It may have been new faces greeting buyers at this year's Glenbrook White Suffolk ram sale at Darkan, however the quality and presentation of the rams was the same high standard and this was appreciated by the stud's loyal following.
Ad, Jacquie and Zac South purchased the Glenbrook stud late last year from Robert and Roz Cuthbert and the Souths continued the Cuthbert tradition of presenting a quality line-up of well-grown White Suffolk rams, backed by strong Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs), in their first sale last week.
Right throughout there was good competition from the stud's loyal clients who were determined to purchase the rams that met their requirements because they know they work in the paddock.
On completion all 20 registered buyers had helped the Elders selling team, led by auctioneer Nathan King, clear 148 out of the 149 rams to a top of $2050 and an average of $903, which was back $120 on last year.
While the average was back, the number of rams sold was up 20 head on the 2022 sale result on the back of an increased offering.
Last year the stud offered and sold 128 rams to 21 different buyers to a top of $2900 and an average of $1023.
Mr King said it was a great result for the South family's first sale.
"To sell all but one of the rams offered was really encouraging for the Souths as they continue to take the stud forward," Mr King said.
"It was great to see that the stud's previous clients turned up to support the Souths in their first sale and competing against them were a couple of new buyers.
"There were lots of positive comments from buyers about how the rams were presented, in particular how they were the same as in past years when offered by the Cuthberts.
"The Souths are very keen to continue to improve the stud in the coming years, they will be looking very closely at figures and using technologies to progress it."
The $2050 top price was set at the beginning of the sale when Mr King offered up an upstanding, long-bodied, well-muscled sire in lot one.
After an opening bid of $1200, the price rose quickly to $2050 as Mr King added up a flurry of $50 bids before he knocked the ram down to return buyers, the Humphris family, Wandibirrup Grazing Co, Beaufort River.
Toby Humphris said the ram was a big, upstanding, powerful sire with great length and muscling that they were looking for.
"He also had the muscle and fat figures we wanted," Mr Humphris said.
"We will use the ram in our nucleus flock of 50 White Suffolk ewes to breed rams for our own use."
The 111 kilogram ram is by Wingamin 181984 and has ASBVs of 0.37 birthweight (BWT), 11.6 weaning weight (WWT), 17.6 post weaning weight (PWWT), -0.26 post weaning fat (PFAT) and 2.11 post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD) along with a terminal carcase production (TCP) index of 151.
With these figures the ram ranks in the top 10pc for WWT and top 20pc for PWWT and the TCP index on LambPlan.
Along with securing the top-priced ram, the Humphris family also purchased a second ram at $1250 that ranks in the top 10pc for WWT (12.0) and PWWT (18.1).
The Humphris family will join 5000 Merino ewes to White Suffolk and Suffolk sires for a July/August lambing.
The family's program revolves around them selling a portion of the ewes as a mated product and they introduced White Suffolks into their program a number of years ago as that was what the clients were demanding when it came to buying joined ewes.
The second top price for the offering was $1900 and it was achieved by the third ram offered when it was knocked down to Elders, Darkan agent Mitch Clarke, who purchased the ram on behalf of return buyer JB & RA Worgan & Sons, Cowaramup.
The 107kg son of Wingamin 182028 has ASBVs of 0.47 BWT, 12.2 WWT (top 10pc), 18.5 PWWT (top 10pc), -1.05 PFAT, 2.05 PEMD and a TCP index of 150.7 (top 20pc).
Also heading to the Worgan's Cowaramup property was the $1700 third top price ram, which was a son of Wingamin 181984.
It weighed in at 107kg and ranked in the top 10pc for WWT (11.9) and PWWT (17.7), as well as top 20pc for the TCP index (150.8).
The Worgans have been buying from Glenbrook for 15 years and run a nucleus flock of White Suffolk ewes to breed their own rams.
Regular buyer GH & CP Goss, Darkan, again featured in the higher prices, paying to a top of $1350 and an average of $1175 for a team of six, while May Park Graziers, Bokal, secured four rams to a top of $1200 and an average of $1025.
Another return buyer in this category was Michael Hulse, M & T Hulse, Darkan, who purchased 13 rams to a top of $1300 twice and an average of $1008.
He was chasing big framed rams with length and muscling.
"We have been buying from the stud for a number of years and like the rams because they are big with good frames and produce lambs that have good early growth," Mr Hulse said.
"We have already sold half of this year's lambs straight off their mothers.
"We started selling them three weeks ago and they have gone to both feeders and processors."
This year the Hulses are aiming to join 4500 Merino ewes to White Suffolk rams for a lambing starting in mid May.
There were another four buyers to purchase double figure teams and the largest of these and the volume buyer for the day was new buyer WW Farms, Arthur River, which left a buying order with Mr Clarke.
Mr Clarke purchased 18 rams all at $700 for the Arthur River-based enterprise.
Mr Clarke was also busy buying for return buyer the Hulse family, Crystalberry, Darkan.
For this account Mr Clarke secured 17 rams to a top of $1100 twice and an average of $862
Mr Clarke said for the Hulses he was looking for quality rams with size, muscling and good figures.
The South family, Duncan P South & Co, Darkan, which has been buying from Glenbrook for 10 years, was not far off taking home the volume buyer title when it purchased 16 rams to a high of $1150 and an average of $859.
Duncan South said they have continued to return and buy from Glenbrook because their rams have ease of lambing and produce quick growing lambs.
This year the Souths will join 4000 Merino ewes to White Suffolk sires for a June lambing.
Mr South said they usually weaned their lambs at the end of October and ran them on standing lupin crops before selling them in December and January.
Rounding out the buyers to purchase a double figure team was KD Power Pastoral, Busselton, securing 10 rams to a top of $1250 and an average of $960.
Other strong supporters in terms of buying numbers included KA Bunce & Co, Bokal, purchasing nine rams to a top of $1100 and an average of $933, while SW & JK Robinson, Wedgecarrup, averaged $839 over a team of nine that topped at $1000 and IG & SB Rutherford & Sons, Duranillin, collected eight rams to a top of $800 and an average of $744.
Also in this category were Sunnyhurst, Darkan and Gnaring Pastoral Co, Wandering, both purchasing six rams at averages of $858 and $925 respectively, while PS & M McKenzie, Wedgecarrup and J Humphris & Co, Arthur River, both purchased five rams at averages of $930 and $860 respectively.
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