*168 of 188 White Suffolk, Suffolk and Ultra Whites rams sold to $6500, av $1600
*29 of 37 White Suffolk and Suffolk ewes sold to $2300, av $962
AN IMPROVED season at Woomelang in the Mallee allowed Anden White Suffolks and Ultra Whites and Kerangie Suffolk stud to present a strong catalogue of rams and ewes at its annual sale last Thursday.
Resilient local commercial lamb producers were as strong as ever, providing good competition for the drafts of 80 White Suffolk rams, 13 Suffolks and 54 Ultra Whites, resulting in improved sale numbers and overall averages.
The stud sold 197 of the 225 head offered, recording an 88 per cent clearance rate and averaging $1506.
However, it was the top-end draft of 21 White Suffolk stud rams that provided the sale's highest prices, as well as the biggest disappointments.
This draft topped at $6500 and averaged $2548; $597 down in average and $3000 in top price even on last year's tough sale.
Ten of the draft ended up being purchased by commercial prime lamb producers.
Stud principal Andrew Donnan said it had nothing to do with quality, as the draft was arguably their best on record for depth and presentation compared to the 24 previous annual sales.
The sale also included the Supreme White Suffolk exhibit from the recent Adelaide Royal Show.
With a carcase plus index of 205.1, that Adelaide Supreme, Anden 180179 Twin was the seventh ram offered in the draft and was snapped up by return buyer Nick Cheetham, Cheetara stud, Narembeen, Western Australia for $6000.
Although it was the second ram into the ring, Anden 180001 that took the top-price honours, purchased by Nathan Ditchburn, Golden Hill stud, Kukerin, WA for $6500.
Sired by Anden 170045, the powerful and very long ram screamed meat production as he commanded the ring and was supported by outstanding Lambplan figures.
These included 12.05 for weaning weight, 18.37 for post weaning weight, 2.55 for eye muscle depth, a carcase plus index of 221.63 and 146.08 on the new total carcase production index.
The 80 rams were snapped up by 23 individual buyers operating at a $1575 average, $295 higher than last year.
Repeat buyers, Wirrinourt Pastoral Co led the way in both volume and price.
After snapping up two of the stud draft at $2000 each, they bought another 12 of in the flock ram draft, again paying to $2000 twice, and averaging $1758 for those dozen.
The Rae family, Warrawee Pastoral were again prominent, selecting nine Ultra Whites to $1800 and at an average of $1489, after purchasing 17 last year.
Saxilby Park Pastoral bought 14 rams, paying to $1800 and averaging $1029 to be the biggest volume buyer this year and adding to the dozen they purchased last year.
The top price of $3200 was paid twice, firstly by Khan White Dorpers, Goodooga, NSW and Bronte Mawson, Australis White Dorpers, Nairne, South Australia.
The 15 Kerangie Suffolk rams sold well, with 13 clearing to a top of $3500 and averaging $1650.
The top-priced ram went to the Funke family, Bundara Downs, Bordertown.
Mr Donnan said he was pleased with the strength of support from buyers, especially from the stud's many long and loyal commercial lamb producer clients.