VENDORS at this year’s Wagin Breeders’ Ram Sale were understandably delighted with the results posted at the event when prices topped at $4000 and a $1333 average was set across the 279 rams sold.
As always, it was a one-stop shop for Upper Great Southern sheep producers, with Poll Merinos, Merinos, White Suffolks and Poll Dorsets on offer at the well-patronised sale that had Primaries, Landmark and Elders sharing the selling duties.
The offering of Merinos and meat breeds together continued to be a success, with many of the 51 buyers registered operating in both categories to fill their requirements.
On the back of continually rising wool prices, Merino and Poll Merino numbers in the sale lifted on last year with 190 offered this year, compared to 162 last year.
Of the 190 that went under the hammer, 178 sold, which was up by 21 rams on last year where 157 sold under the hammer.
Again reflecting the current buoyant sheep and wool prices, the average jumped to $1539 across the Merino section this year, despite the significant increase in numbers.
This was up by $231 on last year.
This increase in ram numbers and rise in average saw the gross for the Merinos up by nearly $70,000 from $205,300 last year to $273,900 this year.
In the prime lamb sire section, the Yow Yow Poll Dorset stud, the Kantara White Suffolk stud and the Dumbledee Poll Dorset stud offered the same amount of rams as last year, with 110 going under the hammer.
And as per last year, 101 of these sold under the hammer to an average of $971, which saw a marginal drop of $85 from 2017.
While the Kantara stud dropped its numbers by 10 from last year to 50 rams, the Yow Yow and Dumbledee studs both increased their offering by 10 to 40 and 20 respectively.
p Wililoo Merino and Poll Merino stud
The Wise family, Wililoo stud, Woodanilling, kicked off the day’s proceedings with a quality line-up of 22 Merinos and 33 Poll Merinos.
This was a significant increase on last year’s offering where the stud offered 15 Merinos and 17 Polls.
It sold 18 of the Merinos under the hammer this year and 28 of the Polls, with the Merinos averaging $1661 and the Polls hitting an average of $1293.
The Merino average was significantly up on last year’s $1286, while on the back of the big increase in numbers offered, the Poll average dropped $254 compared to last year.
As per last year, the stud topped the sale overall when it sold its first lot of the day for $4000 to repeat buyers Cyril and Vance Blechynden, Brookton.
The big-bodied Merino ram was just what the Blechyndens were looking for to add to their sire stocks.
They are also well accustomed to ram breeding, having used to run the Burnside Merino stud.
The Blechyndens said the ram appealed to them for its body size and good fleece.
“He has a beautiful, wide head and a really good wool quality on him,” Vance Blechynden said.
The ram will be used over specially-selected ewes to breed rams to go over the family’s 4000 head Merino flock.
Coming in at 124kg, matched with its top wool figures of 18.9 micron, 15.3 CV, and 99.8 per cent comfort factor (CF), it was easy to see why this ram was in demand.
Next best price in the Wililoo offering and the top for the Poll Merinos was $3100 paid by Glenlowie Farms, Woodanilling, which took a liking to the 115kg ram in lot four.
This ram also recorded terrific wool tests of 19.8 micron, 13.6 CV and 99.7pc CF.
Glenlowie took two rams from the Wililoo catalogue in total, paying $1200 for one later in the sale.
Also paying to higher values to buy its rams of choice was long-time Wililoo client Willingvale Estate, Woodanilling, which took rams at $2900 and $2800 among the eight it bought in total.
The $2900 purchase was for a Poll that tested at 18.8 micron, 14.9 CV and 99.6pc CF.
Another long-term Wililoo client Peter Battersby, Knowsley Grazing, Katanning, had a big impact on the sale taking 11 rams in total to a top of $1900 paid for a Poll Merino.
This ram weighed in at 105kg and had wool tests of 18.6 micron, 15.1 CV and 99.8pc CF.
Also buying a big draft was Red Hill Grazing, Woodanilling, which purchased four Merinos and two Polls at the sale, while Naballing Estate, Woodanilling, operated only in the Poll Merino section to also take six.
p Kingussie Merino and Poll Merino
The sale then moved onto the biggest vendor of the day, the Smith family, Kingussie stud, Dumbleyung, which offered up a line-up of 65 Merinos and 35 Polls.
The big frames and quality wools on the rams were very much in demand with a 100pc clearance of the Merinos to a top of $3200 and a $1968 average, while only three of the Polls were passed in under the hammer to top at $2500 and average $1347.
