DESPITE the challenging seasonal conditions in the Victorian Mallee, the Donnan family, Anden sheep studs, Woomelang, Vic, achieved a strong result at their 23rd annual sale on Thursday last week.
Across their three breeds – White Suffolk, Suffolk and Ultra White – they sold 185 rams and ewes in an 87 per cent clearance, reaching a top of $9500 and averaging $1414.
The sale attracted 54 registered bidders from four states, plus others connected through the AuctionsPlus network.
The $9500 top price was paid for Anden 170045, the first of 22 White Suffolk stud rams. Sired by Langley Heights 090160, the stylish late May-drop was supported by exceptional Lambplan figures, including 18.19 for post-weaning weight, -0.67 for fat and 1.06 eye muscle depth, culminating in a Carcase Plus index of 205.83. The successful bidders were Nick Cheetham, Cheetara stud, Narembeen, WA, and Brenton Fairclough, Stockdale stud, York, WA, in partnership.
Anden’s first son of their record-breaking sire ‘Cruiser’ 150277 – sold two years ago for $68,000 – was next to grace the sale ring. A170046 was used over many ewes in the stud as a ram lamb with its progeny showing exceptional promise. A PWWT figure of 16.22, 1.90 EMD and Carcase Plus index of 204.91 only added to its appeal. Paul and Peter Routley, Almondvale stud, Lockhart, NSW, secured the much-admired ram for $9000. They later added A170070Tw, a Farrer 150049 son with very similar figures, for $2000.
The draft of 22 – averaging 210.71 on the Carcase Plus index – all sold averaging $3145, with 18 going to stud buyers.
Several clients picked up two rams in this draft – Merran Park Pastoral, through BR&C, Swan Hill, Vic, paying $5500 and $2500; Weidemann Pastoral, Rupanyup, Vic, at $4000 and $2500; Elders Horsham a/c Hannaton at $3000 and $2500; and P&M Rentsch, through Elders Hamilton, VIc, at $3000 and $2000.
The highlight of the sale was the 81 strong White Suffolk flock ram draft. Twenty-three bidders were successful in buying from one to 11 rams each, topping at $2000 and averaging $1280. Against a downward trend, this was up $45 on last year.
P&J Harris, through DMD Nhill, VIc, paid the $2000 top price in this draft for a ram with a Carcase Plus index of 221.13. They finished with four rams averaging $1950.
The volume White Suffolk buyer was P&K Hartwich with 11 rams from $1000 to $1300, averaging $1145.
S&G Wilson, were strong bidders at the top end, talking nine rams to $1900 averaging $1522. Not far behind in numbers was Pira Farms, Pira, Vic, with eight rams averaging $1200.
A very impressive run of 60 Ultra Whites was also offered. Developed by the Donnans, these stabilised Dorper/Poll Dorset composites were first offered in 2016.
Greg Rae, Warrawee Pastoral, Kyalite, NSW, was the sale’s biggest volume buyer with 17 Ultra White rams, paying to the equal top price in the draft of $1800 and averaging $1429.
Paying to $1800 twice for 12 rams and averaging $1358 was Saxilby Park Pastoral Co, Kyalite.
Wirrinourt was also very prominent, with 11 to $1500 averaging $1118.
The Kerangie Suffolk rams met solid but restricted competition. P&A Bone paid the two top Suffolk ram prices of $1700 and $1500, while G&H McKenzie took three of the six rams to sell at auction to $1200.
It was a similar story with the stud ewe offerings. Seven of the nine Suffolk stud ewes and 21 of the 28 White Suffolk ewes found new homes, but at prices considerably lower than the past couple of years.
Elli McDonald, Hopea Suffolk and White Suffolk studs, Dadswell Bridge, Vic, bought two Suffolk ewes and then two White Suffolk ewes at averages of $850 and $1000 respectively.
David Pipkorn, Detpa Grove stud, Jeparit, Vic, paid the $1600 top White Suffolk ewe price, while Mr Cheetham bought five White Suffolks and two Suffolks, paying to $900 in both drafts.
Anden’s Joel Donnan was pleased with the sale result and client inquiry.
“It was a very good day right through in these conditions,” Mr Donnen said. “It was good to have clients asking our recommendations on the most suitable rams for what they are trying to do in their breeding programs.”
“When they are wanting to do better, we like to set them up with the right rams for the right job.”
The sale was conducted by Elders Wycheproof with Ross Milne and Aaron Zwar the auctioneers.