COMMERCIAL ram values hit a high of $3800 twice amid mixed results for brothers Ray and Bruce Edmonds and families at their combined on-property ram sale at Calingiri last Friday.
The brothers played their part in presenting another quality line-up of 160 big-framed white wooled predominantly Poll Merino rams that has seen clients supporting them for decades.
Unfortunately reduced requirements among their client base after turning off ewes earlier in the year due to seasonal conditions and some regular buyers leaving the industry, took its toll on values and clearance with all indicators back on last year's sale.
But it's band of loyal clients and a few new buyers remained committed to the industry and took the opportunity to stock up their pre-mating requirements with top genetics at good values.
At the conclusion of selling, the Nutrien Livestock selling team had cleared 131 of 160 Rhamily and Glen-Byrne Poll Merino rams and Mannalea Merino rams (82 per cent) under the hammer to average $1289.
This was back $358 on last year's collective average where 155 of 170 rams (91pc) sold at auction to average $1647.
Post sale negotiations continued following the sale which resulted in a number of rams finding new homes.
Nutrien Livestock sale auctioneer and the Edmonds brothers' livestock agent Grant Lupton said the families presented another excellent catalogue of rams, but some absent buying support from previous years impacted the sale results.
"Congratulations to Ray and Bruce on the quality and presentation of the rams offered," Mr Lupton said.
"Unfortunately we lacked some competition due to past clients selling their properties, exiting the sheep industry or attending buyers requiring less rams due to the season.
"But in saying that we did have three new buyers attend the sale and the support from loyal annual buyers was very much appreciated again this year."
The Rhamily stud got the sale underway with a team of 80 Poll Merino rams with 65 (81pc) of the February and April shorn rams selling at auction to average $1481.
This was down $414 on average compared to last year's sale where 80 of 85 rams (94pc) sold under the hammer to average $1895.
The King family, King Farming Pty Ltd, Calingiri, is among the Edmonds family's original stud clients and for years has secured numbers at the sale and is prepared to compete at the top-end of the market for their selections.
This year was no different with the Kings collecting a team of 15 Rhamily rams operating from $800 through to the sale's $3800 top price, averaging $1813 for their selections.
They paid top money from the outset on the productive ram in lot one, a regulation February shorn ram by Old Ashrose Will displaying wool tests of 18.5 micron, 2.7 SD, 14.6 CV and 99.9per comfort factor (CF).
Included in the King's haul was $3400 paid for an April shorn ram also sired by Will, with tests of 20.2 micron, 16.3 CV, 3.3 SD and 99.8pc CF.
Buyer Dan King said he didn't expect to get near the top-end of the February shorn line-up and was pleasantly surprised when a couple of them fell inside his budget.
Mr King said the family would at least hold or slightly expand their ewe numbers in the coming joining at around 2500 Merino ewes and with ram values back on recent years, he said they took the opportunity to stock up with a few more rams than they would normally buy at the sale.
He said Rhamily was a local stud and he liked the size of the Rhamily sheep and their style of wool.
Long-time buyers the Glass family, Fenwick Farms, Calingiri, tallied 10 Rhamily rams at auction at a healthy $2000 average and topped up with one of the overlooked rams following the sale.
Included in their haul was the sale's other $3800 equal top-priced ram picked out from the April shorn line-up in lot 41.
The Old Ashrose Will bred ram displayed wool tests of 20.8 micron, 13.5 CV, 2.8 SD and 99.8pc CF.
The Glass family also paid the sale's $3700 second top price for another April shorn Will bred ram testing 20.4 micron, 15.7 CV, 3.2 SD and 99.8pc CF.
The family's relationship with the Edmonds dates back to the 1960s.
Corey Glass said during the 2000s the family changed its farming direction for a period and began buying in Merino ewes for crossbred lamb production and focus on their Fenwick Farm Suffolk and White Suffolk stud.
He said they returned to a self-replacing Merino ewe flock six years ago and have been making a strong effort to improve their 1800 ewe flock with Rhamily genetics since.
Mr Glass said they looked for bigger frame rams with long stapled white wools and the Rhamily sheep were bred in their local environment and well-suited to their requirements.
