A quality line-up of Charollais and White Suffolk rams ready to work were appreciated by old and new buyers when they went under the hammer in the Venturon Livestock on-property ram sale at Boyup Brook on Monday.
Buyers from the local area, as well as as far away as Moora and across the border to South Australia, were solid in their competition right through the sale, both in the shed and on AuctionsPlus, ensuring a near-total clearance for the Thompson family in just its second annual sale.
Under the hammer of Elders auctioneer James Culleton, the Thompsons cleared 48 from 50 White Suffolk sires offered to a top of $2000 and average of $748, which was back just $30 on their 2022 result, while in the Charollais team 18 from 23 rams offered sold under the hammer to a top of $1500 twice and average of $1025, which was back $381 on last year.
Post-sale buying activity also helped the clearance with the five passed in Charollais rams also finding a new home.
Elders stud stock prime lamb specialist Michael O'Neill said it was a solid sale right to the final lot given current market conditions.
"The final result I would say was definitely up on pre-sale expectations in terms of clearance given what we have seen at other ram sales this season," Mr O'Neill said.
"It was a great presentation of rams which were fit, strong, robust and ready to work and buyers responded accordingly.
"It was pleasing to see return buyers operating and also a couple of new buyers purchasing.
"Along with the support in the shed, there was also good support on AuctionsPlus especially on the Charollais rams."
Achieving the $2000 top price was the first White Suffolk ram to go under the hammer, which was catalogued in lot 31.
The well-rounded, upstanding young ram caught the eye of many before finally being knocked down to first time buyers Perry and Chad Corker, Corker Pastoral Co, Boyup Brook.
Perry Corker said the ram was a well-muscled sire with nice width.
"He is a nice shaped ram with a good set of figures," Mr Corker said.
"He also had good bare points which we like."
The 117 kilogram ram, which is by Warburn 160048 and out of a Ramsay Park ewe, had raw scans of 47mm for eye muscle depth (EMD) and 4.4mm for fat.
It also had a solid set of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) ranking in the top 10 per cent on LambPlan for weaning weight (WWT) 11.75, post weaning weight (PWWT) 18.24 and carcase weight 6.71.
It is also in the top 10pc for the MCP and MCP+ indexes with figures of 156.85 and 160.78 respectively.
Its other ASBVs are 0.58 birthweight (BWT), 2.16 post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD) and -0.74 post weaning fat (PFAT).
The Corkers run a nucleus flock of 40 White Suffolk ewes to breed rams for their own use and Mr Corker said they would use the ram with those ewes.
"We join our surplus Merino ewes to White Suffolk rams and usually there are about 800 joined each year," Mr Corker said.
"We have been using White Suffolk rams like this for about 15 years and we like the breed for its ease of lambing and good growth rates."
The Corkers drop their White Suffolk lambs in August and generally feed them up before selling them from March through to June.
The second top price in the White Suffolk offering was $1200 paid by Jenny Roberts, Ambergate stud, Busselton, who bid through Mr O'Neill.
The 120kg ram had ASBVs of 8.77 WWT, 15.32 PWWT, 2.04 PEMD and -0.75 PFAT.
Mr O'Neill said Ms Roberts was looking for an all-rounder ram which could go over more types of White Suffolk ewes and this ram fitted the bill.
"He is a safe sire with good neck extension and cover," Mr O'Neill said.
The top price in the Charollais side of the catalogue was $1500 and it was achieved twice.
The first ram to make this value was the first ram offered in lot one when it was sold to the Cowcher family, DP & GR Cowcher, Williams.
In the pen the 107kg ram displayed a good constitution and a nice square frame.
It had a LambPlan BWT figure of 0.17 to go with raw scans of 47mm EMD and 5.1mm fat.
The other ram to make $1500 in the Charollais run was penned two pens later in lot three and it sold to the day's volume buyer Tim Bleechmore, Tara Grazing, Boyup Brook, who was buying from the stud for the first time.
The well-muscled, deep 106kg ram had raw scans of 43mm EMD and 4.4mm fat to go with an ASBV of 0.15 for BWT.
Along with buying one of the equal top-priced Charollais rams, Mr Bleechmore also purchased another six Charollais sires to finish with a team of seven at an average of $1214.
Mr Bleechmore said it was time he had purchased Charollais rams and he was attracted to them due to their low birthweights and good growth rates.
"We are going to try them over maiden Merino ewes," Mr Bleechmore said.
When the sale switched to the White Suffolk sires Mr Bleechmore was just as active and in this section he purchased nine rams to a top of $1100 and an average of $878.
He paid a high of $1100 for a 122.5kg ram which had scans of 47mm EMD and 6.8mm fat.
The Bleechmores join about 2000 Merino ewes annually to White Suffolk sires for a June/July lambing.
"We have been using White Suffolk rams for a long time and we continue to use them as they produce a very good lamb," Mr Bleechmore said.
Elders, Moora agent Rhys Fleay operated on AuctionsPlus for two clients, one which was a new buyer.
He secured eight Charollais rams to a high of $1400 and an average of $856, to be the volume buyer in this section, as well as two White Suffolks at $1100 and $800.
The $1400 Charollais ram weighed 120.5kg and had scans of 48mm EMD and 3.9mm fat.
The volume buyer in the White Suffolk offering was return buyer Matt Francke, Timbalyne Grazing, Mayanup, who purchased 10 rams to a top of $850 and average of $670.
Mr Francke said this year he was aiming to join 1000 Poll Merino ewes to White Suffolk rams for a June lambing.
Other influential buyers in the White Suffolk run were Mr O'Neill, who purchased seven rams all at $600 for a returning Hyden buyer while Elders, Boyup Brook agent Peter Forrest purchased six rams all at $600 for return buyers the Llewellyn family, L & N Llewellyn & Co, Keith, South Australia.
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