*39 of 69 Corriedale rams sold to $4200, av $1221
A Victorian prime lamb operation purchased the top-priced ram at Blackwood Corriedale's annual ram sale in Tasmania yesterday.
The stud sold 39 of 69 Corriedale rams to a top of $4200, averaging $1221, as buyers flocked from Victoria, NSW and South Australia to get their hands on the Tasmanian genetics.
Blackwood Corriedales stud principals Peter and Claire Blackwood said performance rams were sought after by 15 buyers during the sale.
"The good performing sheep sold well ... so buyers were chasing a type of sheep and used their figures to guide them," Mr Blackwood said.
"Clients were selective on the day and if they saw something they liked, they were active on it and there were multiple people on those sheep."
The Evandale stud principals were pleased with the result despite the lower-than-average clearance rate.
"I guess we didn't have the volume buyers who have topped up on sheep in previous years," Mr Blackwood said.
"The sheep were quality right through the catalouge and I was very happy with how they presented."
Mr Blackwood said an average spring contributed to a lower demand for rams this season given some producers were back in ewe numbers.
"However, we're getting a type of sheep our clients are wanting; they're well-shaped, mid-micron rams and that's what our clients are asking for and we're improving each year with the quality of the rams," he said.
"The people who travelled from the mainland were definitely looking at Tasmania for their source of Corriedales because they believe our type of ram will suit their operation."
Garvald Vale owner Gordon Last, Hamitlon, purchased the top-priced ram for $4200.
"We want positive fat growth and then we looked for the wool type we were after so we tried to find a ram under 25 micron," Mr Last said.
"We bought five from Blackwood and another nine from Quamby Plains so we were very pleased with the results."
Mr Last purchased 15 rams from Tasmania last year and said he was pleased with the results.
"Now we've got the progeny on the ground, we're happy with them and that's why we returned to buy a heap more," he said.
"Our plan is over the next two of three years to get half of our ewe base, which are Merino/White Suffolk-cross, joined to these Corriedales with the top-priced ram to be joined from mid-January."
Roberts Livestock stud stock manager Jock Gibson said the sale was strong on the top-end.
"It was tough going on the bottom end but I thought we had a very good line up of rams," he said.
"We had the strongest competition and the most number of mainlanders we've ever had ... we were just lacking a few of the local fellas we've had in other sales."