NEW buyers joined loyal supporters to seal a total clearance at the Davies family's annual Cardiff Merino and Poll Merino stud on-property ram sale at Yorkrakine on September 3.
The Cardiff team presented an excellent sale team of 120 big-framed, white Wheatbelt woolled Merino and Poll Merino rams with the stud's loyal band of clients returning to fill their pre-mating sire requirements.
The cold blustery conditions failed to dampen the spirits of buyers in attendance with one of the best widespread seasons seen in some time and buoyant sheep and lamb values giving everyone plenty to smile about.
But with the buying register missing the trading names of a few regulars at the sale, who unfortunately have left the sheep industry, clearance could have been an issue, but a few new buyers and return buyers prepared to stock up on numbers helped fill the void and ensured all rams found a new home at auction.
Warmed up from the Davies family's generous hospitality, buyers bid actively on selected lots through to the final pen and at the completion of selling, the Elders selling team led by auctioneers Nathan King and Steele Hathway had recorded a complete clearance of the sale team for an overall average of $1538.
Clearance improved from last year's sale where 103 of 120 rams (86 per cent) sold at auction, however some absent competition, particularly on the line-up of Poll Merinos, saw the combined average dip by a minimal $91 from last year to $1538.
In the breed breakdown, 80 Merino rams averaged $1628, dipping just $32 on average compared to last year's sale where 63 rams (79pc) sold to average $1660.
The team of 40 Poll Merino rams averaged $1358, which was down $222 on last year's sale where there was another complete clearance of 40 rams to average $1580.
With values ranging from $4000 to $800, buyers of all budgets were catered for to fill their requirements.
It was the Davies family's third on-property ram sale since transitioning to an onfarm sale in 2019 following 29 years of selling rams at the Wyalkatchem Merino Breeders ram sale and Cardiff stud classer Kevin Broad, Elders stud stock, said it was a pleasing result given the reduced buyer numbers.
"The Cardiff rams presented in fantastic condition and wool quality," Mr Broad said.
"A total clearance with 23 registered buyers was an excellent result with a lot of volume buyers and some new clients from the eastern Wheatbelt."
A line of seven April-blade shorn rams got the sale underway on a strong note which included the sale's $4000 top-priced ram penned in lot three which was knocked down to return nucleus buyers of six years Wayne and Glenn Smith, Wongamine Grazing, Northam.
The 107 kilogram ram was by Woodyarrup sire Gov and displayed autumn wool tests of 19.5 micron, 3.5 SD and 99.8 per cent comfort factor (CF) and recorded 6kg greasy fleece weight (GFW).
The Smiths also purchased another Gov son catalogued as sale team leader for $2500.
Glenn Smith said they first saw the Cardiff rams at the Narrogin Long Wool Day and again at the Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days and said they were big upstanding rams with very good quality, white and bright wools.
The rams will join the 600-700 nucleus ewes in late December to produce replacements and their own flock rams for their 4000 head total ewe mating.
Long-time buyer of more than 20 years the Cosgrove family, Roylans Farming, Shackleton, was prepared to operate at the top of the market on the way to building a team of 14 Merino and Poll Merino rams.
This included 10 Merino rams where they paid to the sale's $3400 second top price and top-priced April machine shorn ram in pen 28 containing another Gov son weighing 108kg with tests of 16.3 micron, 3.7 SD and 99.7pc CF and 6kg GFW.
The Cosgroves also paid to the sale's $2200 top price for their four Poll Merinos with the top bid going to the team leader.
The 109kg blade shorn ram was by a Woolkabin sire GP with tests of 17.1 micron, 2.8 SD and 100pc CF and 5.5kg GFW.
Trevor Cosgrove said they have slightly increased their mating numbers of the late August shorn sheep operation to 1900 ewes this year with the rams set to go in early November.
"I saw the Poll ram at Dowerin and was surprised to get him at that price," Mr Cosgrove said.
"We managed to buy 14 new rams to replenish the stocks, the season is magnificent and we sold cast for age ewes for $200, so they don't owe you anything."
Other buyers to pay $3000 and beyond for their selections included Andrew Smith, Richard Smith & Sons, Goomalling, who tallied seven Merino rams costing to a $3300 top price reserved for a 112kg Banavie sired ram in lot 18 displaying tests of 19.6 micron, 3.8 SD and 98.7pc CF and 6.1kg GFW.
Consistent volume buyers the White family, Gra-Mel Nominees, Badgingarra, secured 11 Merino rams at the sale paying to a $3000 top price for the team leading machine shorn ram.
The 112kg Gov son displayed measurements of 20.5 micron, 3.3 SD, 99.7pc CF and 5.3kg GFW.
Mr Broad, representing return buyers at the top-end of the sale DA & YM Haywood, Goomalling, paid $3000 each for three blade shorn Merino rams by a Woodyarrup Junior syndicate, Gov and Banavie.
Armed with a significant order from annual volume buyer Barry Large, Moorara Farms, Miling, who was unable to attend in person, Mr Broad was kept busy to finish the sale with 16 rams for this account costing from $800 to $1500.
Some other bigger accounts included BM & KZ Morgan, Northam, with 11 rams at value for money (seven Poll, four horns) costing between $800 to $1100, Whyte Farms, Dalwallinu, with 10 Merino rams paying from $1100 to $2000 and GB Draper, Narembeen, bid from $1000 to $1900 for seven Merino rams.
Another stronger buyer of Poll Merino rams was Gamble & Co, Wyalkatchem, with six rams costing to the breed's $2100 top price in the lineup of machine shorn Poll rams, a 103kg Kamballie Rookie sired ram testing 18.9 micron, 3.2 SD and 96.5pc CF and 6kg GFW.