FOR the second successive year Dorper and White Dorper sheep were the highlights of the Ida Vale production sale at Kojonup.
This year the sale was hot on the heels of the highly successful Kaya sale and an influx of interstate and local buyers, who failed to fill their orders, reveled in the second chance.
The previous day¹s prolific White Dorper ewe buyer Dale West Dorpers, Beverley, left a buying order netting the $2900 highest price ram.
Grant Wardle, Glenbrook, Boyup Brook, took the $2700 top price Dorper ram and was adding to a ewe base he acquired the day before.
He said he hadn¹t made any firm decisions but would probably start black and white studs and would most likely carry out embryo transfer programs with the ewes.
He had been a broadacre wool producer but now owned 200 hectares and the reduced workload was appealing.
He was not the only wool producer looking for an alternative. John O¹Halloran, Kojonup, powered through the White Dorper flock ram offering taking 21 of the 33 rams sold with the intention of turning all his 3500-Merino ewes into a shedding flock.
³I am 33 years old and I have never seen decent wool prices Š even though I didn¹t get enough rams today I won¹t be joining any ewes to Merinos,² he said.
He said he¹d been breeding prime lambs for the past six years and acknowledged it would take time before he reached the stage when they no longer needed to shear but was prepared to make the start.
He paid the $1700 top flock ram price and encountered return buyer AR & RD Williams, Gairdner, who bought four flock rams for up to $1400 (2). Another high price stud White Dorper buyer was Bepiti Pty Ltd, Marulan, NSW, who bid via the telephone and was successful at $2000.
White Dorper ewes sold to a $2100 high paid by return buyer RJ & BA Sawyer, Dalwallinu, who bought six ewes in total.
Barry Menengola, Narembeen, bought a single ewe for $2000, while Prime SAMM stud breeder Sandy Forbes, Jerramungup, was prominent taking seven ewes for up to $1700 to start a stud that she believed would serve the growing number of south coast farmers interested in the breed.
Only two stud Dorper rams were offered and the second sold for $1100 to Myles Wilson, Bolgart, who was also the dominant Dorper ewe buyer.
He said he already had commercial Dorpers but after buying 10 ewes for up to the sale¹s $1500 top price he was now planning to start a stud.
Two other high price ewes sold for $1300 and $1100 to MacKay Pastoral Co, Boggabilla, Queensland.
Fewer commercial Dorper rams were presented and prices again met with easier demand matching the trend set by the previous day¹s sale. The top black buyer was again Grant Wardle at $850.
After five years of receiving limited interest in a token line of Dorpers and White Dorpers offered as an adjunct to the main White Suffolk catalogue this year¹s sale was the first large scale offering and a boomer for the new breed.
But is was a different story for the White Suffolks.
Elders auctioneer Dennis Roberts and Landmark¹s Chris Medcalf had no trouble in placing the first half of the White Suffolk catalogue but with a big line up of 116 head the second half was more difficult with the market proving to be already well catered for.
Consequently, a number was passed in leaving a good selection for late private buyers.
Stud master Bronte Gardner said he was pleased with the overall result. Despite the lack of buying strength for the White Suffolk, he¹d been part of the breed since it was first evolved and they remained his bread and butter. He pledged his intention to remain loyal to the Association even though the shedding sheep were so highly sought-after.
The top price for White Suffolk ram was $1500 paid by Lindsay and Christine Drummond, New Zealand, via a buying order. As fellow White Dorper breeders they were taking the opportunity to include new White Suffolk genetics in the consignment of WA rams bound for NZ and they selected two rams bought for their outstanding figures. They paid $1400 for the second ram.
Generally flock ram buyers did not have to go that high with values allowing Integrated Livestock, Marbelling, Arthur River, to buy 15 rams for $500-$600 each.
Invited vendors Jim and Jan Glover, Jim Jan Texel stud, Boyup Brook, met with their best result yet when all their regular buyers were ousted by newcomers Graeme and Horrie Murdock, Wagin.
They bought all eight rams paying up to $1500 and averaging $1125.