The 79th annual Northern Stud Breeders' Association held its first ram sale at the new Northampton ram shed since ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja hit in 2021, which proved to be the perfect place to buy quality Poll Merino and Texel genetics from local studs.
The sale attracted both new and returning clients who were able to secure quality, value for money genetics from the Walkindyer and Mulga Springs, Poll Merino studs, Northampton, Lyndale Poll Merino stud, Binnu and the Terara Texel stud, Horrocks.
The sale's prices were unfortunately down this year due to very tough seasonal and market conditions, causing producers to offload sheep which affected the sale's clearance and prices.
The exceptional ram line-up from the four studs included 12 Texel rams and 116 sires from the three Merino studs, resulting in 89 of 116 rams sold at an overall average of $535, and six of the 12 Texels sold to an average of $967.
The highest price of $2000 was achieved by a Mulga Springs Poll Merino ram.
The sale was again conducted by Elders and Nutrien Livestock, with Elders auctioneer Graeme Curry and Nutrien Livestock, Mid West agent Craig Walker taking care of the auctioneering duties.
Mr Curry said the sale was one of complete highs and lows.
"A wonderful effort on behalf of the sheep committee to get the new shed built after Cyclone Seroja, which was really positive for the community and the sheep industry," Mr Curry said.
"Once again there was an outstanding line-up of big-framed and well-woolled rams, which was great to see.
"Unfortunately, we have hit a point of lack of confidence in the sheep industry coupled with near drought conditions for a large portion of the area up here, resulting in constricted demand and prices."
Mr Walker said the season was very tight in the area.
"With the lack of confidence in the market at the moment too, we thought the sale really represented the industry and what the feeling is, meaning the producers were a bit reluctant," he said.
"As the sale went on though the quality sheep found their homes.
"There was a lot of work done by the vendors to produce some outstanding rams."
Mr Walker said it was a tough day, although everyone who is looking to the future will be rewarded.
"Buying good genetics now will pay off in the future," he said.
The Teakle family offered an impressive line-up of Poll Merino rams that were split into two groups, one that started the sale off and one that sold second last.
At the start of the sale, 46 of the 68 rams offered by the Teakle family were sold at an average price of $532, which reached a high of $1400.
The $1400 was the second highest price in the sale, and was successfully bid on by Tren Suckling, Weeine Farming Co, Northampton.
The pen nine ram had Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) of 19.1 fibre diameter (FD), 2.6 standard deviation (SD), 13.5 coefficient of variation diameter (CV) and 100 per cent comfort factor (CF).
Mr Suckling said the ram was very even.
"He had a good body size which I liked, as well as good conformation and impressive figures," Mr Suckling said.
Mr Suckling finished off with a team of six Walkindyer stud rams at an average of $900, which included a ram at $1000 that had ASBVs of 19.0 FD, 3.1 SD, 16.4 CV and 99.9pc CF.
Davjeff Nominees Pty Ltd, Geraldton, paid $850 for the ram in the pen 13 that had ASBVs of 19.4 FD, 3.1 SD, 16.1 CV and a 99.8pc CF.
The Geraldton account rounded out their sales with another six rams, taking home a team of seven at an average of $521.
Purchasing a large team of 12 rams in the run, all at $400 were Moonyoonooka buyers, MC & JA Culloton.
Also a fan of the Walkindyer genetics was Squarewell Farming Co, Northampton, which left with a team of 10 rams, averaging $465, and topping at $500, six times.
Mulga Springs stud co-principals Chris Hasleby and his daughter Jessica Hortsman offered a quality line-up of rams and cleared 37 of their 38 head offering, to an average of $558 and an overall sale high of $2000.
Purchasing the $2000 top-priced ram was return buyer Lloyd Cripps, PH & AP Cripps, Northampton.
The ram had ASBVs of 19.7 FD, 3.8 SD, 19.3 CV, 99.6 CF, 31.5mm eye muscle depth (EMD), 3.2mm fat, 13.69 yearling clean fleece weight (YCFW) and 3.15 yearling weight (YWT).
Mr Cripps said he has been using Mulga Springs rams for sometime and they performed very well.
"For me, the rams' nice frame and size was great," Mr Cripps said.
"Along with his EMD and fat figures, and good fleece cut."
Mr Cripps said the ram would most likely be put with his nucleus Merino ewe flock.
"I will use him over the finer ewes to maintain their wool quality, and so that they can benefit from his meat and fleece traits," he said.
Mr Cripps bought another Mulga Springs ram from the offering at $400.
It was Howatharra Grazing Co, Geraldton, that picked up the second top-priced ram in the run for $1250.
The sire had ASBVs of 19.5 FD, 3.4 SD, 17.4 CV, 100pc CF and 4.96 YCFW.
The Geraldton account finished up with a team of nine Mulga Springs rams at an average of $611.
Volume buyers in the run, leaving the sale with 13 rams at an average of $481 was
W & E Boys, Bluff Point.
The Boys family paid a top of $700 for a ram with ASBVs of 20.6 FD, 3.2 SD, 15.5 CV, 99.8pc CF, 24mm EMD, 2.1mm fat, -2.07 YCFW and 3.95 YWT.
Nutrien Geraldton also picked up a team of nine rams on behalf of a client, all at $400 each.
The Lyndale stud offered 10 quality Poll Merino rams and sold six of them to an average of $417.
The Simkin family offered a slightly smaller line-up compared to last year that presented very evenly, reaching a high of $500.
It was Yandi Pastoral Co, Geraldton, that picked up the $500 ram as part of its team of five Lyndale rams, for an average of $420.
The ram had ASBVs of 3.1SD, 16.3 CV, 99.9pc CF and wool figures of 19 micron.
The other Yandi Pastoral Co rams had varying figures ranging from 18.6-21.7 micron, 2.8-3.9 SD, 14.4-21 CV and 99.4-100pc CF.
Taking home the remaining ram was A & N Pluschke, Northampton, the ram had ASBVs of 2.8 SD, 13.3 CV, 99.9pc CF and wool figures of 21 micron.
The Nairn family got involved in the sale this year, and offered an impressive line-up of Texel rams that were well-rounded, and resulted in six of the 12 presented going home with new buyers, at an average price of $967.
The Texels achieved a high of $1000, five times.
Mark Bonser, Duncraig, was the first to purchase a Terara Texel in the sale, and finished with a team of three, paying $1000 for each.
Between the three rams they had New Zealand terminal worth (NZTW) indexes of 913, 500, and 523, terminal sire growth (TSG) indexes of 719, 231 and 523 and terminal sire meat (TSM) index of 132, 207 and 203, respectively.
BW & MJ Bridgeman, Northampton, also bought a $1000 ram with a NZTW index of 424, a TSG index of 142, and a TSM index of 298.
Rounding out the Terara sales was CJ Stokes & Son, Nanson, who bought two rams at $1000 and $800.
They had NZTW indexes of 505 and 283, TSG indexes of 582 and 269, and TSM indexes of -78 and 13.
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