A positive atmosphere generated from the big turnout to Kamballie Poll Merino and Merino stud's eighth annual on-property ram sale at North Tammin last week delivered successful results.
There was no shortage of interest from Wheatbelt and Midlands stud and commercial breeders alike in the excellent catalogue of big productive white-wooled rams, attracting a large contingent of its loyal client base and fresh interest.
The Ardagh and Spurgeon families, Kodinin, celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Karingal stud and their final sale offering of rams by invitation.
Kamballie stud principal Shayne 'Dozer' Mackin said he was blown away with the interest shown in their sheep and encouraged clients to continue improving their Merino flocks and breed for the future.
"We all know the industry isn't rosy at the moment but things will turn around," Mr Mackin said.
"We are not doing it for today, it's about still having a good product for when the market does (turn around)."
He said the result was unbelievable and exceeded expectations.
"We sell a few rams to the east and north east of us where the season is ordinary and unfortunately a few of these clients didn't require rams," Mr Mackin said.
"But there was still a big crowd and it actually was a positive atmosphere which in the current environment was fantastic to see."
Mr Mackin thanked buyers and underbidders for their support and agents, family and the Kamballie team for its efforts.
His pre-sale address resonated with buyers, with the opening third of the catalogue generating a buzz of bidding activity between stud and nucleus breeders and top-end commercial buyers in a positive sight for the State's sheep industry.
As the sale wore on, competition gradually eased and opened the door for buyers of all budgets to fill their pre-mating requirements from a wide selection of quality rams at cheaper values.
Under the Nutrien Livestock and Elders banners, at the completion of selling the Kamballie and Karingal studs combined to sell 180 of the 184 ram catalogue at auction for a strong overall average of $2146.
Individually the Kamballie stud cleared a total of 157 of 160 Poll Merino and Merino rams for an average of $2275 which was back $422 on last year's red-hot sale.
In the breed breakdown, the horned rams took average price bragging rights from their Polled stablemates, albeit in much fewer numbers and a couple of five figure top-price sales, with all 29 Merino rams selling under the hammer for an average of $2666, up $301 on last year's sale where all 39 rams sold for an average of $2365.
In the Kamballie Poll line-up, 128 of 131 rams sold at auction (98pc) for an average of $2186, which was down $609 on last year's result where all 133 rams sold for a $2795 average.
The Karingal stud's team of 24 Poll Merino and Merino rams saw all bar one selling at auction for an average of $1265 with 16 of 17 Poll Merino rams selling under the hammer for a $1144 average and all seven Merino rams finding new homes for a $1543 average.
Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Jarrad Hubbard kicked off proceedings in buoyant fashion on Kamballie's opening run of two full wool 2021-drop rams and 17 regulation shorn (February 20) 2022-drop Poll Merino rams which sold for an average of $3995.
But it was when the sale swung the corner to the team of 2022-drop paddock prepared rams led by a handful of Merino rams that bidding went up another level, with the second ram offered knocked down for the sale's $15,000 top price.
The bidding battle was won by Mitchell Crosby, Nutrien Livestock Breeding, representing the Saegenschnitter's family Sharlu Park's stud, Frankton, South Australia and outlasted a determined Tahryn Trevenen, High Valley stud, Tarin Rock.
The 129kg extremely stylish woolled heavy cutting big framed ram was by Woolkabin 533 and displayed tests of -0.2 micron percentage (against team average), 3.0 SD, 69.2pc yield, 99.9pc comfort factor (CF) and 6.3kg greasy fleece weight (GFW).
Mr Mackin said the Saegenschnitters had used Kamballie semen previously and run good honest sheep.
He said South Australian classer Paul Cousins saw the ram at Katanning and recommended it.
"With Paul Cousins involved, hopefully a couple more interstate breeders use the ram which is exciting," Mr Mackin said.
A couple of lots later and another Merino ram was knocked down for the sale's $12,500 second top price to an Elders Narrogin account and again Ms Trevenen the losing bidder.
The 127kg ram was by a syndicate of Woolkabin 533 sons and tested -0.4 micron percentage, 3.0 SD, 99.9pc CF and 6.8kg GFW.
The High Valley stud didn't go home empty handed, earlier paying the sale's $10,500 top Poll Merino ram price for the upstanding sire standing in pen three.
The 121kg ram was AI-bred by a Glenlea Park 881 son Kamballie Steven K157 (sold to the East Mundalla stud for $15,000) and displayed tests of average micron, 3.4SD, 99.5pc CF and 5.6kg GFW.
