- (Under the hammer results)
- Offered: 280
- Sold: 268
- Top: $8000
- Gross: $382,050
- Average: $1426
WITH a reputation for breeding Poll Merinos with both top wool and carcase traits meant there was again plenty of buying support at the Button family's Manunda on-property ram sale at Tammin on Monday.
With a long list of return buyers and a couple of new ones in the lanes, competition on the line-up was steady from beginning to end as buyers chased the proven Manunda genetics, pushing prices to a high of $8000.
When Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Michael Altus bowled over the 280th ram penned after nearly three hours of selling and the figures were tallied, it all pointed to another solid sale result for the Button family.
All up 268 rams from the 280 offered sold under the hammer to 38 different buyers for an average of $1426, which was back exactly $400 on last year's result.
In comparison in last year's sale when the wool price was nearly double what it is now and the season was a little better, the stud sold 292 rams from 300 offered for an average of $1826.
Nutrien Livestock Breeding representative Mitchell Crosby said it was a good solid sale.
"The result may not have been as good as the previous few years but it was still pleasing given seasonal conditions, reduced ewe numbers and the current position of the wool market," Mr Crosby said.
"The first half of the sale was very strong and there was good competition from buyers on the rams but as buyers filled orders the competition was reduced which meant volume buyers were able to fill large orders at realistic prices.
"The stud was missing a handful of clients who didn't need rams this year as they had reduced their ewe numbers due to the season, which contributed to the reduced buying support later in the sale.
"When it came to the line-up of rams presented in the sale by the Button family, Mr Crosby said it was a credit to them.
"It was a very even line-up of quality Poll Merino rams from lot one through to lot 280 which all showed the traits Manunda is known for - good, long, white, soft-handling medium wools on good bodies," Mr Crosby said.
"A number of clients commented to me that it was probably the best sale offering the stud has put forward, which is great for the Buttons to hear given their large investments in genetics in recent years.
"This investment in new genetics by the stud could certainly be seen in the line-up of rams offered."
Manunda stud principal Wayne Button said they were happy with the sale result given seasonal and market conditions.
"It turned out pretty much how we thought it would go," Mr Button said.
"In a year like this you just have got to get your rams out there and we were happy to do that.
"It was pleasing to see our clients who are in it for the long run, were able to get their requirements at good values.
"We had a handful of clients who didn't operate, which we knew about and that probably reduced competition compared to previous years."
The sale got off on a solid footing with an offering of 12 March shorn, shed-prepared rams that sold for an average of $3583 and it was in these pens, specifically pen eight, that the sale's top price ram was found.
When Mr Altus stood over the upstanding, deep-bodied ram and took an opening bid of $3000, the floodgates opened and he was swamped with bids and the price quickly rose.
In the end it was return buyer Les Sutherland, Arra-dale stud, Perenjori, who had the final bid.
Mr Sutherland said he had previously used rams from Manunda with good results and was chasing a new bloodline to use in his stud.
"I was keen to get on the Old Ashrose Will son and this ram ticked all the boxes," Mr Sutherland said.
"He is a very correct and well-structured ram and has a bright, white wool with a stylish crimp that jumps out at you.
"He is also a very good carcase sheep with his length and depth of body."
The ET-bred ram is by Old Ashrose Will 150445 which Manunda purchased for $45,000 in 2016 and is out of a Haseley blood ewe.
It has July wool test figures of 19.2 micron, 3.2 SD, 16.7 CV, 99.8 per cent comfort factor (CF) and a greasy fleece weight percentage of 138pc.
On the carcase front it was 149pc bodyweight percentage and +8 for eye muscle depth (EMD) recorded against the average of (0).
The second top price in the sale was $4500 and it was achieved twice, also in the run of March shorn, shed-prepared rams.
The first ram to be knocked down at $4500 was the sale leader in pen one after Mr Crosby secured it for return New South Wales commercial buyers Stuart and Jenny Schneider, Grenfell, who were providing buying instructions over the phone to Mr Crosby.
Mr Crosby said Mr Schneider picked the ram out on paper based on its figures.
"I then confirmed his choice when I looked at him physically," Mr Crosby said.
"He has a really good, white, well-nourished wool and is a well-structured ram.
"In terms of his figures they are good across the board.
"He was chasing rams with wool cut and a lower micron."
The long-stapled, deep ram, which is by Old Ashrose Premier 160375, had wool figures of 17.1 micron, 2.7 SD, 15.8 CV and 99.9pc CF and 122pc GFW.
Its carcase numbers were 126pc BW and +3 EMD.
