STRONG support from local and Eastern States buyers at the recent Anderson Rams Poll Merino on-property ram sale at Kojonup helped the Anderson family record another cracking sale result, including a 100 per cent clearance and a $2781 record average.
With the stud well-known for breeding fertile, plain-bodied, low-maintenance, fast early growing Poll Merinos with high worm resistance, flystrike resistance, good muscling and fats as well as fine, white wools combined with 15 years of MerinoSelect Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) recording, buyers were out in force to secure the offering.
The strong competition from both return and new buyers ensured the Landmark selling team, led by auctioneer James Culleton, had no trouble clearing the increased offering of 114 Poll Merino rams.
The team of July/August-drop, paddock-raised rams had an average Dual Purpose Plus (DP+) index of 168, which is in the top 10pc on the MerinoSelect while the team averages for early growth (PWWT), (YWT), fat (YFAT) were in the top 5pc and muscle (YEMD) and worm resistance (YWEC) were in the top 10pc.
In addition to excellent spread of figures all rams offered by the Andersons this year were offered non-mulesed for the first time to give clients the confidence that they can also choose to cease mulesing if they choose.
When Mr Culleton clapped down the final ram on offer, all 114 rams offered had been sold to a top of $9000 and for the impressive average of $2781.
In comparison in last year's sale the Anderson family offered and sold 100 rams to a top of $12,200 and an average of $2368.
This meant all the important figures of the sale grew significantly on last year - the average was up by $413, the gross was up $80,200, while the number of rams offered and sold was up 14 head.
After the sale buyers then scrambled to the private selection rams and by afternoon's end the Andersons had sold another 122 rams from this yarding.
Landmark Kojonup agent Troy Hornby said the sale was very strong throughout and this helped achieved a very impressive final outcome for the Anderson family.
"There was very strong support throughout the sale from beginning to end and this resulted in a solid and consistent sale with no extreme highs," Mr Hornby said.
"Overall the final sale result was well above expectations with a complete clearance of a larger offering and the average up on last year and this hasn't been the case at very many sales this year.
"In terms of the presentation of rams, they are getting better and better every year while the figures on the rams are continuing to stack up for what the clients are chasing.
"As a response the client base is continuing to grow both locally and interstate."
The tone of the sale was set early when Mr Culleton stood over the fifth ram and took an opening bid of $2000.
From there it became a drawn out bidding war before the ram was eventually knocked down at $9000 to long-term buyers Marcus and Shannon Sounness, Paper Collar Grazing Co, Amelup.
Not only did the single born and raised ram display an excellent structure and a good, even crimped wool, it had the ASBVs to match, ranking in the top 1pc on MerinoSelect for a number of traits.
It ranked in the top 1pc for YFAT (2.0), YEMD (3.7), YFDCV (-2.7) and the DP+ index (195).
It also ranked in the top 5pc for PWWT (7.2), YWT (11.0), YSS (5.6), YFEC (-67), NLW (13pc) and top 10pc for YSL (16.0) and MP+ index (160).
Mr Sounness said the ram had a good balance of figures across all traits and good high indexes.
"It also is a well-structured sire with a good wool," Mr Sounness said.
"We are re-establishing our nucleus flock (250 ewes) to breed our own rams and we will use this ram along with another we purchased last year this coming joining."
Mr Sounness said they have utilised genomic testing and did a flock profile test three years ago.
"It showed us how we were tracking but more importantly it made us think where we have to set the bar when selecting rams," Mr Sounness said.
Along with securing the top-priced ram the Sounness family also purchased a further nine rams to finish with a team of 10 at an average of $4020.
Among the other nine rams they purchased was the sale's $6200 fourth top-priced ram which ranked top 1pc for YWT, top 5pc for PWWT, YFAT, YCFW, YFEC and DP+ and top 10pc for MP+.
The Sounness family will this year mate 4000 ewes to Merinos and 2000 Merino ewes for White Suffolks.
Mr Sounness said they have continued to buy at Andersons because the rams have good balanced figures.
"They also highly fertile, we average more than 100pc lambing in our Merino flocks for ewes mated and the lambs grow well," he said.
