Positive outlook for British Breeds

Positive outlook for British Breeds

Studstock
The $30,000 top-priced British and Australasian breed ram for 2021 was this Poll Dorset ram sold by the Shirlee Downs stud, Quairading at the Perth Royal Show All Breeds Ram Sale in October. With the ram were Elders prime lamb specialist Michael O'Neill (left), vendors Sascha, Adrian and Chris Squiers, Shirlee Downs stud, Laurie Fairclough, York, who purchased the ram for the Sutherland family, Konongwootong Poll Dorset stud, Konongwootong, Victoria and Nutrien Livestock Breeding representative Roy Addis.

The $30,000 top-priced British and Australasian breed ram for 2021 was this Poll Dorset ram sold by the Shirlee Downs stud, Quairading at the Perth Royal Show All Breeds Ram Sale in October. With the ram were Elders prime lamb specialist Michael O'Neill (left), vendors Sascha, Adrian and Chris Squiers, Shirlee Downs stud, Laurie Fairclough, York, who purchased the ram for the Sutherland family, Konongwootong Poll Dorset stud, Konongwootong, Victoria and Nutrien Livestock Breeding representative Roy Addis.

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Lamb prices have been at record levels again over the past 12 months on the back of global demand for quality sheepmeat outstripping supply and they are expected to remain high into the future.

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IT has been another good 12 months for sheep producers when it came to lamb prices and British and Australasian ram sales this year were again the beneficiaries as buyers pushed hard to keep their programs moving along.

Lamb prices have been at record levels again over the past 12 months on the back of global demand for quality sheepmeat outstripping supply and they are expected to remain high into the future.

On the back of this positive future outlook buyers were again this year out in force at British and Australasian breed ram sales and this year they weren't afraid to bid strongly.

Given the number of ewes that have left the system in the past few years and an unexpected strong season last year, not many expected this year's British and Australasian breed sales to lift again significantly after last year's strong result.

After setting a new benchmark in terms of prices last year, the sales went up another gear this year with the average breaking the $1300 barrier for the first time and the gross surpassing $5 million for the first time.

In another positive for breeders, unlike last year where only prices increased, this year the number of rams offered and sold also rose.

For most of the past eight years lamb prices and demand for WA lamb has been strong and this has ensured plenty of positivity in the industry.

This year lamb prices peaked in late July/early August and during this period producers regularly saw prices of more than $200 a head for their heavyweight lambs.

The strong markets have continued throughout the spring with producers seeing new season sucker lambs making upwards of $150 regularly.

So with these strong prices and a positive outlook for the industry in terms of both international and domestic lamb markets plus plenty of feed and water in the paddocks, prime lamb producers showed they were prepared even more to invest in prime lamb sires resulting in an impressive selling year for nearly all stud breeders.

When the final ram was knocked down at the last British and Australasian ram sale for the season last week, 4518 rams had been offered at 46 sales throughout the State, representing 10 breeds and their composites.

These numbers were once again dominated by the White Suffolk and Poll Dorset breeds which combined for 85 per cent of all rams offered.

Under the hammer 4219 rams were sold for a gross of $5,732,225 and an average of $1359.

Compared to 2020 there were 187 more rams offered, 381 more sold, while the gross increased by $1,032,370 and the average rose $134.

The percentage of rams offered to sold was 93 per cent, which was up 4pc on last year.

When ranked against the other seasons, this year's average ranks as the best on record, bettering last year's record breaking $1225 result easily, while the gross turnover ranks as the biggest tally.

The highest gross prior to this year was in 2016.

In that season 4857 rams were offered and 4350 sold for a gross of $4,763,050.

When you go back over the years you can really see exactly how the prime lamb industry has changed since 2000.

In that year 3597 rams were offered and 2352 sold under the hammer to a top of $4000, a gross of $813,011 and an average of just $346.

This year 29 sales (or 63pc) recorded an increase in average from 2020 ranging from $2 to $732, while seven breeds equalled or improved their average.

However, it is all about the dollars in the pocket, so an improvement in gross is probably more important than a lift in average and there were 27 sales to record an improved gross, while eight breeds saw their gross figure rise.

In terms of the number of rams offered and sold, 29 sales had equal or bigger offerings than 2020 and at 28 sales there were the same number or more rams sold and 19 sales notched up a complete clearance.

When it comes to breeds two breeds offered the same or more rams than last year, while five sold the same number or more rams and there were six breeds to achieve a total clearance.

This year the Poll Dorset breed claimed top price honours, taking it from the White Suffolk breed which had held it for the past four years.

The $30,000 top-priced British and Australasian breed ram for the season was sold by the Squiers family's Shirlee Downs Poll Dorset stud, Quairading, at the Perth Royal Show.

The ram was purchased by Victorian stud breeders Alistair and Jessica Sutherland, Konongwootong Poll Dorset stud, Konongwootong.

