The Levett family, Tipperary Poll Dorset stud, Walkaway, offered its usual outstanding line-up of quality Poll Dorset and White Suffolk Composite rams at the Nanson Showgrounds last week.
The evenness throughout the terminal sire offering attracted strong support from long-term clients who were eager to secure their catalogue favourites.
LambPlan Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) were available for the majority of the presented rams with impressive post weaning weights (PWWT), post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD), post weaning fat (PFAT) and terminal carcase production (TCP) indexes.
The stud offered 105 Poll Dorset rams and cleared 96 to a sale top price of $1250 and an average of $852.
In the White Suffolk composites, 16 rams were offered and sold to a top of $1000 and an average of $903.
This meant the final sale results were slightly down this year compared to the 2022 sale, with this being attributed to the very tough season in the northern area and market conditions, which has seen producers offload sheep and in turn affecting their ram requirements.
In comparison last year, there was 110 Poll Dorsets which sold for an average of $1032 and 15 White Suffolk Composite rams sold last year for an average of $820.
Elders auctioneer Graeme Curry said the Levett family offered another line-up of top-quality rams again this year.
"We expect this from the Levett family each year, they produce great rams," Mr Curry said.
"The line-up was exceptional.
"It was a slightly softer sale due to the seasonal and market conditions, but the family met the market."
Mr Curry said there was great support from long-term loyal clientele.
"The line-up was exceptional and the stud should be commended," he said.
The Poll Dorsets were the first breed to sell and with spirited bidding, prices peaked at $1250 for a ram in pen 13, when it was knocked down to Jorja Hamersley, Hamersley Fairfield, Walkaway.
The well-rounded ram boasted ASBVs of 0.39 birthweight (BWT), 9.5 weaning weight (WWT), 14.5 PWWT, -1.0 PFAT, 2.0 PEMD and a TCP index of 142.4.
Ms Hamersley said her family had bought from the stud before, although this year she was buying for herself.
"Tipperary has always had really good genetics which is what I was looking for and selecting for," Ms Hamersley said.
She rounded out her purchases with an additional ram that achieved the sale's third top price of $1150.
This ram was catalogued in pen 17 and had ASBVs of 0.62 BWT, 11.1 WWT, 16.8 PWWT, 1.3 PFAT, 1.7 PEMD and a TCP index of 144.7.
Paying the sale's second top price of $1200 was the Chapman family, DP Chapman, Boyup Brook, for a July 2022-drop ram in pen 35 that had ASBVs of 0.49 BWT, 10.4 WWT, 16.2 PWWT, -1.2 PFAT, 2.0 PEMD, and a TCP index of 140.9.
The Chapman family purchased 12 rams throughout the sale for an average of $933, which included five rams at $1000 with TCP indexes ranging from 134.0 to 143.5.
The volume buyer was Andrew Gillam, Gabyon Pastoral, Dongara, who bought a team of 27 rams at an average price of $909 and to a top of $1100, twice.
The first ram to be bought at $1100 by Mr Gillam was the ram from pen three that had ASBVs of 0.58 BWT, 11.3 WWT, 16.8 PWWT, -0.9 PFAT, 2.0 PEMD and a TCP index of 142, while the second ram was in pen 26 and had ASBVs of 0.38 BWT, 10.2 WWT, 16.6 PWWT, -0.7 PFAT, 3.1 PEMD and a TCP index of 156.7.
Mr Gillam runs a 10,000 head self-replacing Merino ewe flock, with 50pc joined to Merino rams and the remainder to Poll Dorset sires.
"I was selecting rams in particular today that had good conformation and good EMD figures," Mr Gillam said.
Apache Investments, Mukinbudin, secured 15 rams to a top of $800 (on 11 occasions) and an average of $787.
Also purchasing a large team of Poll Dorset rams was T & L Sudlow, Northampton, at an average of $875.
The Sudlow family paid a top of $1100 for a ram with ASBVs of 0.34 BWT, 11.7 WWT, 17.7 PWWT, -0.9 PFAT, 2.5 PEMD and a TCP index of 152.0.
White Suffolk Composite
The White Suffolk Composite rams were offered last in the sale, with the top price of $1000 met by both the top price and volume buyer in the Composite ram portion of the sale, W & DJC Mincherton, Nolba.
The Mincherton family took home a team of 12 rams at an average price of $825, which included the 137.5kg ram that achieved $1000.
It had raw scans of 47mm EMD and 5.4mm fat.
Taking home the second top-priced ram in the composite ram offering was MT Devil Farming, Eneabba, which bought two rams, at $950 and $900.
The $950 ram weighed 117kg, and had raw scans of 45mm EMD and 4mm fat.
DP & W Mills, Eneabba, secured three rams at $900, weighing 124.5kg, 116kg and 103kg, respectively.
Tipperary stud co-principal Randal Levett said it was great to see buyer support from both new and long-standing buyers.
"Big thanks to our supporters, considering the way the season is in the Mid West region," Mr Levett said.
"Considering the prices in the lamb industry at the moment, it is good to see clients that are looking towards the future.
"We are just waiting to turn that corner and improve the season and market, which I'm sure will happen."
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