*43 of 50 rams sold to $4750, av $2447
STRONG competition for rams at the North East Merino ram sale resulted in a top price of $4750.
Local studs presented 50 quality rams for sale at the Benalla Showgrounds.
Sale president Kevin Hynam said prior to the sale, vendors were concerned about possible demand with some regions experiencing tight seasons, however 49 registered buyers created strong competition.
"There was good competition with a number of new buyers operating," Mr Hynam said.
The top price was for a Toland ram purchased by Lyndon and Sharon Kubeil, Violet Town, for $4750.
The ram, with a 17-micron fleece, had figures of 2.4 standard deviation (SD), a 14.1 co-efficient of variation (CV) and a comfort factor of 99.7 per cent (CF).
Mr Kubiel was looking for moderate to early maturity and was impressed by the ram's carcase quality having growth, fat and muscle while maintaining good wool type.
The Kubiels have been purchasing rams from Toland for 20 years, and also purchased a second Toland ram for $4500.
Toland Merino stud, Violet Town, won the pre-sale award for champion all-purpose ram, and sold eight rams to average $2968.
"It was a very good sale that was up on last year's result with strong competition for a good line-up of rams," Toland stud co-principal Simon Riddle said.
Bindawarra stud offered and sold six rams to a top price of $4000, to average $2583.
Champion wool ram was awarded to Alan and Prue Harris, Koole Vale, Costerfield, who sold five rams to $3000, average $1833.
Hynam sold 10 rams to $4000, to average $2225.
Mr Hynam was happy to sell to new clients.
The McKenzie family, Kilfeera Park, averaged $2071 for seven rams to a top price of $3250 to McCulloch Pty Ltd, Deniliquin, NSW.
Pendarra, Benambra, paid $3250 for Bennmann stud's top-priced ram.
Bennmann sold all eight rams to $3250 (twice), averaging $2281.
Pre-sale data collected on sale rams was used to assess the 50 rams offered.
In an effort to promote the all-purpose attributes of the Merino rams, visual and objective assessment of wool, meat and reproductive traits were used to identify rams with superior qualities.
Points were awarded out of 25 for objective carcase and wool characteristics as well as visual carcase and wool traits focusing on structure and quality to achieve a total score out of 100.
Toland Poll Merino stud, Violet Town, was awarded the Elders Shield for champion all-purpose ram, with Lot 13 receiving 78.6 points.
Reserve champion all-purpose ram went to Steve and Lisa Harrison's Bindawarrra stud, Giffard, with Lot 2 receiving 78.1 points.
The award for the sale ram with the highest points scored for wool, went to Koole Vale stud, Costerfield.
The ram had a 19.9 micron fleece, a standard deviation of 2.9, co-efficient of variation of 14.6 and a comfort factor of 99.7pc.
The ram sold later to GL Tuohey, Toolleen.
Local north-east producer Michael Downie, Euroa, was the largest buyer at the sale.
The breeder took home three rams from the Bindawarra and Kilfeera Park studs.
Tim Cavill, representing Fox Pastoral, Merton, was one of 12 buyers to buy two rams; both rams came from Toland and topped at $3750.
Fox Pastoral had been using Toland genetics for 10 years.
Mr Cavill said he was attracted to the rams' dual purpose attributes.
He said it was good to see the ASBVs being supported as the figures were providing more accurate information to buyers.
Anvil Angus, Acheron, used a $400 prize to put towards two rams from Hynam.