RETURNING clients and new buyers from New Zealand and all five mainland states, some being composite breeders looking to increase the value of their wool without giving away carcase and reproduction, secured 194 of the 198 rams offered at the 32nd Mumblebone on-property sale at Wellington last Wednesday.
Two Merino breeders from New Zealand bought two rams including the $6500 sale-topper while nine breeders from Victoria bought 44 rams for a $2784 average. Two from South Australia secured six rams averaging $2667, five breeders from Queensland bought 30 rams averaging $2533, one new buyer from Western Australia paid a $2400 average for five rams and 26 buyers from NSW took home 107 rams for a $2210 average.
Mumblebone’s Chad and Louise Taylor, were humbled by the result, thanking the 40 buyers for their confidence in Mumblebone’s genetics.
Mr Taylor said this year’s sale draft performed exceedingly well under the dry environmental challenges, especially the nutritional barriers of the past 10 months.
“All traits have improved on last year and it is wonderful to find interest from composite breeders looking to increase their wool value with Mumblebone rams.”
Liking the the ram’s presence and outlook with good structure and breeding values, two New Zealand Merino breeders combined to pay the sale’s top price of $6500 for a son of Moojepin 12-0652. He was growing 17.4 micron wool with Australian sheep breeding values (ASBVs) well above the breed average, especially for yearling eye muscle depth (YEMD) of 2.4 and yearling weight (YWT) of 7.1.
One buyer, Gordon Lucas of Ninemile Poll Merinos, Tarras, came with his stud sheep classer, Jayne Rive, to select two rams, paying $5000 for an 18 micron son of Glenwood 15-0776.
Mr Lucas said the best thing about the sale-topper was its size and structure.
“We will naturally mate him to a selection of ewes from our 600 stud ewe flock,” he said, who also runs a 5000 ewe commercial flock of 16.8 micron average cutting an average 5.5 kilogram fleece.
The other, Alistair Campbell, Earnscleugh Station, Alexandra, runs two commercial flocks totalling 13,000 ewes – one of ultrafine wool averaging 13.9 micron and the other a superfine of 16.4 micron average.
Chasing high genetics for fat and eye muscle combined with wool cut and staple length, Tim and Tam Mulholland, Operina Pty Ltd, Operina, Barham, bought four sons of Moojepin 12-0652 ranging in microns from 16.6 to 17.8 while paying to $5500 and a $4375 average.
Top of the draft was the 16.7 micron ram with excellent ASBVs, including 18.3 for yearling staple length and -21.3 for faecal egg count plus 9.9 YWT and 2.1 YEMD.
Mr Mulholland said combining fat and eye muscle genetics with staple length and wool cut would ensure a high conception of ewe lambs. Jim McLaughlin, Merryanbone North stud, Warren, returned to pay $5500 for another Moojepin son of 16.5 micron.
A total of 83 sons of the Moojepin sire averaged $2940.
Heatherlie Partnership, of Mac and Jo Fraser, Tallangatta, Vic, returned and purchased three rams for their high rainfall district flock paying to $4500 twice and a $4167 average while the Stendell family, Bejn Avon, Brewarrina, paid $5000 for another Moojepin son.
Return buyer Tim Fairfax and family, Kioma, Toobeau, Qld, bought 16 rams averaging $3063 with three at $4000. Another return buyer, John Bonnington, Bonnayr, Curban, bought eight rams with five topping at $3500 and averaging $3125.
Tim Buxton Ag, Stratford, Vic, paid to $3500 for three rams averaging $3167, while the Pointvale Pastoral Company, Cavendish, Vic, secured 10 rams averaging $3200 with five topping the draft at $3500 each.
Brian and Kerry Tolliday, Tolliday Farms, Stewarton, Vic, are running a composite flock of 1000 ewes and bought eight rams for a $1375 average, topping at $2000 twice.
"This would increase the ewes’ wool value. Currently the wool only pays for shearing," Mr Tolliday said. "I'm impressed with Mumblebone's higher fat and eye muscle depth figures and their good breeding values overall."
Robert Sevil, Bunna Bunna, Rowena, a ram buyer for 10 years returned to secure nine rams for his flock of 2100 ewes of 19 micron. The draft averaged $2444 and topped at $3000 three times. He continues to return to Mumblebone because “they are good sheep” and he is happy with their type.
The sale was conducted by Elders Dubbo, with Paul Dooley guest auctioneer.