*84 of 140 Merino rams sold to $4300, av $1683
DUAL-PURPOSE rams bred to withstand the commercial pressures of running in a high rainfall environment were in strong demand during Kurra-Wirra Merino's 23rd annual ram sale.
The Culla stud sold 84 of 140 rams on offer earlier this month, with 14 rams selling to or above $3000.
Stud co-principal Anthony Close said the rams were seven kilograms heavier than last year's draft, with rams weighing an average of 87kg.
"The wool on the rams was also long, free-growing white wool that has shown [it] can stand up to the high rainfall conditions we live in," Mr Close said.
Davis Partners, Dergholm, purchased the top-priced ram, Lot 11 190051, for $4300, along with three other rams to average $3375.
The top ram was the son of Anderson 170660 which had the full package of "elite wool quality, perfect structure and top ASBVs to back it up", Mr Close said.
The ram had a post weaning weight of 6.6, a yearling weight of 7.6, a yearling fibre diameter of -1.1, a yearling clean fleece weight of 22.8, a yearling staple length of 16.3 and a yearling fat depth of 0.7.
"This combination of data is as good as anywhere around but on top of that is the high-quality Kurra-Wirra wools," Mr Close said.
Clarkes Lake Trading, Apsley, was the largest volume buyer, selecting 28 rams to average $1428.
It was the first time the sale was completely integrated via AuctionsPlus with a majority of the buyers located in the Western District, Wimmera, Greater Geelong region and NSW.
Mr Close said it had been the best grass growing season he had ever witnessed.
"The only small down was the clearance rate being down slightly lower than last year," he said.
"With the current wool prices and local flocks being full, some people have flexed 10 to 15 per cent of their flocks to a terminal sire which has been a common trend across Victoria.
"We are actually doing the opposite and putting more Merino rams out as we are bullish on the wool price and have a lot more flexibility with Merino rams, while also cashing in on the strong surplus stock sale from the rebuild that is happening across Australia."
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