500 top price and $1160 average.

“We were selecting for bigger frames, plain bodies with low wrinkle and high wool cut,” Ash said.

The rams will go to work in the Sexton family’s 5000-ewe flock.

Also back to the sale after making a first appearance last year, Peter Sadler, of Wongan Hills, secured 16 rams to a top price of $1650 ($1103 average), and assisted by Elders agent Russell McKay.

Mr McKay said he was bidding on good carcase traits, quality white wool in the fine category and rams with high DP+ Indexes.

Offered: 200

Sold: 200

Top price: $2700

Average: $930

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