The ram, which is by Ivadene 170179, was sold with LambPlan figures of 0.61 birthweight (BWT), 12.25 weaning weight (WWT), 19.17 post weaning weight (PWWT), 2.21 post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD), -1.05 post weaning fat (PFAT) and a terminal carcase productionn (TCP) index of 150.94.

The $9000 second top-priced ram was a Golden Hill White Suffolk which was sold by the Ditchburn family's Golden Hill stud, Kukerin, at the WA Elite White Suffolk and Suffolk sale at Wagin in August.

The White Suffolk ram from the Golden Hill stud, Kukerin, was the second top-priced British and Australasian breed ram for the season when it sold for $9000 at the WA Elite White Suffolk and Suffolk ram and ewe sale at Wagin in August. With the ram were Elders stud stock manager Tim Spicer (left), buyer Michael Potter, Boree Park White Suffolk stud, Rhodes Pastoral Pty Ltd, Boyup Brook, Nutrien Livestock Breeding representative Roy Addis, Golden Hill White Suffolk stud co-principal Nathan Ditchburn and Nutrien Livestock, Dumbleyung agent Scott Jefferis.

The White Suffolk ram from the Golden Hill stud, Kukerin, was the second top-priced British and Australasian breed ram for the season when it sold for $9000 at the WA Elite White Suffolk and Suffolk ram and ewe sale at Wagin in August. With the ram were Elders stud stock manager Tim Spicer (left), buyer Michael Potter, Boree Park White Suffolk stud, Rhodes Pastoral Pty Ltd, Boyup Brook, Nutrien Livestock Breeding representative Roy Addis, Golden Hill White Suffolk stud co-principal Nathan Ditchburn and Nutrien Livestock, Dumbleyung agent Scott Jefferis.

The early June 2020-drop ram, which is by Kohat 180156 and had LambPlan figures of 0.41 BWT, 12.76 WWT, 20.39 PWWT, 0.38 PFAT, 3.47 PEMD and a TCP index of 156.82, was purchased by Rhodes Pastoral Pty Ltd, Boree Park stud, Boyup Brook.

The Yonga Downs White Suffolk stud, Gnowangerup, sold the $8400 third top-priced ram, while the Ida Vale White Suffolk stud, Kojonup sold the $8000 fourth top-priced ram.

Both rams were sold at the WA Elite White Suffolk and Suffolk sale.

The White Suffolk breed accounted for eight of the 10 top prices at British and Australasian sales this season.

The title for the highest grossing sale again went to the Heggaton family's BreedersBEST Genetics on-property sale at Kojonup.

All up there were 267 rams representing three breeds were offered and sold in the sale for a gross of $628,500 and an average of $2354.

In terms of gross results the only others to gross more than $200,000 were the Bowen family's Mount Ronan White Suffolk and Maternals sale, York ($407,300), the Kojonup Triple S sale ($275,100) and the Shirlee Downs/Dongadilling on-property sale at Quairading ($252,300).

There were another nine sales to gross between $150,000-$200,000 and 13 others grossed between $100,000-$150,000.

All up 26 sales grossed more than $100,000 compared to 17 in 2020.

In the average stakes the WA Elite White Suffolk and Suffolk sale took top honours when 10 White Suffolk and Suffolk studs recorded a $5373 average for the 11 rams which sold from 17 offered.

The Perth Royal Show ram sale recorded the next highest average at $4750 when 24 rams sold from 35 offered, while the third highest was the BreedersBEST Genetics sale at $2354 and fourth best was $2327 at the Mount Ronan White Suffolk and Maternals sale.

A further six sales averaged more than $1500 - Yonga Downs White Suffolk ($1908); Riverbend Poll Dorset and Border Leicester, Eneabba ($1762); Te Rakau Texel, Wannamal ($1680); Dinninup Breeders ($1637); Kohat White Suffolk ($1609) and Kojonup Triple S ($1503).

A further 26 sales averaged $1000-$1500 to bring the number of sales averaging more than $1000 to 36, which was up 12 compared to last year.

This year there were 29 sales to achieve an improvement in average, which ranged from $2 to $732, this included 25 sales that experienced a rise of $100 or more.

The biggest movers in the sale averages were Riverbend ($732); Dinninup Breeders ($680); BreedersBEST Genetics ($660); Yonga Downs ($547) and Kohat ($519).

For a sixth year on the trot the White Suffolk breed took the mantle as the biggest selling breed ahead of the Poll Dorset breed.

This year White Suffolks featured in 34 out of the 46 sales (or 74pc) and made up 55pc of British and Australasian rams offered, 56pc of rams sold and 52pc of the season's gross return.

All up there were 2481 rams offered with 2351 sold under the hammer for a gross of $2,992,575 and an average of $1273.

