Price surges for top genetics

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Bob GarnantCountryman

Cranmore Merino and Poll Merino stud's unpampered rams were in demand at last week's 63rd annual sale, in Walebing, with good numbers sold at higher than average prices.

The Lefroy family had 140 rams, with 136 selling to a top of $1800 and an average price of $936, which was up $188 a head on last year.

"Sheep producers are more confident this year with the better seasonal conditions," stud principal Kristin Lefroy said.

Landmark auctioneer Grant Lupton said the science approach to Cranmore's genetic selection process enabled a consistent sale team, year after year.

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All the way from Kalgoorlie, Gina Micke secured the $1800 top-priced Poll Merino ram on behalf of her parents, Bryon and Kay Micke, of Gingin. "The ram carried good density," she said.

The 91kg Poll recorded a 19.4 micron, a comfort factor of 99.3 per cent, muscle depth of 33mm and a fat score of 3.

The $1800 top-priced Merino ram was from pen 108, where buyer Kim House, of Wang Wang Pastoral Watheroo, topped up his volume buy of 12 rams, for an average price of $1263.

Mr House secured most of his selections off the top line, but was willing to wait patiently for a few quality Merinos in the later pennings.

Also operating off the top line of Merinos was John Isbister, of Ranfurly Agriculture, Moora, who bought the $1700 equal second top-priced ram and secured eight rams, at an average price of $1075.

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

Local woolgrower Michael Humphry, of GM Humphry & Co, bought a total of nine rams, to a top of $1300 and an average price of $961.

The Humphry family run 4000 ewes and prefer Cranmore's easy-care plain-bodied sheep.

"We been on Cranmore bloodlines for 27 years," he said.

New buyer Moreno Antoniazzi, of Salmon Gums, bought eight Polls to a top of $1400.

Another new buyer was Brad Tonkin, of Kenilworth Agriculture, Moora, who bought five rams.

Jaden Cocking, of Annadale, Moora, was so confident in his selections that he had his son Darcy, 6, do the bidding on seven rams for an average price of $786.

Another Cranmore fan was Henry Lefroy, 5, who was delighted in attending his parents Kristin and Tracy Lefroy's ram sale, and opening up the fleeces to see the brilliant white wool inside.

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