Along with the sale leader, Mr Crosby secured another three rams for Mr Sniggner to finish with a team of four at an average of $3500.
Also in the team team was an East Mundalla 22 son which measured 18.9 microns, 3.1 SD, 99.9pc CF and 127pc GFW in the wool and 126pc BW and +2 EMD.
The second ram to hit $4500 was a big barrelled ram in lot nine and it was the sole purchase for return buyer of three years Bevan Waters, Nalyaring & Co, Brookton, who bid with the assistance of Nutrien Livestock Brookton/Pingelly agent Chris Turton.
Mr Waters said it was the ram's long staple and wool cutting ability that he was chasing.
"Not only has he wool cutting ability but he also has wool quality," Mr Waters said.
"He has a nice stylish crimped wool with good softness.
"He is also structurally sound, stands up well and has good depth of body."
Mr Waters will use the ram over his nucleus flock of 150 ewes to breed rams for his own use in his flock of 3000 breeding ewes which are all mated to Merinos.
The East Mundalla 22 son tested 19.3 micron, 2.8 SD, 14.5 CV, 99.9pc CF and 157pc GFW on the wool side while its carcase figures were 131pc BW and +4 EMD.
Clients of more than 30 years, the Innes family, Innes & Co, Kellerberrin, was one of the most influential buyers - not only did they push the prices along on many of the top rams, they also finished the day with a ute load of eight rams.
Their team of eight topped at $3250 and averaged $2488.
Their topped priced ram was by Old Ashrose Willanunda 151966 and had wool figures of 19.1 micron, 3.0 SD, 100pc CF and 149pc GFW and carcase data of 144 BW and +3 EMD.
Eric Innes said they really liked the long-stapled, white wools of Manunda.
"They are really productive wool sheep and cut a heap of wool," Mr Innes said.
"I used to be a shearer and when we used to shear the Manunda sheep I noticed they were such good combing wools and that was when we swapped over to them for our flock and we haven't looked back."
Also buying smaller teams at the top end were Pardee Grazing, Kendenup, which picked up three rams at an average of $2067; while RS & JA Della Bosca, Bodallin, averaged $1900 across a team of six which topped at $2750; Burra Nominees, Burracoppin, finished with a team of six to a top of $2750 and an average of $1833 and M & J Lancaster, Beacon, secured a team of five at an $1800 average.
While there were a number of buyers which purchased small teams at the top end of the market, the sale was really set up by an extensive list of volume buyers.
The biggest of these was Nutrien Livestock Merredin agent Aaron Caldwell, Livestock & Land, who purchased a team of 23 sires at an average of $709 for an undisclosed Wheatbelt client.
The next biggest buyer on the day was return buyer of five years Jonlorrie Farms, York, who purchased through farm manager Mal Cole.
Mr Cole worked his way through the catalogue and secured a team of 16 rams for the operation at an average of $1494 and to a top of $2500 twice.
He said he was chasing rams which were dual-purpose types with a good mix of wool and carcase traits.
"They also had to have good nourishment in their wools and be under 20 microns," Mr Cole said.
The operation this year will mate 2000 ewes all to Merinos.
There were two buyers which both put together teams of 15 rams - return client KJ & RP Siegert, Wongan Hills, averaged $1500 across their team of 15 which topped at $2100 while a Nutrien Ag Solutions Kellerberrin account tallied 15 rams at a $660 average.
Repeat buyers of five years, Rob and Tania Menzies, Kootara, New Norcia, were also strong supporters of the sale securing a baker's dozen (13 rams) to a top of $3100 and $1742.
Ms Menzies said they moved to Manunda after the Hyfield stud dispersed initially following the Rhamily Benny bloodline as she liked Rhamily Benny and his progeny when she saw them at Rhamily.
"We have been very happy with the Manunda rams we have purchased," Ms Menzies said.
"They are easy doing, good honest sheep.
"Today we were chasing rams with good, white, bright wools and good body conformation."
The Menzies this year are looking at joining 2500 ewes to Merino rams which is back on a few years ago due to low water supplies in the past few years.
There were another five buyers to secure double figure teams in the sale.
Return Kununoppin buyers GF & S Waters were the most influential of these, securing a team of 12 to a top of $2200 and an average of $1625; while CB & CA Whitfield & Son, Wongan Hills, averaged $1379 across a ute load of 12 which topped at $2250 and Chipndale finished with a team of 12 at an $833 average.
Other buyers to purchase double figure teams were MA & BJ Szczecinski, Corrigin, which purchased 10 sires to a top of $2200 and an average of $1670, while Longford Grazing Partners, Bakers Hill, averaged $720 across a team of 10.