The average was up $61 on last year when 2214 rams were offered and 2013 sold for an average of $1212 meaning there were 267 more rams offered and 338 more sold.

In addition to the top White Suffolk prices mentioned earlier, the Squiers family's Shirlee Downs stud, Quairading, topped the on-property sales when it sold a ram for $6600.

There were 14 White Suffolk sales that grossed more than $100,000 this year and the one which recorded the largest gross was the Golden Hill on-property sale, where 140 rams were offered and sold for a gross of $194,400.

The next biggest were the Yonga Downs on-property sale at Gnowangerup (98 offered, 98 sold, $187,000 gross); Kolindale on-property sale, Dudinin (136, 136, $176,800); Rhos Gwyn, Mt Barker (118, 118, $159,900) and Cheetara on-property, Narembeen (129, 128, $158,350).

These sales were also among the biggest in terms of numbers offered and sold.

There were nine sales all up where more than 100 White Suffolks were offered and seven sales which cleared more than 100 rams under the hammer.

Other bigger sales included Glenbrook, Darkan (131 offered, 126 sold, $127,525 gross); Stockdale on-property, York (122, 118, $129,600), Elders Albany Prime Lamb (103, 100, $115,300); Lukin Springs on-property, Boyup Brook (103, 94, $113,200) and Hedingham on-property, Wickepin (100, 92, $114,700.)

In terms of averages the WA Elite White Suffolk and Suffolk sale led the way for the breed with an average of $5660 for 10 rams sold from 14 offered.

Other strong sale averages were Perth Royal Show ram sale ($4075); Yonga Downs ($1908); Kohat ($1609); Sandown, Carnamah ($1561) and Mount Ronan ($1553), while another 22 averaged $1000-$1500, making it a total of 28 to average more than $1000, four more than last year.

White Suffolk studs to record strong results at multi-vendor sales included Blackwood (30 offered, 30 sold, $1455 average) at Dinninup; Fenwick Farm (25, 25, $1464) at Wongan Hills; Cascade (40, 40, $1430), Macsfield (16, 15, $1387) at Esperance and Millinup (99, 96, $1167) at Elders Albany Prime Lamb.

There were also good clearance rates in the White Suffolk breed, with 14 sales (where more than 10 rams offered) achieving a 100pc clearance.

The overall clearance rate for the breed was 95pc which was up 4pc on 2020.

The Poll Dorset breed had to again settle as being the second biggest.

Like the White Suffolk breed, the Poll Dorsets saw a rise in average but a fall in the number of rams offered and sold compared to the 2020 season.

This year there were 1342 Poll Dorset offered at 23 sales and 1221 sold for a gross of $1,514,350 and an average of $1240.

Compared to last year when 1242 rams sold at auction from 1487 offered to average $1110 and gross $1,378,630, there were 145 less Poll Dorsets offered, 21 less sold while the gross was up $135,720 and the average rose $130.

The clearance rate of 91pc was up from last year's 84pc with eight sales posting total clearances.

Poll Dorsets accounted for 30pc of the terminal sires offered, 29pc of rams sold and 26pc of the gross, down from 34pc, 32pc and 29pc respectively last year.

As previously mentioned the Squiers family's Shirlee Downs stud sold the breed's top-priced ram at the Perth Royal Show ram sale.

The second top price for the breed was $7000 for a ram sold at the Lakeside and Elspeth ram sale at Pingelly.

The highest grossing sale for the Poll Dorset breed was the BreedersBEST Genetics sale where 111 rams were offered and sold for a gross of $234,100.

This was followed by the Shirlee Downs/Dongadilling on-property sale (173 offered, 150 sold, $192,700); Kojonup Triple S sale (135, 119, $169,800) and the Chapman Valley Breeders' Sale (116, 114, $111,950).

These four sales also had the biggest offerings for the breed.

The Perth Royal Show ram sale led the average stakes with 12 rams selling from 21 offered at an average of $5433.

The next best were BreedersBEST Genetics ($2107); Ridgetop on-property, Narrikup ($1434); Kojonup Triple S ($1427); Tellarup Brook, Manjimup ($1349); Riverbend ($1346) and Sandown, Carnamah ($1305).

Studs worthy of a mention which achieved top results at multi-vendor sales were Orrvale (85 offered, 69 sold, $1496 average) and Glencraobh/Amberley (50, 50, $1332) at the Kojonup Triple S sale; Tipperary (116 offered, 114 sold, $982) at Chapman Valley; Denroy (20, 20, $1118) and Marapana (6, 6, $1317) at Darkan and Rainbow Park (40, 40, $1075) at Elders Albany Prime Lamb.

The eight sales to achieve a 100pc clearance in the breed were BreedersBEST Genetics (111 head); Eringa Park, Kalannie (70); Tellarup Brook (53); Riverbend (50); Darkan Breeders (46); Canternatting, Northam (40); Sandown, Carnamah (39) and Sandown, Badgingarra (20).

