Kendenup-based stud breeders, the Sandilands family, presented a tremendous line-up of Billandri Poll Merino stud sires at its on-property sale last week - which achieved an exceptional result backed by strong buyer support and spirited bidding.
A total of 180 Poll Merino rams were presented at the Sandilands' property and they proved to be in demand from start to finish - both in the shed and on AuctionsPlus, with both local and interstate buyers taking advantage of the quality sires on offer.
Buyers were eager to secure the Billandri genetics and bid up on their catalogue favourites, as well as enjoying the Sandilands family hospitality and tasty treats.
It was the first year the Sandilands family had used the AuctionsPlus platform, which turned out to be successful, with 27 buyers logged in to view the sale, with two active interstate bidders placing 127 bids between them, along with the impressive catalogue attracting 588 catalogue views.
The catalogue was made up of 180 2022-drop rams that were shorn from June 6-9, with 80 being twin rams and six triplet rams.
The sale team had average wool figures of 5.58 kilograms greasy fleece weight (GFW), a 3.8kg clean fleece weight (CFW), 17-micron, 68.3 per cent yield, 99.84pc comfort factor (CF), to go with scans of 28.7mm eye muscle depth (EMD) and 4.3mm back fat depth.
When it came to MerinoSelect indexes, the team averaged 172 for the MP+ index and 177 for the DP+ index.
Eight rams that were offered in the sale were in the top 1pc of the MerinoSelect database for the MP+ index and 39 were in the top 5pc, while four rams ranked in the top 1pc for the DP+ index.
Of the rams in the sale team 28 rams were in the top 5pc for DP+ index.
At the fall of the final hammer the sale had achieved a 100 per cent clearance and there were happy buyers taking home their new bright white woolled sires after the sale at an average of $1290, which was only a fraction down on last year's sale, where 200 rams were cleared under the hammer at $1313.
Elders, Cranbrook agent Clarke Skinner thanked the Sandilands family for allowing Elders to conduct the sale.
"It was a terrific sale and it was great to see all of their old clients back supporting the sale considering the tough market conditions," Mr Skinner said.
"It was great to see a full clearance."
Mr Skinner said the rams were well presented.
"They were in good shape and presented with quality white wool throughout the sale," he said.
"A special mention must go to the caterers, the pasties were outstanding and the lemon cake was fantastic."
The tone of the sale was set fairly early on when the top price ram catalogued in pen 29 was sold for $2600 to Elders stud stock representative Russell McKay, who was buying on behalf of S Sadler & Co, Wongan Hills.
The well-shaped, bright white-woolled ram was a twin by Billandri 181173 and had Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) of 33.4 CFW -0.9 FD, -1.5 CV, 0.9 EMD, -0.2 fat, 1.1 scrotal circumference (SC), 0.2 early breech wrinkle (EBWR) and an MP+ index of 184.
It raw figures of 18-micron, 19.4 CV and 99.9pc CF for its wool and 27.2mm for EMD, 3.4mm for fat.
Mr McKay said the Sadler family have been purchasing from the stud for five years.
"They thought the ram was in very good shape and were looking for something with a lower micron than the sale team average," he said.
"We were also selecting based off of the fleece weight figures.
"The high MP+ index was also a big selection factor."
The Sadler family, which farms at Bindoon and Wongan Hills, runs 2500 Merino ewes and grow its wethers out at the Wongan Hills property.
The Wongan Hills account purchased 12 rams in total at an average of $1692.
Included in the Sadler's other purchases was a ram at $2500 that had ASBVs of 42.4 CFW, -0.7 FD, -0.8 CV, 99.8pc CF, 0.5 EMD, -0.1 fat, -0.2 SC, 0.4 EBWR and an MP+ index of 205.
It also had raw figures of 17.3 micron, 22.5 CV and 99.8pc CF for its wool, 29.6mm for EMD and 4.1mm for fat.
Taking out a close second top-priced honours was a ram in pen four, which was knocked down to the White Family Trust, Tambellup, for $2550.
The well put together sire, which is a son of Billandri 192604, had ASBVs of 24.9 CFW, -0.8 FD, -2.5 CV, 1.7 EMD, 0.1 fat, 3.6 SC, -0.6 EBWR and an MP+ index of 192.
It has wool figures of 17.9-micron, 16.8 CV and 100pc CF and raw scans of 33.4mm EMD and 4.6mm fat.
The White family rounded out its sales with a second ram at $1750 that had an MP+ index of 167.
The volume buyer in the sale and very pleased with his purchases was return buyer Mark Addis, Gordon River Grazing, Cranbrook.
Mr Addis secured a team of 28 rams to a high of $1650 and an average of $1086.
His highest price ram from pen 74 had ASBVs of 35.8 CFW, -0.4 FD, -1.0pc CV, 0.3 EMD, 0.2 fat, 1.6 SC, -0.9 EBWR and an MP+ index of 197.
It also has wool figures of 19.2-micron, 19.3 CV and 99.8pc CF, as well as scans of 27.4mm EMD and 3.9mm fat.
Mr Addis has been buying from the stud for more than 20 years and said he was selecting on wool production.
He plans to use his rams over the 9000 Merino ewes he runs at his property.
Another keen buyer of the Billandri genetics was an active South Australian AuctionsPlus bidder, which secured 18 rams at an average of $1408 and a high of $1750.
Their $1750 ram had ASBVs of 32.9 CFW, -2.0 FD, 0.8 CV, 0.0 EMD, -0.7 fat, 1.8 SC, 0.5 EBWR and an MP+ index of 190.
It had wool figures of 16.4-micron, 25.6 CV and 99.7pc CF along with scans of 28.9mm EMD and 3.7mm fat.
Kojonup-based JJ & JA Sexton, purchased 20 quality sires to an average of $1204 and a high of $1400, while Beeac Estate managed to put together a team of 18 rams for an average of $889.
Two buyers purchased 11 rams each, with Yurunga, Broomehill, paying a high of $1500 and an average of $1273, while Jelcobine Services Pty Ltd, Beverley, paid an average of $1191 and a high of $1650.
Billandri stud co-principal Geoff Sandilands said the family was pleased with the sale's result.
"It was positive to see all the rams sell and that the average didn't differ too much from last year," Mr Sandilands said.
"It was our first year using AuctionsPlus and I think it was really good and played a big part in the result. It was highly successful."
Mr Sandilands said it was great to see rams go interstate.
"We'd like to thank our loyal return clients for supporting us in a tough year which was really heartening," he said.
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