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Fast wool growth impresses buyers

Sally HincksCountryman

Wool growth is so great at the Calcaling Poll Merino stud that the Ventris family's sheep are shorn twice yearly.

And the faithful recognised this last week, returning in good numbers to build up their ram batteries at the Ventris' annual Mukinbudin sale where $3700 was the top price, paid twice by return buyers.

Principal Athol Ventris added an extra 20 rams compared with last year's sale and despite this, Calcaling's average was $205 better than 2010, an excellent result.

"It was an excellent sale and reflective of the strong wool and livestock markets," Elders auctioneer Wayne Manoni said.

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"The Ventris family's passion for their sheep was well-rewarded today."

Mukinbudin Landmark's Terry Norrish agreed.

"The average was up at the very buoyant sale where there were several new buyers," he said.

The top price of $3700 was also $700 better than Calcaling's 2010 top at the sale with Wayne Manoni and Landmark's Deane Allen handling auctioneering duties in fine style for Calcaling.

Return buyers Jo and Mark Wilson, of Mt Walker, were first to pay the $3700 - for a white tag ram, the first ram offered.

Then in pen six the second $3700 ram (an orange tagger) was bought by Dave Millsteed, of Daybron Farms, Wongan Hills.

Dave has been buying from Calcaling for 10 years and joins commercial 5000 ewes. The ram will be used in his Mocardy Poll Merino stud, established more than 10 years ago and now with 500 ewes in the nucleus flock.

Most of the 5000 ewes were bought in at reasonable prices when people were selling them because of the drought.

Dave chose the ram because of its long staple, length of body and heavy cutting capacity.

Exemplifying the length of staple in the shed was the ram in pen 88. Shorn six months back, the ram's staple length was 90mm and its bare breech was patently obvious.

"There's no mulesing at Calcaling because the stud is breeding for bare breeches," Ernie and Athol Ventris told people before the sale.

Recognising the value in pen 88 were HT & RE Seaby & Son who outlaid $2000 for the ram, the top price of the four rams purchased by the Seabys, of Mukinbudin.

Among Calcaling's volume buyers were VA & CF Lee, of Pingelly, who bought 10 rams to a $1900 top price and averaging $1380.

LE & M Farina, of Mukinbudin, bought eight rams to a $1400 top (twice) and averaging $975, while Stone Haven Rural, of Wyalkatchem, bought seven rams to a $1400 top price, averaging $1057.

HG Coaker & Co, of Morawa, bought six rams to a $2000 top price, averaging $1433.

Leigh Grange bought six rams to a $2800 top, averaging $1750.

Calcaling ram sale * TYPE OFFERED SOLD TOP PRICE AVERAGE Poll Merino 131 116 $3700(2) $1232

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