THE Mount Ronan White Suffolk and Maternal Composite annual on-property spring ram sale at York never fails to attract a good contingent of buyers from across the State.
The sheer volume of regular clients each year at the Mount Ronan Spring and Summer ram sales is testament to the quality of the breeding and genetics, backed by impressive Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) and proven paddock performance according to Elders stud stock manager Tim Spicer.
Having achieved phenomenal results over the previous two sales, the 22nd instalment of the sale did miss a few of its regular and volume buyers, leading to slightly reduced averages and clearances.
Considering this, there were still 20 registered buyers, a figure slightly down from the previous year with the opportunity available to those absent to make it to the fourth January Summer sale fixture in 2019.
Mr Spicer said a few of the regular clients, including a couple from the Eastern States, were unable to attend due to the drought conditions they were experiencing.
This year it was a tie between a White Suffolk and two Maternal Composite sires that achieved the sale top price of $1600.
Once again a quality line-up of rams across the penning of 79 White Suffolk and 79 Maternal Composite breed rams did not disappoint those looking to fulfil their requirements.
The outcome of the sale still saw averages close to the $1000 mark, with good numbers of rams achieving well above the average by breed and overall.
The sale was consistent, with the strongest competition coming on the sires that exhibited the highest ASBVs across the range of testing and buyers were being very selective of the right traits to suit their breeding goals.
The first breed to go under the hammer was the White Suffolk, with the $1600 top price of the sale realised by lot 32, a ram born a twin on July 21, 2017, from a Mount Ronan bred sire and dam.
The ram exhibited LambPlan figures of 0.44 BWT, 9.94 WWT, 0.0 PFAT and 2.67 PEMD plus it has a Lamb 2020 index of 114.32.
The ram was purchased by long-term buyer Andrew Hunter, AR & VJ Hunter, Yerong Creek, New South Wales, who purchased the ram via AuctionsPlus over the phone.
The overall volume buyer of solely White Suffolk sires was Franz Fuchsbichler, wife Leanne and daughter Elyse, Bahloo Farms, Bruce Rock, who successfully bid on 11 rams.
The Fuchsbichler’s team topped at $1300 and averaged $1040.
The top price ram heading to Bruce Rock was born a twin and exhibited LambPlan figures of 0.14 BWT, 15.9 PWT, -0.24 PFAT, 2.44 PEMD, and a Lamb 2020 index of 114.54 plus it was in the top three per cent for the LEQ index at 147.95.
The Fuchsbichlers said they had been buying Mount Ronan rams for about 12 years and were extremely happy with their purchases.
“We like the consistency of the Mount Ronan rams,” Mr Fuchsbichler said.
“They are good well-muscled, solid rams that consistently perform.
“We have a commercial operation and utilise the rams over a Merino ewe flock, for us it is all about getting the lambs off as quickly as possible.
“Of course seasonal conditions always affect the outcome, but we find with the right genetics and season we can turn our lambs off at six to seven weeks.”
Another solely White Suffolk volume buyer was GR & LC Christian, Treeton, who purchased six rams to a top of $1200 twice and for an average of $983.
It was long-term volume buyers Tony and Charlotte Fisher, Eulo Grazing, Kojonup, who purchased the equal top priced Maternal Composite sire of the sale for $1600.
The ram was born a twin on July 27, 2017, and exhibited figures of 0.55 BWT, 7.94 WWT, -0.16 PFAT, 2.84 PEMD, which ranks it in the top 2pc, and a Maternal CarcasePlus index of 145.66.
Landmark Kojonup agent Troy Hornby, purchased the rams on behalf of Eulo Grazing and said he had some specific traits he was looking for.
“Tony is trying to sweeten up his wool a bit,” Mr Hornby said.
“He wants to even out the flock and bring down the micron a little, while maintaining the good eye muscle, growth rates and type.”
Mr Hornby ended up purchasing one White Suffolk and four Maternal Composites sires, to the top of $1600 and for an average of $1260.
The overall volume buyer at the sale was PM & SM Beech, Frankland River, with Sam Beech buying five White Suffolk and 12 Maternal composite sires on behalf of his father.
“We have purchased at Mount Ronan for about thee years,” Mr Beech said.
“Dad knows the rams are solid and excellent quality, so that is why he trusted me to come alone to purchase today.
“We are looking to build up our flock at the moment and look for efficiency, growth rates and eye muscle figures when selecting sires.”
He said their average lambing percentages averaged really well every year and they were extremely happy with the performance of the Mount Ronan sheep.
Andrew and Jodie Marshall, Dutarning Pty Ltd, Pingelly, were regulars buyers in the past and after a short hiatus purchasing Prime SAMM genetics elsewhere, had returned to the Mount Ronan sale.
“We have been Mount Ronan clients for many years, but went and bred Prime SAMMs for about five years,” Mr Marshall said.
“We know the Mount Ronan sheep perform well.
“We mate about 5000 predominantly Merino ewes and the older ewes are going to be mated to the Mount Ronan White Suffolk and Maternal Composite sires, to see how they go.
“We looked at the rams’ overall figures and looked at rams with good body structure, we took both the ASBVs and visual components into consideration when making our selections.”
Mount Ronan stud principal Guy Bowen said they had a 119pc scanning on the flock this year and they were getting outstanding results from their sheep.
He said although prices had been down, it had been good for the clients.