THE sixth annual Dorper sale at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show (ASWS) will bring together about 90 high quality animals from studs across Victoria, NSW and even South Australia and Western Australia.
The Dorper Sheep Society of Australia's southern region president Bruno Trazzera said numbers expected to go under the hammer were slightly down on the 112 last year.
This was because the meat breeds' increased popularity meant producers were having more on-farm sales and had filled a lot of export orders to China in the past months.
Simultaneously, the number of Dorpers and White Dorpers being registered for the show and judging (to be held on Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19) continued to grow and it would be the second most represented breed at the ASWS after Merinos, Mr Trazzera said.
"The Society wants to stick to 80 to 120 animals in the auction to ensure high quality is maintained."
He expected the clearance rate to improve from the 74 per cent of last year's auction because there would be fewer animals on offer.
He predicted prices to be similar to last year, where Dorper rams topped at $3700, averaging $1139.
White Dorper rams sold to $2400, av $1272.
Dorper ewes sold to $3000, av $958 and White Dorper ewes $800, av $545.
As with last year's catalogue, this year's offering is sure to offer rams for both commercial and stud operations, Mr Trazzera said.
Studs involved include Swamp Road Dorper stud, Red Cliffs; Olsen Park Dorpers, Barham; Kaya Dorper stud, Narrogin WA; Bradan Dorpers, Kyabram; Oakview Dorper stud, Shepparton; and Amarula Dorpers, Gravesend, NSW.
Well-known Dell Dorpers, Moama, NSW; Dumisa Dorpers, Moama; Red Rock White Dorpers, Keith, SA; and Global Dorpers, Narrabri, NSW will also be among the studs to enter animals into the sale.
The Dorper Show & Sale at the ASWS is the second biggest event for the breed after the Dorper and White Dorper National Show & Sale (held in September in Dubbo, NSW) and provides a great opportunity to celebrate this easy-care, quick growing breed, he said.
"Dorpers can make better use of fodder available than other sheep," Mr Trazzera said.
Their hardiness and quick growth, as well as feed use efficiency are enjoyed by producers with Dorpers as well as those who cross them over other breeds, he said.
"You can get them into the market at three or four months.
"And you don't need to shear, crutch or mules them, making the sheep much less labour-intensive than other sheep breeds."
Being from South Africa, the breed is well-suited to Australia's climate, he said.
The sale will be held on Sunday, July 20, at 1pm at the Prince of Wales Showground, Bendigo.