Not even the presence of Jye Duggan's 'bank manager' could stop him from spending big at the Hyde family's Kohat on-property White Suffolk and Poll Merino ram sale at Ongerup last week.
Mr Duggan, who farms at Ongerup, left the Hyde family's property with the top-priced rams for both breeds and the largest team of Poll Merinos.
"Luckily my bank manager wasn't there by the time we got onto the Merinos," Mr Duggan said.
"But I'm sure she would have been impressed with the quality of the rams we bought."
Heading into the sale, Kohat stud principal Rivers Hyde tossed up whether or not to reduce the number of rams penned, however he decided otherwise.
He was glad he did, selling 94 of 103 White Suffolk and 43 of 53 Poll Merino rams in the impressive line-up offered.
Similar to previous years, the White Suffolks opened the sale under the watch of Nutrien Livestock auctioneer and Katanning agent Mark Warren.
Much like the quality of rams, bidding remained consistent throughout, with a $2200 sale top and $1252 average down $461 on last year.
The Poll Merinos hit a $3700 high and was down $454 on last year to reach a $1809 average.
Despite the drop, Mr Hyde said he would "sleep well" and was happy with the result, given the tough year faced by WA's sheep industry.
"We obviously had a cracking sale last year and our rams were quite expensive," Mr Hyde said.
"For the blokes, who supported us, this is their time and hopefully they cash in."
The top-priced, big framed and high performing White Suffolk purchased by Mr Duggan was penned in lot 10.
Mr Duggan liked the ram because, of those penned, it held the highest Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs).
And looking at the figures you can see why, with a 11.27 weaning weight (WWT), 18.15 post weaning weight (PWWT), 0.45 post weaning fat (PFAT), 3.68 post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD), -0.16 intramusclar fat (IMF), 1.02 shear force 5 (SHRF5), 155.46 eating quality (EQ) and 158.15 terminal carcase production (TCP).
"He has great weaning and post-weaning weight with huge muscle, positive fat and lower birth weight," he said.
"This is what I'm chasing to put over my Merino ewes."
Mr Duggan purchased another four White Suffolk rams, meaning his team of five came with a $8200 price tag and $1640 average.
He runs a 3500-head self-replacing Merino and a 7500-head Merino-White Suffolk crossbred flock.
This year, there was only a ram or two between the volume buyers, which was a testament to the Hyde family's hard work.
However, it was Knud Nymann, Nymann Strathaven, Gnowangerup, who had the most rams to fill his trailer, taking home a selection of 15.
Mr Nymann spent anywhere between $800 to $1800, at an average of $1373 per head.
Of the rams, one was in the LamPlan ASBV top five per cent for PWWT at 18.91 and TCP 160.17, as well as top 10pc for WWT 11.77 and EQ 154.67, and top 20pc for PEMD 2.84.
Closley behind Mr Nymann, was Tom Wittwer, Wittwer & Co, Cuballing, with 13 rams, at an average of $1338.Caralinga Farms, Borden purchased 12, and Shane Davy, Blackboy Hill Farms, Wellstead, bought 11.
Taking a look at the Poll Merinos, Mr Duggan knew what he wanted and was not shy in bidding for it.
The top-priced Poll Merino ram was in his team of 21 rams, which reached a $3700 high, for an average of $1938.
The top price ram was penned at lot 151, with 18.5 micron wool and ASBVs including PWT 8.2, YWT 9.1, YEMD 2.7, YFAT 1.7, WR 0.30 and DP+ 212.5.
"Kohat's ASBVs have some of the top growth rates, as well as positive fat and eye muscle 2-3+, while maintaing a YCFW above 20-25," Mr Duggan said.
"These are the traits I am now chasing in my Merino flock."
Feedlotting all of his lambs, Mr Duggan was chasing quick growth rate, muscle and fat.
Having a winter lamb drop, he said this was key to improving lamb survival, and also helped with turning off animals quicker.
"It is important to get them to weight as fast as possible, so we can get them off-farm.
"We probably average a 26 kilogram carcase weight and aim for a 44 to 60kg liveweight when we turn-off our Merinos.
"Most are sold direct to WA Meat Marketing Co-operative."
Mr Oliver's selection reached a top of $3100 to average $1733.
"I have been buying from Kohat since they started," Mr Oliver said.
"There was nothing in particular that I was chasing - they are good doers, all round.
"I generally focus on fleeceweight, micron and yearling weight."
There were only three other buyers of the Poll Merinos including Steve Thompson,SJ & N Thompson, Newdegate, EA Gooch, Bremer Bay, and Jarrod Thorn, NI Thorn, Tambellup.
Mr Hyde said while there were many buyers, who weren't accounted for, clearance was still good and there was plenty of value in the sale.
"The good ones still sold really well and there was plenty of value for the guys that are on a budget," Mr Hyde said."We obviously had a cracking sale last year and they were quite expensive.
"But for the blokes that supported us, this is their time, and hopefully they cash in this year."
Mr Hyde added to the Merino offering this year, because last year they were in such hot-demand.
He wanted to give everyone enough selection throughout the catalogue to find what they were after.
"We are really honing in on commercial traits," Mr Hyde said.
"There are no rams in sheds.
"They are all paddock run and crutched like commercial rams."
Nutrien Livestock Breeding representative Roy Addis said Kohat was setting itself up as a leader in WA, in terms of ASBVs.
Mr Addis said the line-up of good commercial rams were ready to go to their new homes and work.
"It is important to remember that all White Suffolks carry really great ASBVs, not just for growth, but the likes of Shear Force and IMF," Mr Addis said.
He added, "the people at these ram sales are generally buying with confidence".
"They have confidence in the industry, and understand the ups and downs of what an industry can be like," Mr Addis said.
"In a long-term breeding program, you still have to invest in genetics moving forward.
"Mr Addis believes post-weaning weight will always be the profit driver when it comes to rams.He said post-weaning weight had been maintained and Shear Force was down in a lot of the rams offered.
As such, he bidded on a lot eight White Suffolk ram for Scott Welke, Westwood Farm, Esperance.
The ram was in the top five per cent of LamPlan ASBVs for its breed in PEMD, SHRF5, EQ, top 10 per cent for IMF and TCP, and top 20pc for PFAT and BWT.
"While he may not be the biggest ram, we purchased him on his Shear Force and IMF data," Mr Addis said.
"We will put him over ewes that are higher with growth rates, so we will mix and match as stud breeders should be doing for their commercial clients."
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