"They are very productive, dual-purpose sheep."
The losing bidder on the ram was a sale first-timer Lachlan Patterson, Bullock Hills Pastoral, Katanning.
While he may have missed out on his first preference, Mr Patterson didn't go home empty handed, he later secured a ram for $3800.
The second top price was $7000, paid by another set of return buyers Bob and Tim Wiese, RL & CM Wiese, Highbury.
They paid this value for a twin born and raised ram which ranks in the top 1pc for PWWT (9.9), YWT (14.4), YFDCV (-3.0) and DP+ (197) and top 5pc for YSS (5.9), YFEC (-70), NLW (13pc) and MP+ (176).
The third highest price was $6400 for a ram, which was part of a team of 10 that averaged $3710 purchased by Cowan family, Arkle Farms, Bedford Harbour station, Munglinup.
Arkle Farms $6400 purchase ranks in the top 1pc on MerinoSelect for PWWT, YWT, YFAT, YEMD, YCFW and DP+.
Arkle Farms farm manager Chad Hall said they were at the sale buying rams to build a sire battery to use in the operation's first joining this coming season.
"We came over to look at Anderson because we like the easy-care, worm resistance and positive fat traits the stud is renowned for," Mr Hall said.
"They are also good robust rams."
The operation is aiming to join 20,000 ewes this season for an August lambing.
Two-thirds of the ewes will be joined to Merino rams and the remaining third will go to White Suffolk sires.
Mr Hall said they would also develop a nucleus flock of 400 ewes this year as well to breed their own rams from.
Fellow first-time buyer at the sale Richard Currie, T & R Currie, Warrok, Victoria, was also not afraid to bid up and as a result he ended the sale with 10 rams to a top of $4600 and an average of $3440.
Mr Currie said he came over to the sale after seeing the stud's positive ASBVs for fat and muscle on MerinoSelect.
"I really liked the figures on MerinoSelect and decided to come and have a look and when I got here I was impressed by the rams yarded," Mr Currie said.
"I was chasing rams with good fat, muscle and growth traits and these rams I purchased will be used to breed our first lot of replacement Merino ewes for our prime lamb operation.
"We run about 15,000 ewes in our prime lamb operation and have previously bought in replacement ewes."
Another Victorian buyer to purchase strongly was buyer of six years Rory Blandford, PR & S Blandford, Meerlieu, Victoria, who finished with nine at an average of $2933 and to a top of $4000.
Mr Blanford, who is looking at mating 2500 ewes to Merinos this year, said he was chasing rams that displayed nice, nourished, crimpy wools and had good fat and carcase figures.
"I try to buy rams with a YCFW above 15, a YFDCV less than -1.0 and a DP+ above 150," Mr Blandford said.
Also heading to Victoria was a team of seven averaging $2386 purchased by Hugh and Libby Macgugan, Kanawalla Pastoral, Hensley Park and a team of four averaging $2325 secured by TR & RC Rokebrand, Edenhope.
The volume buyer title went to John and Jack South, Knack Pty Ltd, Darkan, who have been buying from the stud for a couple of years.
The Souths, who were chasing rams that had a DP+ index in the top 20pc, finished the sale with 14 rams to a top of $3400 and an average of $2400.
This season the Souths are aiming to mate 3000 ewes to Merino rams to breed replacement ewes for their large prime lamb operation in which they mate 8000 ewes to Poll Dorset rams and 3000 ewes to Prolific rams.
Missing out on the volume buyer title by two rams were second year buyers Evan and Blake Warburton, EM & RG Warburton, Wandering.
After buying just four rams last year the Warburtons upped the ante this year and put together a team of 11 rams at a $1764 average.
The Warburtons were in the hunt for additional rams this year after obtaining a new lease block.
Blake Warburton said they liked the easy-care, plain-bodied, good growth traits of the Anderson sheep which allows them to push their stocking rates.
Other strong supporters of the sale were Benachie Pty Ltd, Kojonup, which averaged $3229 over a team of seven while Nypin Grazing Co, Esperance, purchased seven at a $1829 average and AN Caldwell & Co, Boyup Brook, purchased five averaging $2020.