Cranmore averages up $170/head

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Bob GarnantCountryman

Cranmore Merino and Poll Merino stud offered an extra 20 rams at its on-property sale last week at Moora and by day’s end, all were sold.

Stud principal Kristin Lefroy said ram buyers were optimistic on the pristine season and sheep and wool prices were holding good.

“The sheep industry is very healthy at the moment,” he said.

“We were pleased to offer more rams and hopefully buyers received better values as a result.”

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The stud offered a total of 170 rams with 169 selling at the fall of the hammer to a top price of $2400 and average price of $1244 (up $170/head), compared with last year when 149 sold for an average price of $1074.

Showing confidence in the early penning order, regular buyer Kim House, of Wong Wong Pastoral, Moora, secured six Merino rams from the first page of the catalogue before buying a total of 10 to a top price of $2200 and average price of $1730.

The 89kg 19 micron Merino ram sale topper from pen 45 had a high gross fleece weight of 108 per cent and a yearling fleece diameter of -0.7 and an eye muscle depth of 102 per cent.

Mr Lefroy said Cranmore was aiming to up the clean fleece weight and meat traits using Australian Sheep Breeding Values without compromising on fibre diameter.

“Just importantly is physical sheep structure and wool characteristics,” he said.

Cranmore is also concentrating on Poll genetics and with a few more on offer, buyers were competitive on the top lots.

The sale top-price was on a Poll which was bought by Don McKinley, of Moora, for $2400.

The 86kg ram also had a 108 per cent on its gross fleece weight and a Yfd of -0.8, while having an EMD of 104 per cent.

Mr McKinley secured a total of eight Poll Merino rams for an average price of $1888. “It was good to work off the ASBVs as I was selecting for muscle and fat,” he said.

The McKinleys run a pure Poll Merino self-replacing flock of 1500 ewes and also have a cross-breeding program with similar numbers using Poll Dorset rams over Poll Merino ewes.

Repeat buyer John Isbister, of Ranfurly Agriculture, Moora, bought six rams to a top-price of $1800 and average price of $1433.

“Cranmore offered a quality selection of even rams and there is some encouragement from the wool market,” he said.

Gingin woolgrowers Bryon and Kay Micke bought pen 1 and three other Merino rams to a top-price of $1800 and average price of $1450.

Walebing woolgrowers Michael and Tracy Humphry bought a total of 11 rams for an average price of $1386.

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