THE Button family notched up a colossal result at its 13th annual on-property ram sale at Tammin on Monday to celebrate the stud’s 50th anniversary of Poll Merino breeding.
A complete clearance of an increased catalogue of 300 Poll Merino rams to gross more than $500,000 has raised the bar early for one of the sales of the season, with two-tooth ram sales getting underway last week.
To meet growing demand for the Manunda brand and ensure buyers of all budgets were catered for, the Manunda team lifted its sale team by 30 rams this year.
Several new buyers joined Manunda’s extensive loyal following and competed strongly through to the final lot to post an average $1846 under the control of Landmark and local Landmark agent Livestock and Land.
Last year’s sale returned a total clearance of 270 Poll Merino rams to average $1471.
The stronger average was boosted from significantly increased stud and commercial buying support at the top-end of the catalogue with the opening run of 17 regulation March-shorn prepared rams averaging more than $4000 with four rams eclipsing the $5000 price tag and reaching a top price of $8250.
The depth of breeding and quality ran through the line-up of April-shorn rams and while they sold strongly to $4500, many rams were knocked down from $700 to $1000 to give all buyers the opportunity to fill their joining requirements with quality genetics.
The sound seasonal recovery through the stud’s client base, buoyant sheep meat and wool values and an extensive catalogue of well bred and grown rams provided the positive platform the sale’s success was built on.
But it also reflected the Button family’s continued heavy investment in leading Poll Merino genetics throughout the country as part of their committed service to their clients.
Manunda stud principal Wayne Button said it was an exciting day for everyone involved at Manunda.
“It’s great to see confidence in the Merino industry and we are very fortunate to have clients willing to invest in it,” Mr Button said.
“The support from our loyal clients makes it all worthwhile for us and it’s great to see some new faces attending the sale to look at our sheep.
“Pleasing to see the results of the AI and ET programs from genetics we have invested in the last few years flow through to the ram sale offering and appear to be well received by our clients.
“We were extremely pleased with the way the sale was handled by the Landmark network and a couple of young auctioneers in Michael Altus and James Culleton doing a great job.”
Several WA studs and nucleus breeders sourced new Manunda sires at the sale.
Leading the way with the $8250 top bid for lot two was consistent buyer Martindale Pty Ltd, New Norcia, for a son of well-known sire Banavie 333, purchased by Manunda for $60,000 in 2015.
The ram displayed tests of 20.2 micron, 3.5 SD, 17.3 CV, 99.7 per cent comfort factor (CF) and 116pc greasy fleece weight (GFW), 122pc bodyweight (BW) and +4 eye muscle depth (EMD) recorded against the average of the top 500 ram lambs from the total drop of 1500 ram lambs.
Martindale Pty Ltd general manager Peter Hewlett said the ram would be used in their nucleus flock.
Mr Button said the big bodied ET-bred ram was out of one of Manunda’s best ewes and its long white staple suited higher rainfall conditions.
Return stud buyer Ray Edmonds, Rhamily stud, Calingiri, was one bid shy of top price with his $8000 purchase of the ram in lot six.
The ram was by Old Ashrose Will 445 purchased by Manunda for $45,000 in 2016 and displayed tests of 21.5 micron, 3.2 SD, 14.9 CV, 99.9pc CF, 105pc GFW, 124pc BW and +4 EMD.
Mr Edmonds said the ram would complement a couple of half-brothers he AI-bred by Will 445 and were in use at Rhamily.
“Heavy bone, well-structured ram with a beautiful head and gutsy, long staple, sappy strong wool,” Mr Edmonds said.
Fellow Calingiri breeder Brian Westlake, Dabrappy stud, paid $7000 for a ram from a syndicate joining of ‘Jacko’ sons.
The ram tested 20 micron, 2.9 SD, 14.5 CV, 99.8pc CF, 92pc GFW, 113pc BW and +4 EMD.
Mr Westlake said while it was the first Manunda sire he had purchased, the Manunda breeding didn’t go unnoticed during his time as chairman of the Merino section sub-committee at the IGA Perth Royal Show.
“I noticed the Button family’s consistency in quality with their breeding over the 12 years helping at the show,” Mr Westlake said.
“The ram has bright white good crimping wool with a correct body and muzzle.”
Other studs to purchase new sires included the Belhus stud, Beverley, with two rams paying $2900 and to $5250 for another Will 445 son displaying tests of 20 micron, 3.4 SD, 17 CV, 99.7pc CF, 111pc GFW, 123pc BW and +5 EMD.
Glen-Byrne stud, Calingiri, also collected two rams for $2000 and $3250.
West Pingelly producers NK & PM Schorer paid the $4500 top price for an April shorn ram.
The team leader by Jacko tested 19.7 micron, 3.5 SD, 17.8 CV, 99.9pc CF, 114pc GFW, 107pc BW and +1 EMD.
But the day belonged to the long list of commercial producers who are mostly long-time supporters and return to Manunda every year to replenish their sire batteries with plenty of numbers.
While a Landmark Breeding account steered by Mitchell Crosby yielded 20 rams from $700 to $3000, believed to be for more than one order, Shackleton grazier KL Tippett & Co took volume honours with 16 rams paying from $600 to $3250 for their selections.
Regular volume buyers KJ & RP Siegert, Wongan Hills, were back with a haul of 15 rams, paying from $800 to $2750.
Another consistent volume buyer R & K Day, Burracoppin, returned to collect 13 rams costing from $800 to $2000 while MM & HE Granich, Moorine Rock, stocked up with 12 rams paying from $800 and to a $3250 top twice.
There are too many buyers who tallied decent ram numbers and paid solid values along the way to mention in this report.
But other double digit ram accounts included 11 rams to regular supporters HM Rolinson & Co, Kalannie, $1500-$3250, MA & BJ Szczecinski, Corrigin, $1500-$3000 and Kellerwell Pty Ltd, Kellerberrin, $800-$2750 and 10 rams to JW & FG Dixon & Son, Tammin, $1400-$2800, Miaka Farms, Three Springs, $800-$3250, Burra Nominess, Burracoppin, $800-$2500 and KL Clarke & Co, Goomalling, $1000-$2100.