*85 of 90 rams sold to $12,000, av $1950.
South Australian buyers took pride of place as top price bidders at this year's Sohnic Merinos ram sale on Friday.
The Marnoo-based Sohnic stud operated by Scott Nicholson and Greg Hose, upped the ante this year offering 90 rams, an increase of 18 on 2018.
They were rewarded for presenting an even line of rams throughout with a clearance of 94 per cent at an average of $1950.
The top price of $12,000 was bid by Roger Hunt of RK & TS Hunt, Chain Pump, Bordertown, South Australia, for lot eight of the catalogue.
The 19.4 micron ram sired by Sohnic 210 weighed 101.5 at scanning and had a co efficient of variation of 18, a standard deviation of 3.5 and eye muscle depth of 37 millimetres.
Buyer Roger Hunt said he had been impressed with the Sohnic sheep buying five rams in 2018 and three in 2017.
"This ram has nice white, sharp crimp that will sharpen up our wool," he said.
Repeat buyer Bill Walker, Classings, SA, paid $7000 for lot four on behalf of the Prime family, Nantoura Poll Merino stud, Wharminda, SA.
The 19.5 micron ram had figures of 14.9 CV, 3 SD and EMD of 40.
Nantoura paid the top price in 2018 and has been purchasing at Sohnic for the past five years.
"This ram has bold crimp, silky skin and the staple length the clients are looking for," Mr Walker said.
"The clients shear every six months so they want staple length and structure.
"These sheep also meet the needs for a non mulesed with a plain breech."
While SA buyers dominated the top-end prices, a range of bidders from across western Victoria and the NSW Riverina picked up the bulk of the lots.
Major buyers included Bretton Estates, Campbells Bridge, which purchased 10 rams to a top of $3000.
T & S Brady, Great Western, bought three rams paying to $3000 twice.
NSW-based Hazelwood Nominees, Balranald, was an active buyer, putting together 12 rams for between $1000 and $1250.
Graeme and Shane Jardine, Glenyuile, Carisbrook, bought five rams to a top of $1750.
Other multiple buyers included DA & RE Hateley, Grass Flat, took home four rams to $2750 while AL & CJ Coombes, Fentons Creek, also bought four rams to $2000.
Co-principal Scott Nicholson said they "couldn't be happier" with the clearance rate and price range.
"We set out to keep them affordable to everyone," he said.
"We've got a lot of commercial clients that have a budget and that $2000 average is a great area to be in.
"We have a lot of clients that have been with us every year and I don't want to lose them for a price point."
Mr Nicholson said they had focused on consistency since "day dot" from the Gowandale foundation with an infusion of SA genetics.
He said he had taken advice from people like Bill Walker and Glendon Hancock.
"We sold a ram at Murray Bridge this year for $30,000 which was a proud moment," Mr Nicholson said.
"That success hasn't been without struggles and we've worked our way from the bottom pen.
"This year, we were forward of half way.
"The wool type - white, crimpy and long - is popular."