Hannaton Merinos' sale of the century

Hannaton Merinos celebrates 100 years with strong ram sale

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Hannaton Merinos has celebrated its 100-year anniversary as a registered Merino stud with a sale that delighted principal Jonno Hicks.

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The Hicks family celebrated Hannaton Merinos' 100-year anniversary as a registered stud in style on Monday with a ram sale that delighted principal Jonno Hicks and his parents, Peter and Sally.

"This was our most even line of rams ever and it showed in the depth of the buying," Mr Hicks said.

"We're celebrating 100 years of being a registered Merino stud this year and some clients have been coming 40 and 50 years consecutively.

"Rams are all run in the paddocks in commercial conditions and buyers know they perform when they get them home so our return buys were really strong once again, which was a great result for us."

The 112 rams sold averaged $2276 a head and the top-priced ram went to Glenera Pastoral for $4500.

Glenera Pastoral's Sam Eagle said half of his farm's rams had been purchased from Hannaton this year.

"We've been buying from Hannaton for at least 10 years and the top ram had very good ASBVs," Mr Eagle said.

"We're chasing body and fat for a dual-purpose Merino.

"The wool market is too fickle, so you need a sheep that has as much value in the body."

The top-priced ram had a greasy fleece weight of 28.2, -1.1 micron fibre diameter, a yearling weight of +8.2 and eye muscle depth of +1.2 and a Merino production index of 165.

The results reflected Hannaton's long-term approach to performance measurement.

"We collect a lot of data on the actual genetic performance in the paddock," Mr Hicks said.

"In the last few years, we've been focusing more on our figures, trying to maintain our impressive wool cut while lifting eye muscle, fat and post-weaning weights, for a more balanced sheep and it seems to be really paying off."

Mr Hicks said Hannaton's trademark was "wool quality and cut".

"We measure really well for fleece weight," he said.

"The average ram across the sale was in the top 10 per cent for Merino ASBVs on yearling clean fleece weight.

"Our sheep are really heavy cutting, they're very productive in the paddock.

"It's still quality wool - a lot of our sheep go to high rainfall areas to the south of us and they really have to stand up to the weather."

For the fifteenth year in a row, the Hicks family donated the proceeds of one of the rams to charity.

The randomly selected ram turned out to be the second-highest seller, raising $4250 for MND Victoria.

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