Exceptional ram quality and quantity was presented by two studs this year at the 23rd annual Elders Albany Prime Lamb Sire Sale, held again at the Centennial Oval sheep pavilion at Albany last week.
This year, return vendors the Stephenson family, offered its usual line-up of 100 well-rounded White Suffolk rams from its Millinup stud at Porongurup, while the Roberts family contributed 40 even Poll Dorset rams they present annually from the Rainbow Park stud, Napier.
The warm weather and reliable stud genetics from both parties made it hard for prospective buyers and onlookers to pass up the opportunity to have a look at the impressive display inside the shed, which attracted a healthy registered buyers list of 22 accounts that supported the sale from start to finish.
A total of 140 rams were offered in this year's sale and the solid buying support resulted in 122 of the 140 rams clearing under the hammer for an average of $956, with a stud ram from both studs achieving the sale's top price of $1550.
Last year, there were three studs offering rams in the sale and they combined to sell 140 rams under the hammer at an average of $1077.
The prices were slightly back this year due to the current market conditions that WA sheep producers have been experiencing.
Pleased with the outcome given current market conditions was Elders, Albany representative David Lindberg.
"The sheep presented exceptionally well at the sale," Mr Lindberg said.
"The result was better than anticipated considering the way the market is at the moment and clients were willing to bid up on their catalogue favourites which was great to see.
"Both vendors have put in a lot of effort into their Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) over the years which has put a really positive spin on their marketing."
Millinup White Suffolk
Selling first was the Millinup White Suffolk stud sires which managed to achieve a $895 average for the 82 rams that sold under the hammer from the 100-head offering.
The line-up had consistent bidding throughout and buyers weren't afraid to buy confidently on the lots they were aiming to secure.
The Millinup offering topped at $1550 for an impressive ram which was catalogued in pen 54.
It attracted plenty of interest from buyers from the moment it went under the hammer, but in the end it was knocked down to Elders stud stock prime lamb specialist Michael O'Neill, who was buying on behalf of Harris Thompson, Venturon Livestock, Boyup Brook.
The ram is a son of Depta Grove 180154 and out of a Wingamin 181867 dam.
It has ASBVs of 0.38 birthweight (BWT), 9.65 weaning weight (WWT), 15.37 post weaning weight (PWT), 2.37 post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD), -0.93 post weaning fat (PFAT) and a terminal carcase production (TCP) index of 144.27.
Mr O'Neill said Mr Thompson was selecting based on genetics and liked the sire and dam bloodlines.
"He was really focusing on those genetics," Mr O'Neill said.
"Birthweight was another main driver as well, Harris wanted to keep that nice and low.
"The TCP index of 144.27 was another positive and was something else that was taken into consideration when selecting the ram."
Mr Thompson's new ram will be used over White Suffolk stud ewes to breed replacements from at the Thompson family's Venturon White Suffolk stud.
Paying a very close second top price of $1500 was JM & JL Iffla, Bremer Bay, which put together a quality team of four top-end rams to finish with an average of $1325 over the team.
Their $1500 sire was a son of Wingamin 202686 and out of Wingamin 192416.
It had ASBVs of 0.64 BWT, 11.39 WWT, 18.64 PWT, 1.78 PEMD, -0.91 PFAT and a TCP index of 142.35.
Included in the Iffla family's team was a ram at $1300 which was sired by Millinup 200005 and had ASBVs of 0.5 BWT, 10.51 WWT, 16.04 PWT, 1.52 PEMD, -0.51 PFAT and a TCP index of 134.77.
The Bremer Bay account rounded out its purchases with two rams at $1250 that had TCP indexes of 142.39 and 136.04.
Ethan A Griffiths, Mt Barker, paid the third highest price of $1350 in the offering for a Millinup 200005 son that had ASBVs of 0.36 BWT, 9.76 WWT, 15.2 PWT, 3.11 PEMD, 0.07 PFAT and a TCP index of 145.97.
Mr Griffiths loaded up five rams after the sale for an average of $940.
There were two volume buyers in the Millinup run, both purchasing 12 rams each.
GP Ayres & Co, Bornholm, paid an average of $1025 for its team of 12 and to a high of $1250 for a ram sired by Wingamin 202686 that had a TCP index of 127.51.
The other buyer to secure 12 sires was GM Howard & Son, Mt Barker, which averaged $988 and paid a top of $1200 for a Wingamin 202686 son that had a TCP index of 132.86.
Also buying larger ram teams was KP & CM Hart, Narrogin, which loaded up nine rams at an average of $739, while Forrest Hill Farms, Forrest Hill, secured seven rams at an average of $972 and Denvale Dohnes, Mt Barker, picked up seven rams at an average of $821.
Rainbow Park Poll Dorset
The Rainbow Park Poll Dorset stud again presented an exceptional line-up this year that attracted plenty of buyer interest which resulted in a 100pc clearance, with all 40 rams selling under the hammer to an average of $1081.
Spirited bidding throughout the offering pushed prices to a high of $1550, which was paid by Yorklands Farms, Wellstead.
The ram catalogued in pen 103 had ASBVs of 0.37 BWT, 9.42 WWT, 13.81 PWT, 2.23 PEMD, -1.19 PFAT and a TCP index of 141.97.
The Wellstead account purchased another five rams to finish with a team of six at an average of $1267.
Also in the team headed to Wellstead was one of two second top-priced $1400 rams in the Rainbow Park offering.
This ram had ASBVs of 0.25 BWT, 7.90 WWT, 12.25 PWT, 2.70 PEMD, -0.53 PFAT and a TCP index of 139.68.
The other $1400 sire was knocked down to the volume buyer, RD Young & Co, Lower King, which secured 11 rams in the Poll Dorset line-up to an average of $1209.
The Young's $1400 ram had ASBVs of 0.45 BWT, 10.10 WWT, 15.24 PWT, 2.47 PEMD, -0.80 PFAT and a TCP index of 145.17.
Also buying from the top end paying a high of $1350 was Tooraweenah Pastoral Co, South Stirling.
Its top-priced ram had ASBVs of 0.49 BWT, 9.24 WWT, 12.79 PWT, 1.92 PEMD, -0.61 PFAT and a TCP index of 131.69.
The South Stirling account bought eight rams in total for an average of $994.
Also paying a high of $1350 was DJ & HL Towes, and its ram had ASBVs of 0.47 BWT, 8.86 WWT, 12.86 PWT, 1.13 PEMD, -0.52 PFAT and a TCP index of 127.52.
The Towes rounded out their purchasing securing a ram at $1250 which had a TCP index of 131.19.
GD Collins, Napier, also put together a team of quality rams, finishing with six sires at an average of $833.
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