Three rams sold for $32,000 and one for $30,000 – well above last year’s top price of $15,000.
These exciting top prices helped to drive the average to $5556 – up more than $2000 compared to last year’s result, despite 13 more rams selling than last year.
The first ram to make $32,000 was the very first ram to be offered for sale.
The July 2015-drop Langdene ram tag A 22958 was sold to I&C Greenwood through Elders Yass, NSW. Langdene co-principal Garry Cox said it felt good to top the Bendigo sale two years in a row.
“This is the highest price we’ve ever sold a ram for and I wasn’t expecting it,” Mr Cox said.
The Greenwood family are commercial woolgrowers who breed their own rams for their 1200-sheep operation. They are return buyers of top Langdene rams, which have helped in their transition from traditional wool types to a bit broader crimp and heavier wool cut.
“I was after big-barrelled sheep with beautiful wool,” Ian Greenwood said.
He said his agent reported the Langdene ram was the best-suited ram, so Mr Greenwood “came down to have a look”.
He was impressed and was willing to go over the budget he’d set for the ram, because he’d had a good year selling wool and sheep.
Its wool measured 17.8 micron and had low standard deviation (SD) and co-efficient of variation (CV) and high comfort factor (CF), of 3.2M, 18pc and 99.8 respectively.
The next ram to reach the equal top-price was Merryville, tag A 22815, that was by Grand Monarch 44th, which was supreme exhibit in Sydney in 2013.
Merryville co-principal Wal Merriman said the rising three year-old ram had been used with success in the stud as a two-tooth.
Buyer John Crawford, Rock-Bank, Victoria Valley, said within five minutes of walking into the Bendigo Exhibiton Centre’s shed on Thursday night, he wanted to buy the ram.
“He’s a true stud sire,” Mr Crawford said.
“We’ve bought a lot of top Merryville stud rams, our stud is based on their bloodlines and they’ve performed tremendously for us.
“I reckon this is the best ram we’ve ever bought from Merryville.”
Mr Crawford said the ram was “massively big for his wool quality”.
Its wool measured 15.6M, 2.8M SD, 17.9pc CV and 99.9pc CF.
“We’ll shear him as soon as we get him hone and then let him down before taking him to Brecon Breeders’ AI centre in SA.”
The very last lot of the sale, lot 109, was the third ram to reach $32,000.
It was sold by first-time vendors at Bendigo, East Mundalla stud, Tarin Rock, WA; and purchased by Rodger Mathews, Borambil Merino stud, Corowa, NSW.
The first-time buyer of an East Mundalla ram, said the equal-sale-topper had “massive presence”, and pure, soft, really smart wool on rich skin, while still having its lamb’s teeth.
“We’ve started a Poll stud recently (in 2014) and I think he will give us something special.
“He’ll develop and only get better and better as he grows.
“We’ve got thick woolled ewes and he’s oozing the qualities I think we need to match to our ewes.”
Ross Milne, Elders stud stock, said it was terrific to have two rams offered from the Gooding family’s recognised breeding program at an open auction on the other side of the country.
Armidale NSW-based stud Alfoxton sold the ram that had won reserve August shorn superfine Poll ram, for $30,000 to a syndicate of Tasmanian studs and a NSW commercial buyer.
Buying agent Andrew Calvert, Roberts, Tasmania, inspected the ram at Alfoxton three weeks ago and was impressed by its very sound structure,purity and large size for its quality of wool.
Mr Calvert said Mayfield Merino stud would have possession of the ram, and semen shares would go to Winton Merino stud, Trefusis Merino stud and Beaufront stud and Hall-Mark Orchards, at Wallendbeen NSW.
Vendor Chris Clonan, Alfoxton, said this ram, tag 23113, and the ram they sold in 2015 for $28,000 were both out of Alfoxton 10197, who was grand champion Poll Merino ewe and champion superfine ewe of ASWS 2012.
One of the sale’s auctioneers Andrew Sloan, Landmark, said the efforts to condense the judging timetable and persuade people to hold the Merino ram sale on Sunday had paid off.
“It was very successful with a big crows and a lot of new buyers,” Mr Sloan said.
“We saw New Zealand buyers and had rams from WA offered (for the first time in a few years).
“It was probably one of the best Bendigo sales there’s ever been.”
Fellow auctioneer Mr Milne agreed the atmosphere was great and said the 82pc clearance was fantastic, and possible thanks to support from stud and high-end commercial producers.
He said the result showed people had confidence in the wool industry.
“It’s been a stud sale for a long time, so if you’ve got a good ram, here’s the place to sell it,” Mr Sloan said.