A BIG crowd watched some big money change hands for Merino rams in Bendigo at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show sale on Monday.
The top price of $26,000 paid for Nerstane’s 2011 Sydney Royal Easter Show supreme Merino exhibit was well under the $46,000 paid for an Alfoxton ram last year.
However, the depth of demand among the 165 registered buyers was highlighted by a 2011 average of $3565, $591 up on the 2010 mean of $2974. Selling agents Landmark and Elders sold 89 of the 104 rams offered with buyers from Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania.
A trans-Tasman syndicate paid the $26,000 for three-year-old mid-April shorn Nerstane N318. The ram’s 18.3 micron fleece was on display at Bendigo.
T.P. Jones and Co agent and stud classer Andrew Calvert bought the ram for syndicate members W. and C. Von Bibra, Beaufront, of Ross, Tasmania, who retain possession, with semen partners, the Mt Widderin Merino Stud at Skipton and the Eilan Donan Merino Stud at Elphinstone. Nerstane retains 100 per cent commercial semen rights. Beaufront owner Julian Von Bibra said the ram would be kept for private use.
Eilan Donan principal Jock McRae said he had used the ram’s sire in his flock’s Nerstane family.
“I like his structural correctness.
“He is a good heavy-cutting sheep without being complicated,” he said.
“Nerstane has a strong background of performance recording.”
Mt Widderin principal Geoff Notman said the ram would help increase fleece weight and staple length in his flock. He said the ram’s fleece wool was “beautiful and stylish” and its genetics would complement the Nerstane influence in his flock. Mt Widderin was a partner in the syndicate that paid $29,000 for a Nerstane ram at Dubbo in 2009.
Nerstane stud co-principal Jock McLaren said Nerstane N318 was grand champion fine-medium wool ram, supreme exhibit and won the six-tooth production class at the Sydney show with a 14.3 kilogram fleece and an eye muscle area of 40 square centimetres. The ram is a son of N4636 that cut 16.1 kilograms of 18.7 micron wool as a two-year-old. N318’s grandsire was N43, the sire of Langdene’s Victorian Ram of the Year at Bendigo in 2009.
Other top prices at the sale include the $16,000 paid for a rising two-year-old 14.8 micron Alfoxton ram by H.M. Barty and Son, Camelford Estate, Redesdale, part of the syndicate that bought Alfoxton’s $46,000 ram last year at Bendigo.
The Alfoxton and Alfoxton Poll studs averaged $8500 for seven rams at the sale, helped by $15,500 for the champion ultrafine poll ram of the show (lot 5) from L.K. Mathews of Ronavis, Rand, New South Wales and $14,000 for the reserve champion superfine poll ram of the show (lot 3) to N.F. and N.A. McDonnell of Tintinara, South Australia.
Alfoxton co-principal Chris Clonan said he was happy with the prices, but believed many wool producers were yet to benefit from the higher wool prices.
The Wurrook stud sold lot 10 for $10,000 to Laraden Poll, Ulan, New South Wales and the the Glenleigh Partnership of Yass paid $7000 for the Glen Donald stud’s lot 37. Toland Poll sold two rams for $8000, lot 14 went to the Gringegalgona stud at Vasey, Victoria and A.W. and J. M. Ticehurst, Bookham, New South Wales, bought lot 15.