Ms Trevenen said they purchased two Kamballie Merino rams a couple of years ago including one which was the same Woolkabin 533 breeding, with both performing well and was disappointed to miss out on the two top Merino rams.
She said their Poll stud was a newer venture and saw the top Poll ram when they visited the Mackins property a couple of weeks prior to the sale.
"We are still dabbling in the Polls and it's good to add another lot of genetics," Ms Trevenen said.
"He stood out, beautiful wool, crimpy thick and white and a really good structure."
Ms Trevenen added a 130kg February shorn Rhamily Benny son in lot seven to her account for $3800.
Kevin Broad secured a few Kamballie sires for different classing clients and paid to the sale's $8000 fourth top price quite deep into the catalogue for lot 41.
The 111kg Rhamilly Benny syndicate bred ram testing -1.1pc micron, 3SD, 99.9pc CF and 6.87kg GFW was purchased on behalf of Southbourne Farming, Beverley.
Mitchell Crosby, Nutrien Livestock Breeding, representing the Argyle Park stud, Quairading, paid the next highest value of $7000 for a February shorn Poll Merino ram, a 122kg Moorundie 061 son testing -1.6pc micron, 3.2 SD, 99.5pc CF and 5.8kg GFW.
Other higher values paid included $6500 paid by AD Gelmi & Son, Quairading, for a 113 Poll ram by Boonoke 'Bobcat' 180137 purchased in 2019 by the Kamballie and Manunda studs for $70,000.
Regular buyers BW & CM Nicholls, Corrigin, collected four Poll rams for their nucleus breeding program for a $4400 average and paid to a $6200 top for 119kg ram by a Glenlea Park 881 syndicate.
Mr Broad successfully bid $6000 for the 141kg full wool 2021-drop Poll ram by Kamballie Rookie K2 (ET bred by Gunallo 8) on behalf of JC Dempster & Sons, Grass Valley stud, Grass Valley, while the White Springs stud, Calingiri, added four Kamballie Poll rams to their sire battery for a $3650 average and to a $4800 top for a 107kg Steven K157 son penned in lot 63.
The sale's volume account was built by Chris Carter, RL Carter & Co, Cunderdin, who tallied 15 mainly Merino rams costing anywhere from $800 to $2400.
Kamballie clients since 2005, VG & EB Ryan, Kodj Kodjin, returned for the next largest team of 11 mainly Poll Merino rams outlying from $800 to $2200.
Long-time clients since the mid-1980s the Ryan family, Dremdarkin Farms, Yorkrakine, again built a significant team at top-end commercial values, averaging $2592 across their team of 10 mainly Poll rams with their $3600 top price paid from the outset for the big 145kg full wool 2021-drop sale team leader by Rookie.
Jimmy Ryan said it was very happy with how their sheep were performing and remains bullish about WA's industry.
"Sheep game is a marathon not a sprint and we will keep ticking along," Mr Ryan said.
"Like 'Dozer' said, you have to keep working on your product for when things turn."
The Ryans mated 2100 February shorn Merino ewes all to Merino rams this year and recorded 90pc marking rate of their late June-drop lambs at marking at the end of August.
"We ran out of tags at marking, we weren't prepared for the amount of lambs," Mr Ryan said.
"Super happy with the Kamballie sheep, being on the other side of Yorkrakine, their sheep are from the same topography as us and you know what you're going to get."
Mr Crosby was kept busy, filling a few orders including seven Poll rams for ND & BA Davis, Merredin, six Poll rams for GB & LB McDonald & Son, Kellerberrin and five Poll rams for RJ & VJ York, Tammin, which included the charity ram that sold for $2400 with all proceeds donated by the Mackin family to the Dare To Hope - Paul Dear Pancreatic Cancer Fund.
Clients of 19 years the Smith family, Mount Joy Grazing, Northam, finished the sale with a team of nine Poll rams paying stronger values from $1500 to $3400.
The Karingal stud's $1900 top price was paid twice for Merino rams, firstly by N & A Whittington, Brookton, who finished the sale with seven Merino and Poll Merino rams and paid top price for a syndicate bred 115kg ram testing -2.3 micron, 3.3 SD, 99.9pc CF and 4.5kg GFW.
The Repacholi family, Careema Farms, Kondinin, who collected four Karingal Merino rams for a $1420 average with their $1900 top price going to a 119kg syndicate bred ram testing +1.9 micron, 3.8SD, 99.5pc CF and 6kg GFW.
Another Repacholi family, Riverina Farms, Kondinin, was Karingal's volume buyer with a team of nine Poll rams.
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