A QUALITY line-up of well-grown Prime SAMM rams showing both top carcase and wool traits and buyers keen to capitalise on the strong prime lamb markets was the perfect combination at last week's Tiarri/Uralla on-property ram sale at Lake Grace.
With strong demand for the rams on offer from a long list of return buyers, despite some in the local area suffering the effects of low water supplies, the stud recorded a top price of $3000 and 96 per cent clearance for the 106 rams offered.
When the final ram had been knocked down by Elders auctioneer Preston Clarke, the 27 registered buyers from as far north as Geraldton and east to Moorine Rock, had cleared 102 of the 106 rams offered at an average of $1308, which was up $96 on last year's sale, ensuring a very pleasing sale for the Tiarri team.
In last year's sale the stud offered 179 rams and sold 137 under the hammer for an average of $1212.
Elders stud stock manager Tim Spicer said overall it was a very solid sale and a pleasing result for the stud on the back of the challenging season in the area which has seen many farmers short of water and ewes sold off.
"Overall it was a fantastic line-up of rams and they were a credit to the Tiarri team given the tough season they have come through," Mr Spicer said.
"The rams displayed the carcase traits the stud is known for, while the wools were also very good and showed the work the stud has done over the past few years in terms of improving its wool quality, lowering micron and increasing comfort factor.
"Once again there was a big number of regular clients operating in the sale and the buyers were prepared to pay top money for the better rams throughout the catalogue."
Equally as happy with the sale result was stud co-principal Kelly-Anne Gooch, who said the Tiarri team was very pleased with the final sale result and how the rams stood up on sale day.
"Given the number of ewes that have left the local area due to low water supplies, we were extremely happy with our clearance and average, as we do have a number of local buyers," Ms Gooch said.
"Once again we had good support from our regular clients plus a couple of new buyers who are all keen to benefit from the current buoyant prime lamb industry using Prime SAMM genetics and we are grateful for their support.
"It is good to see the steady growth in demand in the prime lamb industry and our clients reaping the benefits from it.
"We are also very pleased to see so many of our clients obtaining top results with their operations including the Lynch family, who were last year's WAMMCO Producer of the Year."
Ms Gooch said the rams overall presented very well, showing both good wool and carcase traits.
"It is a big job each year to get the rams up and this year my son Dale, who has only just started shearing, was part of that effort by shearing some of the rams," Ms Gooch said.
The $3000 top price came very early in the sale when Mr Clarke stood over an upstanding, well-grown, meaty ram in pen four.
After some quick back and forth between a couple of interested parties the ram was finally knocked down at $3000 to Elders prime lamb specialist Michael O'Neill, who revealed he was bidding on behalf of return stud buyers the Squiers family, Shirlee Downs stud, Quairading.
Shirlee Downs co-principal Sascha Squiers said the family had purchased from Tiarri but this ram would represent a new bloodline for their breeding program.
"We haven't seen him in the flesh yet but we have seen some pictures and liked what we saw," Mr Squiers said.
"He is good on his feet, has a nice long body and a very good conformation.
"He also has very good raw scan figures and wool tests.
"He really does have that combination of good carcase and wool traits, which is really important to us."
The 115 kilogram, single-dropped ram was sold with June wool tests of 21.5 micron and 99.3 per cent comfort factor, while its scan figures from August were 46mm eye muscle depth (EMD) and 3.5mm fat.
The second top price in the sale was $2600 paid by return Newdegate buyer Top Notch Farm Pty Ltd.
The Newdegate operation paid this value for a twin-born 113kg sire which had scan figures of 45mm EMD and 4.6mm fat and wool tests of 20.1 micron and 99.5pc CF.
The operation also purchased two other sires at $1700 and $1600.
The third highest price in the sale was $2500 which was paid twice by return buyer DM & AL Major, Muntadgin, which also secured another sire at $1500.
It bid to $2500 for a 121kg ram with a 47mm EMD, 5.2mm fat and wool figures of 21.9 micron and 99.1pc CF.
Its other $2500 sire weighed in at 115kg with scans of 46mm EMD, 4.6mm fat and wool measurements of 21.9 micron and 99.6pc CF.
Katanning operation The Wahroonga Trust was another buyer not afraid to bid, purchasing four rams to a top of $2100 (twice) and average of $1850, while regular buyer Tim Lloyd & Co, Newdegate, secured a team of eight sires which averaged $1700 and topped at $2100 as well and last year's WAMMCO Producers of the Year, PD Lynch & Co, Hyden averaged $1500 over a team of four.
The volume buyer in the sale was another buyer familiar with the Tiarri and Uralla bloodline, the James family, FS & KM James, Hyden, who purchased a double figure team of 10 rams to a top of $1500 (twice) and an average of $1310.
Buyer Frank James said the family initially purchased from the Uralla stud but moved to buying at Tiarri after it purchased Uralla a couple of years ago.
"They are good upstanding sheep with good constitutions and good conformations which is what we require for our prime lamb operation," Mr James said.
The James family is currently running 3200 first-cross Prime SAMM ewes and 1500 Merino ewes from which it breeds replacement first-cross breeders.
Mr James said they used the Prime SAMM rams over the Merino ewes and also over their maiden first-cross ewes for ease of lambing and then use either White Suffolk, Poll Dorset and a small number of Prime SAMMs over their mature first-cross ewes.
"We really like the F1 Prime SAMM ewe as they are very fertile and good mothers," Mr James said.
"They can rear two really good lambs."
The family has three different lambings (which start April 10, April 30 and May 15) to spread its workload and for ease of management.
It then tries to turn-off 70 to 80pc of its lambs straight off their mothers on a weekly basis to WAMMCO from September through to November.
They have sold lines straight off their mothers in the past averaging 27-28kg carcase weight.
The remaining lambs are then finished off on stubbles and sold.
The second biggest buyer was repeat client the Joyce family, CD & VK Joyce, Kukerin, which secured nine sires to a top of $1900 and an average of $1178.
Other buyers to make an impression in the sale clerking sheets were DM, MCL & JA Stewart, Lake Grace, which purchased seven rams averaging $1000, while PT & IM Jensen & Sons, Pingaring, B & L Ward, Leddenworth Pty Ltd and RA & SJ Dall, Kulin, all purchased six sires at averages of $1133, $1083 and $1083 respectively.
Under the hammer results