INTERSTATE and statewide interest, along with quality fine wool genetics ensured The Grange sale at Dongora on Monday was a triumph with prices peaking at $3500 and the overall sale average up an imposing $282 on last year.
The sale created a great deal of optimism leading into tomorrow's (Friday) on-property sale at Egerton, with a total clearance of the 140 rams to go under the hammer at an overall average of $1337.
The increased offering of 35 rams on last year was quickly snatched up by a mixture of old and new clients to the stud from around the state and South Australia.
The Grange studmaster Lukis Blake said he was very pleased with the sale result and the 100pc clearance rate after increasing the offering by 35 rams this year.
"Both the ewes and the rams sold exceptionally well and the averages for both are well up on last year," Mr Blake said.
"It was the first time we used Auctions-plus to sell the ewes and this allowed us to receive bids from South Australia."
Elders Breeding Services consultant Russell McKay agreed saying it was a very well supported sale, with the longer stapled stylish wools selling very strongly to all areas of the state.
"The sheep in general were very well presented and showed the benefits of a consistent season in the area and this resulted in buyers paying accordingly," Mr McKay said.
"The sale result was a good reward for the effort the stud puts into its breeding program."
The bright, stylish, fine-woolled, top price ram, with 99.6pc comfort factor, 16.6 microns and 18.1pc CV was bought by John Patience, JR & NG Patience, Fairview Farm, Georgina.
A repeat buyer to the stud after switching to The Grange genetics five years ago Mr Patience said it was both the ram's frame and the quality and quantity of his wool that appealed to him.
"We started buying from the stud five years ago because they were looking for better quality fine wooled rams to use amongst our 2000 breeding ewes which are all mated to Merinos," Mr Patience said.
Along with running a fine wool flock the Patiences also run a small super-fine flock and this year intend to mate between 400-500 ewes to super-fine rams from The Grange using artificial insemination..
By the end of the day Mr Patience had secured another five rams at the sale all for over $1000, including one for $2800.
The top priced Poll Merino sire, with a quality 99pc comfort factor and 17.4 micron wool, reached an impressive price of $3400, was bought by return buyer IM & CB Johnson, Northampton, who also bought a second 17.2 micron Poll Merino for $3000.
There was a great deal of competition for the impressive line-up of sires offered at the sale, with interstate buyer South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Turretfield Farms, Naracoorte, the biggest buyer on the day.
SARDI through Merino consultant Bruce Cameron secured a team of 14 rams, 12 Merinos and two Polls, paying a top price of $1400 on four occasions for rams with micron measurements of 18.2, 19.1, 19.4 and 19.4 respectively and averaged $1082.
Other volume buyers at the sale included repeat buyers J. Matthews, Northam, Atlas Farms, Calingiri, and new buyer Talga Pastoral Company, Toodyay, who all had 11 rams knocked down to them.
Included in Mr Matthew's team that averaged $1364, was a top of $1800 for a 16.9 micron 99.2pc comfort factor sire.
Talga Pastoral Company averaged $1586 over their 11 rams and paid $3200 for a 17.6 micron 99.4pc comfort factor, long stapled woolled Poll Merino sire and $3000 for a 16.7 micron Merino sire.
Atlas Farms with their team of 11 were once again good supporters of the sale buying to a top of $1500 for a 16.6 micron 99.8pc comfort factor Merino sire and an average of $1145.
The Grange also offered commercial Merino ewes and wethers at the sale and through Auctions-plus on the day, with a 100pc clearance and the ewes averaging $58.80 up $32.80 on last year.
The top price line of 135 2000 drop bare-shorn ewes with an average micron of 18.9 were bought by Talga Pastoral Company for $85, nearly twice last year's top price.
Two lines of 130 and 129 2000 drop bare-shorn ewes (average micron 18.9) sold to South Australian buyers BL & JM Clealand, Renneshaw, for $74 and $70 respectively.
Valencia Holdings, Kojonup, paid $62 for a line of 180 well grown 1998 drop bare-shorn ewes, along with $58 for a line of 128 1997 drop bare-shorn ewes.
The line of 440 200 drop May shorn wethers with an average micron of approximately 19 made $61 when they were knocked down to Elders Geraldton.