Consistent top-end buyer at the sale from both stables Owen Edmonds, Corondeen Spring stud, Calingiri, sourced three Rhamily rams with two purchases at $3000, first for a 19.8 micron Rhamily bred ram and a 19.3 micron Manunda Jacko son.
Mr Edmonds also picked up two Glen-Byrne rams later in the sale.
Another volume buyer at the sale was SF Chester & Co, Goomalling, who tallied an account of 11 rams comprising eight Rhamily rams and three Glen-Byrne rams costing from $700 to $1200.
Consistent buyers C & DJ Stickland & Sons, Wongan Hills, acquired four Rhamily rams, paying from $700 to a $2000 top price for a February shorn ram by Rhamily Benny grandsons testing 21.1 micron, 15.3 CV, 3.2 SD and 99.6pc CF.
LM Dennis & Co, Miling, put together a team of five Rhamily rams, paying from $700 to $1000 which included a charity ram with the sale proceeds donated by Ray and Rhonda Edmonds to the Blue Tree Project, a community organisation that helps raise awareness around mental wellbeing.
Following the first run of Rhamily rams, the Glen-Byrne and Mannalea studs kicked off their combined team of 80 February and April shorn rams which marked the final time Mannalea Merino rams will be offered at the sale after the stud moved to all Poll Merino breeding.
In the breakdown 59 of 72 Glen-Byrne Poll rams sold under the hammer to average $1123, back $289 on last year's sale where 66 of 71 rams (93pc) were cleared at an average of $1412.
The small offering of eight Mannalea Merino rams saw seven sell at auction to average $900, down $267 on last year where nine of 14 rams sold to average $1167.
The $3600 top-priced and volume buyers in the Glen-Byrne line-up were one of the stud's longest serving clients Norm and Clint McPherson, Newhome Farms Pty Ltd, Moora.
The McPhersons collected eight rams in total, outlying an $1825 average with their top bid aimed at a February shorn ram from the Nepowie family with tests of 19.4 micron, 15.5 CV, 3 SD and 99.9pc CF.
Two pens prior they also paid the stud's next highest price of $3100 for another February shorn Nepowie bred ram testing 21.3 micron, 13.6 CV, 2.9 SD and 99.9pc CF.
Norm McPherson said he worked out his family had been buying rams at Glen-Byrne for 45 years and can remember going to the stud before they started holding a ram sale and selecting rams privately with Bruce and Ray's father Ben.
"I'm a great believer in loyalty," Mr McPherson said.
"It's like anything, if you're getting a quality product and service, why go anywhere else."
Mr McPherson said they planned to hold their Merino ewe numbers and were set to join 1500 ewes in the coming mating.
The Sticklands returned to buying in the Glen-Byrne line-up with a $2700 bid on a February shorn ram from the Banavie 333 family with tests of 19.2 micron, 13 CV, 2.5 SD and 100pc CF.
Their lone Glen-Byne purchase also proved a lucky one with the Sticklands winning the lucky ram buyer prize of a selection of Carol-Ann soaps, shampoo and conditioner made by Carol Edmonds with natural plant derived and lanoline products.
Stockhill Grazing Company, Quairading, paid $2100 for a February shorn Glen-Byrne syndicate bred ram that tested 16.7 micron, 18 CV, 3 CD and 100pc CF.
But the most prominent buyers in the Glen-Byrne line-up included Mareeba Farms who finished the sale with seven rams which included three Mannalea Merino rams costing from $700 to $1200.
ES Dadd & Co, Shackleton, returned to secure four Glen-Byrne Poll rams and two Mannalea Merino rams with bids from $800 to $1400.
Long-time stud supporters GJ & P Edmonds, Calingiri, spent from $700 to $1800 for four Glen-Byrne rams and a single Mannalea ram to go with four Rhamily rams purchased earlier.
Another regular buyer HM Mitchell & Co, Mingenew, bid from $800 to $1600 for four Glen-Byrne rams which joined three Rhamily purchased earlier to a $1400 top on the trailer heading north.
M & S Tighe, Clackline, loaded the ute with five Poll rams at value paying from $700 to $800.