HIGH growth rates, dual-purpose ability and a focus on maximum productivity meant that the buyers couldn’t get enough of the BreedersBEST Genetics at the Heggaton family’s on-property ram sale at Kojonup last week.
The top, average and clearance of the rams were better than ever with the buyers clearly seeing the returns from investing in the Poll Dorset, White Suffolk, Kojak and Prolific sires.
A 70 plus strong buyer list took home the majority of the 337 rams offered and prices rose to a high of $6000, for a Kojak ram which was a clear standout.
Bred through an ET program, the ram was the leading sire in the 97 Kojak rams offered and it stood out for its faultless conformation, muscle and overall outlook.
At the $6000 price mark the ram was knocked down to Bruce Clarke, Universal Trailers & Feeders, Goomalling.
BreedersBEST stud principal Craig Heggaton said that Mr Clarke had inspected the sire when he had recently been on display at the Newdegate Field Days.
“Bruce saw the ram at Newdegate and said that he immediately stood out to him,” Mr Heggaton said.
“We have used him already in the stud as he has always been a standout for growth with his weaning (WWT) and post weaning weight (PWWT) figures.”
For WWT the top price ram was the highest in the Kojak catalogue at 58.5kg while it was in the top three Kojak rams in the catalogue for PWWT at 69kg.
Mr Clarke runs a ‘no shearing’ commercial flock and the top ram had a 4.5 shed score (very close to fully shed) which suited the requirements.
Carcase wise, the ram was recorded as having 30.8mm for EMD, 3.6mm for fat depth and scored 352.8 for growth (gm/hd/day).
The second top price of the sale was $4000 which was paid by Brad Ipsen, Twin Lakes Holdings, Manjimup, for a Poll Dorset sire, who left his bidding to Elders stud stock Tim Spicer.
Mr Spicer said that it was the first time that Twin Lakes had purchased from the Sherwood Poll Dorset stud.
A commercial operator with approximately 8000 ewes, Twin Lakes breed its own terminal rams from a nucleus flock and they were looking for fresh genetics to use within this set up.
At lot 22 in the Sherwood line-up, the ram’s credentials had it as being the highest in the offering for CarcasePlus index at 219.8.
It was also close to the top of the catalogue for LambPlan with figures of PEMD (3.2), PFAT (-0.7), PWWT (16) and WWT (10.5).
A twin, the ram was 0.43 for BWT.
Two Prolific rams made their catalogue top price of $2500 on separate occasions and paying the sum first was Newbey Bros Trust, Broomehill, (who bought two more Prolifics at $2000 each).
Demonstrating the dual-purpose ability of the Prolifics, the Newbey’s top ram was 18.3 for micron and scored well in its carcase attributes at 28.2mm for EMD and 3.7 for fat depth.
Its growth rates were also notable with 56kg for PWWT and 39.5kg for WWT.
The second buyer to pay the $2500 top was SM Higgins & Sons, Frankland River, who also bought two more Prolifics at $2300 and $2200.
Their top ram selection also presented well on paper as well as in the flesh with a wool figure of 20.6 micron.
Buyer Brad Higgins said it was the first time he had purchased the Prolifics and that his operation was based around first-cross prime lamb production.
“I like the idea of the Prolifics providing high quality wool without dropping off carcase and high fertility attributes,” Mr Higgins said.
The Higgins family runs 1100 Merino ewes which they mate back to Merino rams and an additional 800 Border Leicester-Merino ewes which are mated for crossbred lambs.
The top price paid in the Ashbourne White Suffolks was $1900 which was paid by RH & LM Rose & Son, Bridgetown, who also bought another White Suffolk at $1500.
Continuing to reflect the relevance of the ASBV figures in ram selection, this ram was also the top ram in the White Suffolk catalogue for CarcasePlus Index at 221.4.
It was also very high for WWT (12.4 ) and PWWT (19.3).
Elders auctioneer Preston Clarke said that the Heggaton’s clients were clearly seeing the results in their operations and that the sale reflected the job the rams were doing.
“Given how patchy the season is across the different areas of the State, as well as the trade market going off a bit, it was an outstanding sale,” Mr Clarke said.
“The presentation of the rams was exceptional and there really wasn’t a tail end to the rams from the start of the catalogue to the end.
“A lot of return buyers, several new clients and lots of feedback from clients about how well the rams are performing in a commercial environment means the sale was a complete success.”
