Offered 140 140
Sold 131 132
Top $6400 $5400
Av $2030 $2398
A tri-state bidding battle erupted for long stapled rams with soft handling wools ensuring Kelvale Poll Merino stud, Keith, sold more rams at its annual on-property sale than in any previous year, including the tally in the mini auction.
The $2030 average for the 131 May-June 2018 drop rams which Stephen and Peta Kellock sold in the main auction was back nearly $370 on last year's record but close to matching the 2017 result.
Another 29 rams sold in the mini auction for a $614 average, ensuring 160 rams sold for the day.
The first four rams, which have been displayed at the numerous field days this season, set a red hot pace, including lot 3 which made the $6200 second highest price of the sale.
The ram was knocked down to Greenwood Park, Auburn, one of four they bought in the top end of the catalogue.
But it was at lot 23, Kelvale 181025, a trait leader on Merino Select for staple length at 17.7 which made the $6400 top price.
Bids came thick and fast for the 19.1 micron son of Kelvale 1063, but the successful buyer was the Smart Group, Akeringa, Keith and their Australian Wool Network representative Peter Johnson was impressed by the "scale and staple length" of the ram.
The sale topper had a greasy fleece weight of 129 per cent and a staple length of 75mm when measured in mid July with less than five months growth.
The Smarts who have been buying for four years put together six rams for a $3700 average.
The consistent offering ensured there were plenty of opportunities further in the sale for buyers to secure numbers without breaking the budget.
Kangaringa Station, Keith, secured 13 rams to $1600 for a $985 average, plus another seven from the mini auction.
Eyre Peninsula buyers again flew in for the occasion including AT&KM Watson, Wirrulla, who took home 12 rams to $1600 averaging $1000.
GH Phillips & Son, Minnipa, also bought 12 for a $1700 average, including the final lot for $700, plus another five at great value in the mini auction.
Many rams also went into higher rainfall areas including eight to two Tas buyers, Woodrising Farm, Cressy and Formosa Estate, also at Cressy.
Stud principal Stephen Kellock was pleased to see so many repeat clients buying up as well as attracting 11 new clients.
"It was quite hot to start with and I wondered where it was headed but I knew people didn't want the numbers so I was expecting a bit of a drop off," he said.
"Many of the guys that normally want six or eight were only looking for two or three."
Mr Kellock said the offering was the most consistent line-up with a "balance" of traits and the rams were breeding on for their clients.
"The guys that were a bit patient knew they were going to get them down the line and they weren't that far behind the front ones," he said
Landmark auctioneer Leo Redden said the phenotype of Kelvale stud's ram sale offering closely matched the high ranking figures.
He had high praise for the rapid progression of the stud in its wool and more recently carcase traits which he says shone out in the SA Merino Sire Evaluation trial at Keyneton Station where one of their sires, Kelvale 170088 excelled.
"Almost 100 per cent of their clients are shearing twice a year so they are pushing staple length and yearling clean fleece weight but also getting those fat, eye muscle figures up," Mr Redden said.
"When the package (of wool and meat) came together there was a big spike in the sale. People have got a lot of objective measurement to use here at Kelvale which is giving discerning buyers the confidence to go after these rams."
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