Change on cards for Corrigin sale
Even as this year's promising season takes fold, adverse change due to climate variability and financial pressure was upon the Corrigin Ram Sale, which was held on Monday.
The sale, now in its 63rd year and conducted by Landmark and Westcoast Livestock, will certainly be under review as its largest vendor, Lewisdale-Corrigin, has announced it will have its final dispersal of rams at next year's annual sale.
Landmark auctioneer Tony Douglas said in spite of the current "best season for some time", a lot of sheep have been taken out of the system within the surrounding agricultural districts.
"It is still very tough for many farmers," he said.
Capolinga stud principal Warren Garlick said a period of financial stability was needed for sheep numbers to rebuild.
Buyer registrations were well back this year, resulting in a big drop in numbers of rams sold.
The five stud line-up of 252 rams offered was limited to 24 buyers, almost half those bidding last year, as total sold dropped to 112 compared with 2012, when 169 sold.
Calculations on fewer rams sold had average prices increased slightly by $36 per head, as buyers were bidding on quality.
Piawaning woolgrower Steven Sudholz was successful on what he described as the "best sheep in the shed", securing the $3700 top-priced Lewisdale-Corrigin Poll Merino ram.
The 110kg ram recorded a 21 micron fleece and a comfort factor of 99.5 per cent.
"I have been buying off the top-line of Lewisdale-Corrigin Polls for 20 years in which to breed my own flock rams," Mr Sudholz said.
Earlier in the year, Lewisdale-Corrigin stud principal Ivan Lewis told _Countryman _ that several years of below-average crop yields had put financial pressure on his family's farming enterprise and it was decided to disperse the sheep flock.
Founded in 1948, the stud will have its ewe dispersal on October 24 at the Corrigin saleyards.
Kalannie woolgrower Robin Hester said his farm missed out on a favourable season this year.
"We have had only 120mm of rain since April 1," Mr Hester said. "I am not a believer in climate change, rather climate variability.
"My family, which farmed in Harvey, has records going back 100 years and there will always be both good and bad times, due to natural conditions."
Mr Hester and his wife Kay bought three Lewisdale-Corrigin Polls at the sale.
Capolinga Prime Samm stud principal Warren Garlick was somewhat bewildered as to why only 22 rams sold in his stud's catalogue of 47 offered.
The average price dropped $184 per head to $632, as compared to last year when a total clearance resulted in an average price of $816.
Perenjori sheep producer Steven Meikle bought the $1150 top-priced Capolinga ram.
The 96.5kg ram had an eye muscle depth of 46mm and a 22.7 micron measurement.
"I selected for size, eye muscle depth and plain-bodied rams," Mr Meikle said.
He also bought rams for $1000, $950 and $500 to load up the ute.
Account FL Abe & Son bought eight Capolinga rams to a top of $1000 and average price of $606.
_CORRIGIN RAM SALE _
_Stud Offered Sold Top price Average _
Capolinga Prime Samm 47 22 $1150 $632
Longdale Poll Dorset 8 6 $600 $600
Wammo Dorper 5 0 0 0
Domindee Cheviot 5 2 $300 $300
Lewisdale-Corrigin 187 82 $3700 $872
_TOTAL _ 252 112 $3700 $811
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