Stud principal Craig Heggaton was also very pleased with the result and congratulated clients on demonstrating their continued support and faith in the industry.
“It was pleasing to see a lot of repeat buyers and several new clients support the different catalogues,” Mr Heggaton said.
“The feedback we have received is that a lot of our clients are able to turn off their lambs up to two to three weeks earlier than what they have been able to do previously.
“This is testament to the focus we have put on our high growth rate genetics.”
Aside from the $4000 top price featuring in the Poll Dorset catalogue, the total clearance and $1789 average was a real highlight with many buyers prepared to throw in that extra bid to get the rams they wanted.
Buyers which put together large teams of rams included OKeeffe Farming, Gnowangerup, which purchased a total of 19 Poll Dorset rams paying to a top of $2500 and average of $1995.
It also purchased three rams in the Prolific catalogue paying $2000 each.
Securing a team of 15 Poll Dorset rams was Denabling Grazing Co, Narrogin, who paid to a top of $2200 for one ram and a team average of $1773 while The Southway Trust, Mt Hawthorn, bought 12 Poll Dorsets to a $1800 top (paid twice).
Buying eight Poll Dorset rams, GR & SL Mead, Boyup Brook, paid to a top of $1800 (three times) while Highdenup Farms, Borden, took home seven paying up to $1800.
Another buyer which secured rams from more than one breed in the catalogue was Knack Pty Ltd, Darkan, which purchased seven Poll Dorsets paying up to $2000 as well as six Kojak rams for which they paid to a top of $2000.
Also buying seven Poll Dorset rams was Winton Park Grazing, Tambellup, which paid to a top of $1900 while C & KA Tomlinson, Tenterden, bought five Poll Dorsets at a $2100 top.
Both buying four Poll Dorset rams was Benbrook Grazing, Boyup Brook, which paid up to $2400 and Mt Ferguson Grazing, Boyup Brook, which paid up to $2100.
Other buyers who purchased four Poll Dorset rams apiece were Lynford Farms (which paid up to $2600), DO Gaze, Gnowangerup, (who paid up to $1600 twice) and JE Kelly & Co, Kojonup, (who paid to a top of $1600).
Next in the selling order were the White Suffolk rams and featuring in this section were several volume buyers including Warrenup Pastoral, Kojonup, which bought 13 White Suffolk rams to a top of $1700 and an average of $1317.
L & O Turner & Sons, Miling, successfully bid on seven White Suffolk rams, paying to a top of $1300 and averaged $1071 while also putting together a good size team of White Suffolk rams was G & A Simcock Pty Ltd, Manjimup, who bought six to a top of $1600.
Buying rams in both the White Suffolk and Kojak offering was United Enterprises, Kojonup, who paid a $1283 average for six White Suffolk rams as well as a $971 average for seven Kojak rams.
The Kojak rams were next to be offered and aside from the top price of $6000 in this section volume buyers were out in force also with JW & SD Knipe & Sons, Northam, buying 11 at a $1800 top and $1481 average while GS & B Martin, Wickipin, bought 10 to a top of $1100 twice.
SS & JE Angwin, Wagin, purchased five Kojak rams which included four at $1500 while Gillam Grazing Co, Cranbrook, purchased six paying to a top of $1500 twice.
CR & GL Inkster took home five Kojaks, paying to a top of $2500 while A Hoggart also bought five paying up to $1700 twice.
Securing four Kojak rams, G & W Thorn, Kojonup, paid excellent money for their team paying $3400, $3300, $2800 and $1500.
The dual-purpose ability of the Prolific rams meant that they were highly sought after with 70 out of 70 selling to an outstanding average of $1891.
Aside from the two equal top price Prolific rams, there were also several buyers which filled their utes with more than a couple, including RD Young & Co, Jerramungup, which took home 12 paying to a top of $2400 and an average of $1875.
CJ & BA Lang, Wickepin, also bought in substantial numbers securing six to an impressive average of $2067, while Kareem Farms, Popanyinning, also bought six, paying to a top of $2000 paid twice.
There were a swag of buyers who all purchased five Prolific rams and this included T & H Altham, Pingrup, who paid up to $2100 twice, MG Egerton-Warburton & Co, Frankland, who paid to a top of $1900 twice, Cundarra Pastoral, Gingin, which paid to a top of $2100 four times and I & D Fox, Dandaragan, who paid up to $2100.