*78 of 100 rams sold to $11,000, av $2410
A WESTERN Victorian Merino stud has overcome a challenging year to record a strong result at its annual on-property ram sale.
Stud Park South stud principal Pat Millear, Willaura, said a top price of $11,000 and a similar average to last year was very pleasing.
"All the buyers got what they wanted, they got the rams of their choice and we will probably sell a few afterwards," Mr Millear said.
"The season has been against us, like every livestock producer, it's been so wet and we haven't had a hot summer for years now.
"That's just crucial to the livestock industry to clean up parasites and worms and it looks like we are not going to get another one this year."
He said it made it harder to get sheep to thrive, but this year's drop had come up "extremely well" considering the season.
"We haven't done much differently, we try to keep them uncomplicated and the meat and wool on them," he said.
Last year, Stud Park South sold its top-priced ram for $7500, averaging $2200.
Mr Millear told the buying gallery that Stud Park South was not trying to reinvent the Merino breed, but rather produce animals that "survived and thrived in this environment".
"The whiteness of these wools is a pretty embedded trait right now, and we continue to push that as much as we can," he said.
The top-selling ram, Lot 11, was a 122-kilogram, 17-month-old Poll Merino.
He was sired by East Mount Ada, and had a 19.8-micron fleece.
The ram had a standard deviation of 2.8, a coefficient of variation of 14.1 and a comfort factor of 99.7 per cent.
His eye muscle depth was 40 millimetres and he had a fat measurement of 9mm.
The buyer of the top-priced ram James Luckock, Dundonnell, said he and partner Kate bred their own stud and flock rams, so they looked for the top of the Stud Park South draft to purchase.
Mr Luckock said they had been on Stud Park South genetics for some years.
"We don't sell rams, we have been very happy with the bone, growth and wool cut per head we've been getting from the South Park South sheep," he said.
"The rams help keep the crimp in our wool."
Among the volume buyers were Nick Kelson and Rich Avon who bought 11 rams each.
Lot 56A, a replacement ram, sold for $8000.