Market conditions have not looked so bright for sheep and wool producers for quite some time and all predictions suggest it isn’t going to change in the short term allowing Merino breeders to replenish their ram teams with fresh genetics.
This certainly was the case at the 40th Annual Willandra on property ram sale held at Jerilderie last Wednesday.
The Wells and Heath families were rewarded for their efforts during a tough season in the Riverina with another successful sale.
Offering 100 stud and specially selected Merino and Poll Merino rams followed by 45 selected rams sold in pens of three.
In the breakdown 99 stud and specially selected rams sold with 48 Poll Merino rams selling to a top of $10,000 for a $3058 average.
While 51 Merino rams averaged $2478 and sold to a top of $7000.
Of the pens of three 42 Merino and Poll Merino rams sold for a $1404 average.
It was a Poll Merino ram that made the top money of $10,000 having previously won champion march shorn fine wool poll merino ram and reserve champion march shorn poll merino ram at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show held in July in Bendigo.
Weighing in at 114 kilograms and measuring 17.6 in the micron he was purchased by Elders’ Clyde McKenzie on account of Roger Glover, Mallibee Merino and Poll Merino Stud, Wannamal, Western Australia.
Local producer George Simpson, Yooroobla, Jerilderie, made sure the Merino’s were not left behind paying $7000 for his pick of the Merino offering.
Having been on Willandra blood since 1994 Mr Simpson describes his operation as a Willandra daughter stud committed to breeding Merino’s stating that in his opinion the Polls are catching up but have not surpassed the Merino’s.
Having selected the top price Merino ram as a good general purpose sire with good wool and good skin Mr Simpson was impressed by his structure and bone adding that the ram is well put together.
Mr Simpson also purchased a second Merino ram.
Other stud purchases included two Poll rams selected by Kevin Crook of Tamaleuca Merino and Poll Merino Stud, Ouyen, Victoria, including the $8000 second top price.
Mr Crook has been purchasing Willandra rams for 25 years and continues to as the sheep suit his environment.
Mr Crook selected the ram for his magnificent wool, good skin, structure, nourishment and long staple.
Leading the volume buyers was Merri Merri Pty Ltd, Emby, Gulargambone, who purchased 20 Poll Merino rams for an average price of $1380 paying to a top of $3250 on two occasions.
Brewarrana Holdings, Nathalia, Victoria, bought well securing 19 rams for an average price of $1355 paying to a top of $2250.
Paying to a top of $4000 Sleigh Pastoral Company, Kooringal, Jerilderie, loaded 13 rams for a $2800 average.
The Henwood family, Howlong, Carathool, also purchased 13 rams paying to a top of $3500 on two occasions for a $2246 average.
Whilst MJ & NM Hicks, Springfield, Cootamundra averaged $2034 for their 13 paying to a top of $3500.
Not far behind John Caldwell, Milong, Young, paid to a top of $3750 averaging $2740 for his 10 rams.
While TW Lord & Sons, Homeview, Junee, averaged $2833 for their nine.
Willandra principal Ross Wells said the family was very pleased with the result.
“It was a very strong sale considering we kept a large number of really top rams this year for use within the stud.
“The on property ram selling season has been a reflection of the great returns producers have been receiving for their wool” Mr Wells said.
The auction was conducted by Elders and Landmark with Ron Rutledge, Peter Godbolt, and Nick Gray the auctioneers.