The Merinos saw a whopping rise in average from last year where 64 rams sold at a $1356 average, while the Polls were also in greater demand with the average jumping $159 for the same number of rams sold.
Again in the Merino section it was long-term repeat buyers that set the tone for the sale with Jason Smith, Dumbleyung, securing the top price ram at $3200.
This ram tested at 18.1 micron, 16.1 CV and 100 pc CF and was 37mm for EMD, 5.4 for fat and weighed in at 105kg.
Mr Smith went on to dominate the sale proceedings, taking 16 rams in total to be the biggest buyer of Kingussie rams by far.
The buyer of the $2900 second top price Merino ram was RG Strother & Co, Holt Rock, another long-time supporter of the Kingussie stud and also a volume buyer with eight rams in total, including one Poll Merino.
Their top-priced ram tested at 20.5 micron, 19.5 CV and 98.4pc CF with carcase figures of 40mm EMD, 4.5 fat and weighed in at 103kg.
The Strothers also paid $2700 for another Merino that had wool tests of 20.2 micron, 17.4 CV and 99pc CF.
Also paying at the top end of the market was another volume buyer in OL Mott & Co, Dumbleyung, which purchased Merinos at $2700 twice, $2600 and $2500 in its 12 ram haul.
BB Smith, Dumbleyung, was also prominent in the Merino section, taking seven rams to a top of $2700.
This ram was a big wool cutter testing at 22.4 micron, 17.5 CV and 97.5pc CF and weighing in at 105kg.
BB Smith was also the top price buyer in the Kingussie Poll Merino section when they paid $2500 for a 23.2 micron, 18.6, 95.1pc CF ram that weighed in at 107kg with a big 41mm EMD.
This was one of two Poll Merino rams that the Smiths purchased.
Once again it was Tom Pearce, J & GT Pearce & Son, Dumbleyung, that was the volume buyer of Kingussie Polls taking 15 in total to a top of $1600.
Second top price in the Kingussie Polls was $2000 paid on two occasions.
The first was by Don Thomson, Tincurrin, for a ram that tested at 22.5 micron, 16.1 CV and 97.3pc CF, while the second time it was Murray Ford, Williams, that outlaid that amount for a 22.8 micron, 16.6 CV and 97.2pc CF specimen.
This was one of five Polls that the Fords bought on the day, to go with two Merinos they added earlier in the sale.
p Sunny View Poll Merino
This year Sunny View Poll Merino principal Gavin Kirk upped his offering from 30 rams last year to 35 and recorded a 100pc clearance at a top of $1600 twice.
The increase in numbers saw the average drop from $1207 last year to $1051 this year, but it was still a pleasing result for all concerned.
Top price buyer and long-time supporter Trevor Badger, Pingrup, certainly took advantage of the extra rams on offer, purchasing 11 at auction, despite only coming to the sale to buy six.
Mr Badger knows the Sunny View bloodline well, with his grandfather starting the stud before his cousin Bevan took it over prior to it being sold to the Kirks.
He said it was the most even line-up of rams that had been offered by the Kirk family.
Mr Badger has been steadily increasing his sheep numbers in recent years and the rams bought will be used among a 10,000 head breeding ewe flock.
His top price ram was lot one of the Sunny View offering and carried wool figures of 20.1 micron, 3.4 SD, 16.7 CV, 99.2pc CF when tested in September. It weighed in at 94kg.
Also taking one ram at $1600 was MV & T Spooner, Wagin, who paid that amount for a 20.5 micron, 3.8 SD, 18.7 CV and 99.5pc CF bale filler.
The Spooners were also volume buyers for Sunny View taking six rams in total.
Other locals, PJ Spooner and GM & PG Ward were also good supporters of the sale taking five rams each.
PJ Spooner went to a top of $900 for their purchases, while the Wards paid a top of $1100 for the second last ram offered.
Also taking six rams was Landmark Narrogin’s Ashley Lock who was bidding on behalf of DJ & D Jasper, Cunderdin.
They went to a top of $1400.
p Yow Yow Poll Dorset
The sale then moved on to the offering of Yow Yow Poll Dorsets from the Gillespie family, Wagin.
The stud increased its offering to 40 rams up from 30 last year and in a very good result cleared 38 under the hammer to a top of $1300 three times.
Its average of $988 was down on last year’s $1107 but was still pleasing given the focus on the wool market currently.
PC Quartermaine, Katanning, not only paid the $1300 top price twice, they were also volume buyers taking eight rams from the Yow Yow offering.
