*41 of 42 rams sold to $2000, av $983
A focus on performance recording with a New Zealand twist is winning sheep producer support for south-west Victorian Corriedale breeders Mike Deppeler and Judith Houghton.
Their Croydon stud has maintained its standing as the flock with the highest on-property sale average and clearance rate among its Victorian peers, selling 41 of 42 rams last Friday.
Croydon is the only Australian Corriedale stud to record its sheep through New Zealand's sheep industry performance recording and genetic evaluation database, Sheep Improvement Ltd or SIL.
Mr Deppeler said the database and his use of imported high-ranking sires helped him to improve the Croydon sheep by winning new clients across the Western District and into South Australia.
"The results ever since we've had an on-property sale here, have been the most successful on-property sale in Victoria," he said.
At the stud's sale last week, a range of sheep producers bought Corriedale rams, to go over Corriedales and composite flocks to improve wool quality while retaining carcase traits.
"It's costing a lot of composite flocks to shear their sheep because they are not getting enough for their wool, because they are over 30 micron and they are not cutting any weight," he said.
Paschendale prime lamb producer Alan Dyke paid $2000 for lot 10 in the sale, a 23.2 micron August shorn rising one year-old ram with high weaning weight, eight month liveweight and lambs born figures, which was also ranked sixth among his peers on the SIL mid-micron production index.
The sire of the ram, Croydon 167, is a twin that ranks number 26 in SIL's top 100 Corriedale or Goldmark rams in New Zealand and Australia.
Croydon 167 ranks ninth on weaning weight, 20th on liveweight at eight months and 23rd for clean fleece weight.
"He is actually pretty balanced and positive in his figures," Mr Deppeler said.
It was the first time the sire's progeny were represented in a Croydon sale and they averaged $1057, well above the top-performing sire, Croydon 24, a grandson of an imported Strathblane ram, whose 17 sale rams averaged $1000.
Mr Dyke also bought five other rams and regretted being losing bidder on the second top priced ram, lot 14, a 24.4 micron ram bought by Minhamite producer Phil Doherty for $1900.
"I go for frame, micron and wool - micron and type," Mr Dyke said.
His family has bred Corriedales for at least 50 years, through some lean times, but Mr Dyke said Corriedale wool prices have improved.
He has also joined Border Leicesters to some ewes to produce a prime lamb mother.
Other Corriedale rams buyers were Neville Richardson, Hawkesdale, who paid $1600 for lot three.
Composite flock owners who bought rams included Scott Bell from Woolsthorpe, Robert Mann from Caramut and Adrian McKinnon from Mt Gambier who bought 14 rams.
Croydon also sold 18 of 18 Suffolk rams offered in the sale, for an average of $722 and a top price of $1000 twice.
The two top-priced rams were bought by repeat buyer Haven Park Enterprises at Wando Vale.
The volume buyer was Peter Small from Gritjurk, who bought eight rams.