IT was a buyers’ market at the Rabobank National Merino Ram Sale at Dubbo, New South Wales, last week with prices reaching $22,000.
Despite current strength in the wool market, 31 of the 41 rams offered were sold for a 75 per cent clearance and an average of $5637.
That’s compared with last year’s impressive sale average of $10,387.
It was the cross-border buying partnership of Ross Wells, Willandra stud, Jerilderie, New South Wales and Queensland’s Brumpton family, Mt Ascot and Jolly Jumbuck studs, Mitchell, who paid the top price of $22,000 for an Orrie Cowie ram offered by the Dalla family, Warooka, South Australia.
The May 2016 born ram by OC-McLeod 968 recorded test figures of 135 kilogram body weight, 21.1 micron, 3.2 SD, 15.2 CV and 99.3pc comfort factor.
It wasn’t the first top price success for the Dalla family, having taken out the honour with a $25,000 ram at the 2014 sale and a private sale of $35,000 last year.
In what was their 50th anniversary breeding Poll Merinos, the Orrie Cowie ram not only topped the sale but won the grand champion Poll Merino ram of the show.
“He is one of our own breeding and goes back to what we called our McLeod family out of a Prince ewe,” said stud representative John Dalla.
“He is a massive upstanding ram, really good on his feet, fantastic structure and carrying a heavy cutting really strong wool.”
The ram’s impressive structure was mirrored in the comments of his new owners who will share him across their alternating joining periods.
Queensland’s Nigel Brumpton was excited by the ram’s outlook, great carcase and good waxy wool.
But, it will be Willandra stud’s Ross Wells who will join the ram first.
While they have plenty of good sheep at the moment, Mr Wells said they needed some new genetics.
“He has got a good stiff lock of well marked wool,” Mr Wells said.
“We have got some very good sheep at the moment but we need a bit of real outside influence.”
A total of 54 registered buyers were on hand to witness the sale with Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia all represented.
The second top price of $15,000 was reached for an August 2016 ram from Towalba Pastoral Co, Peak Hill, NSW.
The 125kg ram with 19.8 micron was purchased by Towonga and Bundamar Merinos, Owendale, Peak Hill.
The sale kicked off with the first two lots from Roseville Park, Dubbo, reaching $12,000.
The Rosewood Family Trust, Dubbo, purchased the first ram with Kilfeera Park, Victoria, the second buyers.
The supreme champion ram from Hinesville West Plains Poll, Delegate, NSW, was purchased for $10,000 by John Jamieson, Wattle Park, Finley, NSW with Landmark’s Brad Wilson taking the phone bids.