The Suffolk breed was again the third biggest in terms of the number of rams offered and sold but fourth most significant if you look at the breed's gross figure for the season.

This year Suffolk breeders offered 344 (up 90 rams) and sold 303 (up 67 rams) at 13 sales for a clearance rate of 88pc, which was down 5pc on 2020.

The breed grossed $310,975 and averaged $1064, which was down $11 on last year.

The top price for the breed was $5000 and it was achieved by the Wendenlea stud, Boddington, when it sold a ram at this value to South Australian stud Bundara Downs, Bordertown and Curlew Valley, Saddleworth, at the Perth Royal Show ram sale.

The best price for a ram outside the Poll Dorset and White Suffolk breeds this season was $5000 for this Suffolk ram sold by the Veitch and Foster family's Wendenlea stud, Boddington at the Perth Royal Show when it was knocked down to the Bundara Downs Suffolk stud, Bordertown, South Australia and Curlew Valley stud, Saddleworth, South Australia. With the ram were Wendenlea stud co-principal Aaron Foster (left), Elders prime lamb specialist Michael O'Neill and Nutrien Breeding representative Roy Addis, who purchased the ram on the buyer's behalf.

The best price for a ram outside the Poll Dorset and White Suffolk breeds this season was $5000 for this Suffolk ram sold by the Veitch and Foster family's Wendenlea stud, Boddington at the Perth Royal Show when it was knocked down to the Bundara Downs Suffolk stud, Bordertown, South Australia and Curlew Valley stud, Saddleworth, South Australia. With the ram were Wendenlea stud co-principal Aaron Foster (left), Elders prime lamb specialist Michael O'Neill and Nutrien Breeding representative Roy Addis, who purchased the ram on the buyer's behalf.

The next best price for the breed was $4300 achieved by the Karinya stud, Boyup Brook, also at the Perth Royal Show ram sale.

The biggest numbers of Suffolk rams was seen at the Cheeryna on-property sale at Williams where there was a total clearance of 96 rams.

Other bigger offerings were at the Kojonup Triple S sale where the Karinya stud offered and sold 40 rams, while at the Blackbutt sale, Bencubbin, 26 rams sold from 44 offered and at the Cheetara on-property sale, Narembeen, 32 sold from 39 offered..

Cheeryna was clearly the highest grossing sale at $118,100, followed by Kojonup Triple S at $47,700 and Wongan Hills at $27,200.

The Perth Royal Show ram sale claimed top average honours (where more than one ram sold) with a figure of $3967 for three rams sold from five offered, outside that the Cheeryna sale was next best at $1230, followed by Karinya at the Dinninup Breeders at $1200 and Karinya at the Kojonup Triple S at $1193.

Other strong averages for studs at multi-vendor sales was Fenwick Farm at Wongan Hills at $1088 and Kalinda stud, Boyanup at the Darkan Breeders at $1025.

The third highest grossing breed, pipping the Suffolk breed, for the title was the Prolific breed with all rams sold at the BreedersBEST Genetics on-property sale at Kojonup.

In the sale 98 rams were offered and sold under the hammer to a top of $4000 twice, a gross of $325,600 and an average of $3322, which was the highest average across all the British and Australasian breeds sold.

Compared to last year there were 10 less Prolific rams offered and sold, while the gross lifted $130,100 and the average was up $1512, which was the biggest jump of any breed for the season.

The fourth biggest breed in terms of numbers offered and sold was the Maternal Composite breed and all these rams were offered at the Mount Ronan on-property sale.

In addition to this the breed achieved the second highest breed average for the British and Australasian breeds.

There were 100 Maternal Composite rams offered and sold for an average of $2908, a gross of $290,800 and to a top of $4600.

These figures meant there were the same number of Maternal Composite rams offered and sold compared to last season, while the gross was up $7500 and the average lifted $75.

The Charollais breed recorded the next best average behind the Maternal Composites and Prolifics when it achieved an average of $2517 for the six rams offered and sold by the Venturon stud, Boyup Brook, at the Dinninup Breeders' ram sale.

The Texel breed was the only other breed to average more than $2000 this season.

This year 34 Texel sires were offered and sold at two sales for a top of $3400 and an average of $2188, which was up $674 on last year.

The Border Leicester and South Suffolk breeds rounded out the other breeds to offer more than 30 head.

This year the Border Leicester breed recorded some big improvements in terms of both prices and clearances.

The breed recorded the second biggest improvement in average of $1346 compared to last year and the fourth best breed average at $2396 for the 73 rams offered and sold.

In terms of the South Suffolk breed this year 31 South Suffolks sold from 38 offered to a top of $2000 and an average of $1030, which was up $20 on 2020.

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