WA's ram selling season kicked off in promising fashion at the annual Kasteel White Dorper production sale held on-property at Jurien on Monday.
A big turnout of commercial and stud buyers attended the sale and were well represented by the Westcoast Livestock network to compete strongly on their selected lots and achieve a marked improvement on last year's result for the Kasteel stud.
Under the hammer 24 of the 29 Kasteel White Dorper rams sold to $2000 and averaged $828, 11 of the 13 Dorper rams from guest vendor Philip Strauss topped the sale at $2500 and averaged $752 while in the ewe catalogue 8 of 22 joined stud White Dorper ewes sold while there was a complete clearance of the 25 F3-F5 unmated commercial White Dorper ewe lambs which averaged $201.
All of the overlooked stud ewes were soon snapped up by one buyer while the balance of passed in lots were sold following the sale to give the sale a total clearance.
The sale attracted widespread stud interest from throughout WA and the Eastern States, who were keen to get their hands on direct South African White Dorper genetics from the Kasteel stud and Namibian Dorper genetics from Philip Strauss Dorpers.
The next opportunity to acquire direct genetics remains unknown as the ban on embryo importation into Australia continues with the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in South Africa earlier in the year.
One of the Eastern States buyers was Justin Kirkby, Amarula Dorper stud, Gravesend, NSW, who made a fleeting visit to the sale and paid the $2500 top price for one of two Dorper rams from Philip Strauss.
Mr Kirby said the 102kg, 2008-drop ram contained a strong pedigree of renowned Namibian bloodlines.
"He is by Bruno 60059 and his mother is a Tik Tok daughter who was by Weker, these go back to Jackpot and Ace genetics," Mr Kirkby said.
"We have ewes that are by Bruno and they have bred really well for us so we are looking to continue this bloodline."
Mr Kirby said the Namibian genetics were bred on the same philosophy as the Amarula stud of 'Bred to survive, adapted to thrive'.
"There is a misconception that Namibian sheep are small," he said.
"But they come from a 4-6 inch rainfall and when you run them in better rainfall areas they grow well, that's the strength of the genetics we chase."
Volume stud buyer of the day was Roy Addis, representing Andrew Greenup, Ida Vale stud, Kojonup, who collected a team of five White Dorper rams and 17 mated White Dorper ewes.
This included the 14 passed in ewes which they cleaned out with one quick offer.
Ida Vale paid the sale's $2000 top White Dorper ram price for lot one, which contained a 96.5kg, September 2009-drop ram that had been used in the Kasteel stud.
Andrew Greenup said it could be the last opportunity to get these new genetics if the ban on embryo importation continues.
He said Ida Vale was established on imported Kasteel genetics in 1996 and they had performed well for the stud.
"The ewes have been joined to very good sires and will go into the Ida Vale flock," Mr Greenup said.
"It is very good value at Kasteel when you consider the quality of the sheep and their genetics."
Young stud breeder Fraser Hinchcliffe, Wamo White Dorper stud, Quairading, also based his stud on Kasteel genetics along with Kaya bloodlines when he registered the stud in 2009.
He paid the sale's $550 top ewe price on his way to collecting three rams and five joined stud ewes.
The September 2009-drop top price ewe had been running with Kasteel 9183 which sold in the sale for $1500 to the Lumani stud, Karakin.
Mr Hinchcliffe said he was sourcing well muscled and good shedding types for his stud.
Volume ram buyers at the sale included Bindi-Eye Farms, Greedhead and LR & JS Spencer, Perenjori, who collected five White Dorper rams each and paid top prices of $800 and $1050 respectively while Kaya Dorper stud, Narrogin, took home three Strauss Dorper rams to $1200 and one White Dorper ram.
The Spencer family also paid the $205 top commercial ewe price for five 2010-drop F4-F5 unmated White Dorper ewe lambs but it was PJ & CJ Coetzer, Eneabba, who dominated this section buying the other four lines of five F3-F5 ewe lambs paying $200 each.