Ram sale values reflect season

Kate Pollard and Bob GarnantThe West Australian

Two sires sold for the equal top-price of $7000 each during the Rabobank Katanning Ram Sale last week.

After topping the sale last year, East Mundalla stud, of Lake Grace, shared the honours this year with Gardiner-based stud Coromandel.

The sale result was in stark contrast to last year's sale where a top of $17,000 was reached and an average of $7300 per ram paid.

While happy with the result, auctioneers Deane Allen from Landmark and Don Morgan from Elders felt it was a missed opportunity for stud and commercial breeders looking to invest in new genetics.

The sale reverted back to a 1pm start after last year starting late in the afternoon.

At times it was a tough to raise a bid, but in others, rams failed to reach their reserve prices including a standout from Kolindale, towering above the rest of the catalogue, passed in at $8000.

Across the 95th sale, poll and horn, fine, medium and strong wool stud rams ranged in price from $3000 to the equal top of $7000.

Capitalising on the opportunity to invest were two sets of young brothers, farming in partnership and running plenty of Merinos.

Craig Doney from Harrismith, who farms with brother Bevan, took home the 21.9 micron poll ram offered by East Mundalla.

Mr Doney picked the ram for his size and wool, which included a 78.7 per cent yield and a comfort factor of 99.5. They join 3500 ewes a year and every two years invest in a sire to breed their own flock rams.

East Mundalla stud principal Daniel Gooding described the 16-month-old as a good carcase ram, with medium, heavy cutting wool, sired by Elliot TA and a Lewisdale dam.

"There was a lot of quality in the sale, it is just a shame there wasn't a bit more competition," he said.

Making a mark in agriculture, brothers Scott and Wayne Newby from Broomehill bought the $7000 Coromandel ram.

The brothers have been farming on their own for three years and bought their first ram from Coromandel at the Katanning Sheep Show four years ago.

Today, they join 2000 ewes mostly to Merinos targeting 18 to 19.5 microns. They recorded 107 per cent lambs from joining last year.

"We needed a two-tooth to go into our ram-breeding program for next year," Scott said.

"We will use him on his own mob this year to see what his progeny are like and then use him as a four-tooth on our best ewes."

Coromandel stud principal Michael Campbell said the 17.4 micron ram was sired by Sir Thomas, who was sashed supreme out of the March-shorn class at Katanning in 2008 and grand champion Poll in 2009 at Woolorama and Bendigo.

He said it was very pleasing to have four bidders and interest in what is a fairly subdued market.

The second top-price in the catalogue reached $6500 for a Merino ram, offered by Jeremy King from Rangeview in Darkan.

First-time buyer of Rangeview genetics was Colin Teale and his son, Anthony, of Mt Madden.

The Teale family were looking to put more size into their fine micron breeding which goes back 50 years to Colin's father-in-law, Les Tilbrook.

"We will put the ram over our nucleus ewes to breed rams for our 18.5 micron flock," Anthony said.

The 17.8 micron ram was earlier sashed the August-shorn champion fine wool ram.

Ram Sale *

OFFERED * 28

SOLD *21

TOP *$7000

AVERAGE *$4000

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