IN only its third year the Barooga Merino and Noorla Dohne ram sale at Williams once again attracted a good contingent of 17 buyers, with all of them active and securing their requirements for the season.
Buyers were able to select their rams based on the extensive Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) listed for all sires entered for sale, by both studs.
The season has been a tough one for many and the buyers present may have had smaller requirements, so they were more selective in terms of the sire choice.
This year it was a Dohne that topped the sale prices at $2100, while the Poll Merino top reached $1900 and the Merino top was $1100.
It was Jeremy Genders, Noorla Dohne stud, that was the first offering to go under the hammer, with 77 rams penned.
It was lot one that achieved the overall sale top price for a big sire with Dohne ASBVs of 4.1 weaning weight (WWT), 7.5 yearling weight (YWT), 0.5 post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD), 0.5 post weaning fat (PFAT), 10.4 yearling clean fleece weight (YCFW), 0.5 yearling fibre diameter (YFD), -0.1 yearling coefficient of variation (YCV) and a Dohne index value of 139.2.
The ram was knocked down to TK Price & Co, Codjatotine, who bought a total of three Dohne rams to the $2100 top and for an average price of $1367.
The second top priced Dohne sold to $1700 and was born a twin with recorded ASBVs of 3.9 WWT, 5.2 YWT, 0.7 PEMD, 0.4 PFAT, 11.6 YCFW, 0.8 YFD, -2.1 YCV and 137 Dohne index.
The sire was snapped up by Tim Pyle, Jeff Pyle & Co, Manypeaks, who purchased a total of 12 Dohne sires to a $1700 top and for an average of $1108.
Mr Pyle said they had been purchasing Dohne rams from the Noorla stud for about five years.
"We crossed over from Merinos to Dohnes and now have a mixed flock of Merinos, F1 and F2 Dohne ewes," Mr Pyle said.
"We have a commercial flock, mating around 12,000 ewes total, with 5000 mated to Dohnes.
"We use these Dohne rams to breed our own replacement ewes and utilise Poll Dorset sires over our other ewes.
"When selecting we look at the carcase traits, growth rate and eye muscle.
"Noorla has a better wool cut, so we come to buy these to maintain a good wool cut on a good carcase."
Another volume buyer in the Noorla catalogue was JC & TB Sullivan, Gibson, with their purchase of eight Dohne sires and one Poll Merino sire.
The Sullivans eight Dohnes were purchased to a top of $1600 and for an average of $1063.
Nutrien Livestock Williams representative and Noorla Dohnes classer Peter Moore, said the sheep were still of the highest quality but sale was a little down on last year's results.
"It was a quality line-up of Dohnes, with well nourished, bright white wools," Mr Moore said.
"Unfortunately due to the seasonal conditions there were a few less buyers present today.
"Those who did buy got very good value for their money."
Barooga Poll Merino and Merino
Next up for sale was the selection of 78 Poll Merino and 19 Merino rams.
Barooga had a lift in their overall clearance and gross, with their Merinos also achieving a higher top price and gross.
Offering the same overall number of rams as in 2019, they sold seven more overall, consisting of five more Poll Merinos and two more Merinos.
Nutrien Livestock Williams agent Ben Kealy said Barooga's clearances were very good.
"Their rams sold really well today," Mr Kealy said.
"Clients got very good buying and value for their money today.
"The quality of the Poll Merinos and Merinos is extremely good and improving every year, they really are top genetics."
The top price in the Barooga penning was also the third ram penned, a big Poll Merino ram sired by Westray 207 and reaching $1900.
The ram exhibited MerinoSelect ASBVs of 22.5 micron, 3.9 standard deviation (SD), 17.3 coefficient of variation (CV), 98.3 per cent comfort factor (CF), 22.81 YCFW, 0.16 yearling fibre diameter (YFD), 2.67 YWT, 0.3 YFAT, 0.29 YEMD, 147.3 Merino production index (MP+) and 148.46 dual purpose index (DP+).
The sire was bought by brothers Colin and Michael Gillett, WE & PM Gillett, Williams, who purchased a total of 15 Barooga sires to the $1900 top and for an average of $1133.
Colin Gillett said they had been buying from the Higham family's Barooga stud for about six years for use in their commercial operation.
"We mate around 2800 to Merinos," Mr Gillett said.
"We breed our replacement ewes out of these rams.
"We like their size and their wool.
"We only buy the Poll Merinos and we look closely at the figures when choosing sires."
The top-priced Merino ram achieved $1100, up by $100 from the 2019 price, and sold to Lewis Schulz, SJ & BJ Schulz, Williams.
The ram had recorded measurements of 19.4 micron, 3.3 SD, 17 CV, 99.7pc CF, 18.38 YCFW, -0.93 YFD, 1.35 YWT, 0.02 YFAT, 0.14 YEMD, 147.5 MP+ and 145.39 DP+.
Mr Schulz said they had been buying Barooga bloodlines for about five years.
"We breed replacement Merino ewes for our commercial program from these," Mr Schulz said.
"We like their wool type and body.
"They are full bodies and we look at a bit of everything really."
There were several volume buyers throughout the Barooga catalogue with Wild Horse Hill, Williams, taking home 17 rams to a top of $1500 and for an average of $824.
QF & LK Medlen purchased 13 sires to a top of $1200 and for an average of $962 and RA & A Maiolo & Son filled their ute and trailer with 12 sires, to a top of $1200 and for an average of $883.