FINE wool found favour among a core of committed wool producers from across the state who descended upon the Misty Hills offering at the Kojonup ram sale last week.
The sale comprising 57 rams from four fine wool and high rainfall studs peaked at $3000 for a 4-tooth full wool ram offered by Misty Hills stud principals Russell and Heather Meaton, Kojonup.
The ram was bought by Primaries wool and livestock marketing manager Matt Pederson on behalf of A & G Grice, Kojonup, who was one of six first time buyers for Misty Hills.
Russell said the Grice family had previously sourced genetics from eastern Australia but with the difficulty importing interstate sheep they decided to look locally.
They also paid $1600 for the first 2-tooth offered.
Boyup Brook fine woolgrower Mick Catalano put the early competition into the Misty Hills sale.
He bought six of the first 10 rams and was not headed on any of his choices.
He paid up to $1850 and spent a $1617 average for his selections.
The day's $2500 second top price also was achieved by Misty Hill and came from fellow vendor Terry Dawes, Talye stud, Kojonup.
After some previous experience using Misty Hills genetics he invested in a free-growing, 16.5 micron (current test), plain bodied ram from the Meaton family.
Misty Hills included eight Polls in its 44-ram offering and Steve Hall, Wellstead, sent prices to $2050 for the first ram in the line-up.
The stud's $1360 overall average was up from $1301 last year and with fine wool no longer bringing the premiums of recent years Russell was pleased with the support from existing clients.
He was also encouraged that many of the new buyers had been convinced to breed fine wool after seeing Nisty Hills' wool at field days and the stud's success at the Royal show and were prepared to commit long-term to the finer micron range.
Among the high price payers was Greg Cochrane, Yarraween Grazing, Duranillin, who outlaid $1800 and $1500 for two rams; Wayne Zaddow, Kojonup, paid $1750 for the best of two rams; AR Brown & Co, Tambellup, paid up to $1750 for three rams; and LJ & MN Della Vedova, Duranillin, paid $1550 for a single ram.
Support from Woodside Farms, Dongara, which bought a single ram for $1350; George Green & Son, Hyden, at $1400 and Tilbrook & Teal, Mt Madden, at $1350 demonstrated the spread of buyers.
Misty Hills offered three pens of ewes with two pens comprising 16 mixed age ewes selling for $195 a head. The third pen was passed in.
The buyers RO Smith and & Son, Wannamal, and LR & LC Lowe, Esperance.
Offering rams at Kojonup for the first time was Jeremy King, Range View stud, Darkan, who presented a lineup from the finer end of the stud in the belief there was more benefit in offering rams for sale rather than display on field days.
He received support from existing clients with LR & VM Kelly, Darkan, who paid $1000 for a Poll and Rob and Dani Hewton, Moodiarrup, spent $900 to buy the first Merino.
Range View sold all four rams for an overall $725 average.
Talye stud sold all five rams at a $560 average.
The stud's $600 top was paid twice by Woodenbillup Trust, Kojonup, then again by LJ Hodgson, Tambellup.
Final vendor The Grange stud, owned by Multiplex Contructions put up four rams with three selling under the hammer.
The $1000 top price came for the sole Poll ram and was paid by WS Criddle, Walkaway.
The Grange averaged $767 for its overall offering.