The first of their top price rams recorded figures of 116.5kg body weight, 45mm EMD, 7.3 PFAT, 12.6 PWWT, -0.1 PWFT, 1.4 PWEMD and 188.9 on the CarcasePlus index.
The other buyer to take a Yow Yow ram at $1300 was Knowsley Grazing, Katanning, which paid that amount for a twin that weighed in at 104kg with a 41.2mm EMD and 6mm fat.
On LambPlan, the ram tested at 10.8 PWWT, -1.1 PWFT, 0.9 PEMD with a 177.6 CarcasePlus.
Also paying at higher values were KLF & RE Steele, Pingrup, who took four rams to a top of $1200.
Their top price ram was also a twin and weighed in at 117.5kg with a big 48mm EMD and 4.3mm fat.
It was also 13.1 for PWWT, -1.7 for PWFT, 1.2 for PEMD and had a CarcasePlus index of 188.9.
Volume buyer in the Yow Yow offering was Julstroy Farm, Lake King, which took 14 rams in total to a top of $1050.
p Dumbledee Poll Dorset
The Dumbledee stud also increased its offering from 10 rams last year to 20 rams this year and saw 17 of those sold under the hammer to a top of $1050.
RW & BM Bahr, Kukerin, paid the $1050 top price for a son of Pollambi 52/13 that weighed in at 110.5kg.
This ram had LambPlan figures of 15.2 for PWWT, 0.0 for PFAT, 2.9 for PEMD and was 208.5 on CarcasePlus.
It was one of two rams bought by the Bahr enterprise.
The second top price of $1000 for Dumbledee was paid twice with OL Mott & Co, Dumbleyung, paying that amount for another Pollambi 52/13 son.
This ram weighed in at 112kg and had figures of 15.2 PWWT, -0.5 PFAT, 2.2 PEMD and 204 for CarcasePlus.
IC & C Faulkner, Kukerin, also put their hand up to take a ram at $1000, paying this for another Pollambi son that weighed in at 109kg.
This ram had a 16.3 PWWT, -01 PFAT, 2.3 PEMD and was 209 on CarcasePlus.
Volume buyer in the Dumbledee offering was AM Wright, Mt Barker, who took seven rams to a top of $700, while GM & TL McLennan, Borden, bought three at a top of $750.
p Kantara White Suffolk
It was another quality offering of long and heavy White Suffolk rams Keith Ladyman and Jillian Clarke, Kantara White Suffolk stud, Dumbleyung.
The stud dropped its numbers offered by 10 rams from last year with 50 going under the hammer and only four being passed in.
The average of $1026 was only slightly down on last year’s $1073 with the top price the same at $1900.
This was set three times, with the first three rams offered all making this money.
Taking the first ram at this price was PB & J Davidson, Tincurrin, who paid this money for a Wheetelande 127064 son that weighed in at 125.5kg.
The ram had LambPlan figures of 17.1 PWWT, -0.4 PFAT, 1.3 PEMD and was 204 on CarcasePlus.
It was one of four rams bought by the Davidsons, who also went to $1200 for another ram.
The second ram in the offering and the second to hit $1900 was bought by repeat Kantara buyer Roztine Enterprises, Gnowangerup.
Sister and brother combination Roz and Brad Smith often take a top price ram from Kantara and this year was no exception, with Mr Smith saying the ram would be used over Merino ewes.
“We started on the Kantara rams about five years ago,” Mr Smith said.
“They do really well and we like the lambs they produce.
“We use them over our older Merino ewes and look at a combination of the physical appearance of rams and figures when we make our selection.
“We liked the good laid-in shoulders and the weight and length of the top price ram we bought.”
The ram weighed in at 111kg and was 17.1 for PWWT, -0.4 for PFAT, 1.3 for PEMD and was 201 on CarcasePlus.
The Smiths bought four rams in total from the Kantara offering.
Next to pay $1900 was HG Savage & Co, Kulin, who bought two rams in total.
Their top price ram was a twin that weighed in at 110.5kg and had figures of 16.7 PWWT, -0.1 PFAT, 2.3 PEMD and was 211 for CarcasePlus.
Volume buyer in the Kantara offering was CK & SJ Joy, Dumbleyung, who took six rams to a top of $1000, while DG & MA Eynon, Dumbleyung, bought five at a top of $1500 paid for a 124.5kg ram that had LambPlan figures of 16.8 PWWT, -0.9 PFAT, 1.3 PEMD and was 204 for CarcasePlus.