Waratah ram goes west in nostalgic sale

Waratah rams hit $15,000 as stud announces plans to disperse

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The stud recorded a total clearance with its best average to date.

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HEADING WEST: The top-priced ram, Lot 16 Waratah 200661, with Waratah White Suffolk stud principals Steve and Debbie Milne and auctioneer Bernie Grant, LMB Livestock and Land (middle).

HEADING WEST: The top-priced ram, Lot 16 Waratah 200661, with Waratah White Suffolk stud principals Steve and Debbie Milne and auctioneer Bernie Grant, LMB Livestock and Land (middle).

*Total clearance of 81 White Suffolk rams to $15,000, av $2622

A TOP-PRICED White Suffolk ram is destined for South Australia after a Branxholme stud recorded its best on-property sale result on Monday.

Waratah White Suffolks recorded a total clearance of its draft of 81 rams to a top price of $15,000 and an average of $2622.

Waratah stud principals Steve and Debbie Milne said it was their highest average to date and best on-property top-price since starting the stud.

"It was well above expectations with fantastic support from our repeat buyers and some new clients as well," Mrs Milne said.

"People are looking for top Lambplan figures and the sheep to match and they are things we've been concentrating on for our breeding objectives."

The top-priced ram, Lot 16 Waratah 200661, was bought by repeat buyer Lachy Day, Days Whiteface, Bordertown, SA.

"He was top in Lambplan figures with a TCP Index of 162 and he was really good for eating quality too with his LEQ Index at 163," Mrs Milne said.

"He had really high growth with a weaning weight of 12.1 kilograms and an eye muscle of 2.9 with positive fat so he is a very balanced ram backed up with good figures."

Mr Day said he bought the ram sight unseen but was drawn to the future sire due to his figures, online video and an independent assessment by Elders stud stock manager Ross Milne.

"I bought a ram from Waratah a couple of years ago and it did a good job so that gave me a bit of confidence," Mr Day said.

"I'm trying to keep our birth weights moderate with plenty of growth and carcase and with some focus on eating quality and this ram will fit in well with our program."

Semen from the ram will be collected and marketed before it is joined to a flock of 350 White Suffolk ewes in January.

The top-priced ram was one of three rams bought online via AuctionsPlus, with the remaining two purchased by a commercial client in NSW.

The impressive result for Waratah came as the Milnes announced they would disperse their White Suffolk flock next year to focus on their sheep genetics consultancy business, Richmond Hill Agribusiness.

Mrs Milne said a dispersal sale would be held in April 2022 after the ewes were joined, while a final ram sale would be held in October 2022.

The sale topper was not the only ram to head west, with another ram destined for the far west of the country after going under the hammer for $10,500, bought by Headingham White Suffolk stud in Western Australia.

Two other stud rams were also bought by Andrew Weidemann, Sunnydale White Suffolks, Rupanyup, to a top price of $5200.

Another stud ram, Lot 1, went west to Paxton stud, Western Flat, SA.

Among the volume buyers was Philip and Maz Gough, Salamanca Pastoral Trading, Hotspur, who bought 12 rams to a top price of $3600 and an average of $3000.

The Goughs have bought rams from the stud since day one, more than 25 years ago.

"We certainly need more people in the industry like Milnes, they're very good at what they do," Mr Gough said.

"The rams are in the top 1 per cent for weaning and post weaning weight, they have moderate birth weights and are in the top 15pc for eye muscle depth.

"We'll join them at the end of March and April to Coopworth/Corriedale-cross ewes to lamb in late August and September."

The Macgugan family of Hamilton, trading as Kanawalla, bought 10 rams to a top price of $3000 to average $2380.

Meanwhile, John and Jo Forsyth, Cavendish, bought eight rams to a top price of $2800 to average $2262.

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