Nearly 100 registered bidders from across Australia converged on the 2017 Classings Classic ram sale at the Murray Bridge, South Australia, last week.
Rams sold to buyers from SA, NSW, Victoria and even Western Australia.
Multiple buyers at the sale included DR&JA Trethewey, Parndana, SA, with three rams averaging $2917 and Marrawarra Partners, Nyngan, NSW, with two rams at $12,000 and $2000.
A couple of studs set new records with Kevin Hynam, Hynam Poll, Longwood, selling a 17.5M ram to Brenton and Jane Smith, Calcookara, Cowell, for $12,000.
Late in the sale, Keith and Judy Paech, Lucernbrae, Callington, SA, were thrilled to receive $7000 for a son of Gunallo 55 to Sohnic Merinos, Campbells Bridge.
Sale organiser Bill Walker described it as the “best lineup” in the sale’s history, with less numbers this year but a tighter selection on rams with good constitution and exceptional wools.
He said the stud activity was very good, but the gap in the market was the top-end commerical support.
“With the amount of money outlaid at on-property sales, people had run out of dough, although those that bought an extra one or two added to the support,” he said.
Mr Walker said there was confidence among commercial breeders with strong returns for meat and wool.
“I am getting two to three phone calls a week with people just wanting to talk about their results,” he said.
“The wool market is good, but when they get their wool cheque, they realise just how good it is.”
Mr Walker said breeders were enjoying higher fertility with the type of sheep being bred by their vendors.
“They are achieving weaning percentages of 110 per cent to 115pc, where once they would be 90-95pc or 100pc in a good year,” he said.
Elders and Landmark conducted the sale, with Tony Wetherall and Gordon Wood the auctioneers.
“It was pleasing that stud buyers from most states were showing the confidence and willingness to get the best genetics for their own stud’s improvement,” Mr Wetherall said.