ANOTHER exceptional sale result for the Bowen family, Mount Ronan Maternal and White Suffolk stud, York, further cemented its reputation for breeding superior quality genetics.
Again offering a combined total of 180 rams across the two breeds, the stud achieved a full clearance of the 100 Maternal Composite sires and sold 75 of the 80 White Suffolks, for an overall clearance rate of 97 per cent.
Following the recent seasonal trend, it was a White Suffolk ram that reached the $5800 sale top, however, it was the Maternal Composite sires that garnered the most competition.
The Maternal Composite offering reached a high of $4800, with a huge $2908 average.
With 25 registered buyers in attendance and a further eight present via AuctionsPlus, there were 29 buyers who successfully secured rams on the day.
The buyers from the Eastern States and locally interfaced on the AuctionsPlus platform were keeping the buyers in the shed on their toes, through both of the breed offerings.
Elders auctioneer Graeme Curry had his work cut out for him with the bids flying thick and fast from the outset.
He said overall the demand was still very high, even with there being a few less buyers registered, compared to the previous year's sale.
"Values stood up particularly well and were very good," Mr Curry said.
"The popularity of the Maternals continues to grow and this is evident in the results of today's sale.
"I believe the sheep this year were exceptional, they presented very well and were probably the heaviest I have seen them."
It was the Maternal Composite rams that were the first order of the day and true to form the values were strong from the outset, with the entire catalogue of 100 rams only dropping below $2000 once.
It was lot 56 that reached the $4600 top and it was born a twin on July 11, 2020, via AI from Trigger Vale 180576 sire, New South Wales.
The ram exhibited LambPlan Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) including post weaning fat (Pfat) of 0.28 in the top 20 per cent, post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD) 2.62 in the top five percent and a maternal carcase production plus index of 151.67, in the top 20pc.
The Trigger Vale sire was noted as being a specially selected Merino sire, with an early maturity growth pattern and strong muscling.
The ram was purchased by Courtney Bourne, Mangoplah, New South Wales, along with one other Maternal sire.
When discussing the top-priced ram, Mr Bourne said he had been impressed with the Maternal traits and the breeding of the ram from a Merino sire.
"The Trigger Vale sire was a Merino and this has affected the wool, reducing the micron, which is something I liked," Mr Bourne said.
"I think having that dual purpose Merino come back over the sheep works well.
"The ram has good eye muscle, good fat cover, mothering ability and was just a really well balanced ram, with the added bonus of bringing the micron down with the infusion of the meat Merino genetics.
"I liked him a lot and I am looking forward to seeing how he performs, especially the wether and ewe progeny from him."
Mr Bourne has a commercial operation and uses the Maternal sires over composite ewes.
The volume buyer in the Maternal catalogue was a repeat volume buyer in Iain and Phill Mackie, Mackie Farms, Mt Barker.
The Mackies purchased a total of 20 rams, to a top of $3600 and an average of $3080.
Phill Mackie said they were mating about 6500 ewes and purchased at the sale for the first time last year.
"The lambing percentage has been good and the lambs we have on the ground are very even, they are showing a lot of potential," Mr Mackie said.
"At present we have a self-replacing Maternal flock and we are hoping to have some Maternals and some terminals in the future.
"At the moment we are replacing the flock with the best genetics available."
The second top volume buyer in the Maternal selection was Riverina Livestock Agent Pty Ltd, Wagga Wagga, NSW, purchasing 11 rams to a $2800 top and average of $2400.
Moving to the even line-up of White Suffolk sires and it was the first sire in the ring that saw the $5800 sale high.
The ram was born a twin on July 29, 2020 to sire Mount Ronan 190026, with figures consistently in the top five percent for LambPlan ASBVs.
PFAT of 0.23 in the top 20pc, PEMD 3.28 in the top 10pc, terminal carcase production index (TCP) 150.55 in the top 10pc, and a lamb eating quality index (LEQ) of 150.9 in the top five per cent.
The ram was purchased by Zac Roberts, Chelsea White Suffolk stud, Dandaragan.
Mr Roberts said he had purchased from Mount Ronan every year for at least the past 10 years.
"I buy heavily based on figures," Mr Roberts said.
"I like high weaning weights and good muscling.
"Guy has one of the highest rankings in Australia for eating quality and this is something I think will be important for the future.
"We sell a lot of lambs through WAMMCO and they like the fast growing, well muscled, high yielding lambs we produce.
"We buy the high quality rams to put through our own stud, we utilise the good Mount Ronan genetics for our own breeding."
The volume buyer within the White Suffolk penning was Owen Blake, Wagga Wagga, NSW, with Elders prime lamb specialist Michael O'Neill purchasing a total of 11 sires on behalf of Mr Blake, to a top of $1800 and an average of $1336.
Mr Blake said he had been buying the Mount Ronan bloodline for about five years.
"I like their fertility, they are great mothers," Mr Blake said.
"I have just finished marking and averaged 170 per cent lambing on our mature ewes, including drys, and 110pc on our maidens.
"I am really happy with the performance so far.
"They have exceptional growth rates.
"I am finding my yield is increasing.
"I have put lambs over the hooks and their yielding over 50pc, so their yield is fantastic."
Another volume buyer across both breeds was PM & SM Beech, which purchased 16 rams, consisting of 11 Maternals and six White Suffolks for an average of $2506.