Lewisdale continues to impress

Sally HincksCountryman

The Lewisdale star continues to shine in the Merino firmament, as demonstrated at last week's annual sale.

Of the 285 rams offered at Wickepin, all but four were sold under the hammer and $20,500 was the remarkable top price for a Merino stud ram in the Merino and Poll Merino offering, eclipsing last year's top by $11,300.

The $20,500 2009-drop ram was purchased by Kolindale stud's Luke Ledwith. Elders' Russell McKay bid on Luke's behalf.

"He's a true dual-purpose ram and he is the future of the Merino industry," Luke said of the ram, which goes back to Western Purple. May wool tests included a 21.2 micron measurement and 99.2 comfort factor.

Worthy of note was the enormous Poll Merino 2009-drop stud ram, for which bidding reached $27,000 but was passed in at that price, the reserve being $30,000.

"In my 35 years in the industry, I've never seen a Poll Merino ram that size," said industry luminary Kevin Broad, of Elders. "It was a good sale with nearly a full clearance."

Elders auctioneers Dennis Roberts and Don Morgan agreed.

"It was a great clearance and it was pleasing to see the Wheatbelt blokes bidding with confidence," they said.

The $5000 equal top-priced Poll Merino was also bought by a stud - Seven Oaks North. Kevin Broad bid on behalf of the Barnett family.

The 2010-drop ram's wool test figures were 18.8 microns and 99.7 CF.

Greenville stud bought a 2009-drop stud Merino ram for $8500.

Another highlight of the buoyant sale was the climb in averages. Merinos were up by $197 and Poll Merinos by $303 compared with 2010 averages.

Year in, year out, Steve Fowler, of Jumbuck Plains, Esperance, returns to buy the Lewisdale product. This year, he trucked home 28 rams for use in his 11,000-head ewe flock. This included three 2010-drop stud rams at $2000 a head.

Return buyers M & A Morrone & Co bought a total of 11 rams, including two 2010-drop Poll Merino stud rams at $2000/head.

AH Chisholm & Co, of Ongerup, returned to buy 10 rams, including two 2010-drop stud Poll Merino rams at $2400 and $2000.

DP Dunbar & Co, of Southern Cross, returned to buy 12 rams to a top of $1600, while repeat buyer Kumbooran Plains, of Narembeen, bid successfully on eight rams to a top of $1400.

Repeat buyers TM & JD Barrett, of Jerramungup, bought 10 rams to a $1500 top price, while E & A Bormolini & Sons, of Narembeen, returned to buy seven Merino and Poll Merino rams to a $1600 top price.

Marlu Farms, of Hyden, came back for more - eight rams to a $1900 top - and Richie Stephens, of Esperance, bought 11 rams to a $1500 top (twice).

AD & PA Tyson, of Kulin, bought 12 rams to a $1500 top (twice), while LJ & CH Tyson bought 10 rams to a $1600 top price.

Lewisdale Ram Sale * BREED OFFERED SOLD TOP PRICE AVERAGE Merino 103 102 $20,500 $1536 Poll Merino 182 179 $5000 $1228 TOTAL 285 281 $20,500 $1340

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