Despite seasonal challenges affecting several of their clients, Bruce, Gaye, Robert and Courtney Pocock managed to lift the top and average prices at their 33rd Lampata Poll Merino ram sale at Lameroo on Tuesday.
Fifty of the 59 rams offered found homes, with the sale peaking at $3500 - $400 more than last year - and averaging $1418, a $49 jump.
The only downside was six less rams cleared due to some longer-term clients unable to operate this year.
The Pococks also faced challenging conditions in the first half of the year, and had been containment feeding all Lampata stock - including the sale rams until just four weeks ago.
Ben Hunt, Nalang Farms, Bordertown, regularly competes at the top end of the sale, and attributes Lampata rams with having improved his flock's productivity and productivity.
This year, he bought three top-end sires averaging $2333, including the $3500 top price ram, Lampata 18289Twin.
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This big-bodied and functional ram, with 20.9 micron and 99.9 per cent comfort factor wool, had a clean fleece weight percentage ranking of 134.6, the third-highest in the catalogue, the second-highest bodyweight index of 119 and the highest percentage index for both fat - 128.6pc - and eye muscle - 116.8pc.
Its Lampata index was the second-highest at 117.2, just 0.1 behind L18368Twin, also bought by Mr Hunt for $1500.
He said using the performance figures and raw data, he placed selection emphasis on rams that would produce lambs with rapid growth and good carcase yield, along with high fertility and easy-care body shape.
Ray and David Elleway again made the long drive from Kielpa on the Eyre Peninsula, taking home six rams to the sale's second-highest price of $3100, averaging $2017.
"We are running 1000 ewes at present, having lightened off our breeding numbers a bit to enable them to be carried through a season that is again showing more signs of disappointment than promise," Ray said.
"These genetics have never let us down yet; they give us the wool cut and fast growth to enable us to get our lambs off early and we're already fielding enquiries for this year's wether lambs."
Tom Evans, Loxton, also bought six rams, but was more reserved in his bidding due to the marginal season in his area, paying $800 each for his half dozen.
Other prominent buyers amongst the 17 successful bidders included Daryl Traeger, Lameroo, with four to $1700, averaging $1275; Adam Flavel, Jax Joynt, Meribah, four to $2000, averaging $1250; and David and Paul Wallis, Serviceton, Vic, four to $1500, averaging $1050.
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Robert Pocock said the family was happy with the result, especially considering the seasonal issues some clients were facing.
"It was very hard work getting the rams up in a season that went from atrocious before June to now being very good, but like many areas we are in need of another good rain very soon, as we all know it can go downhill again rapidly," Bruce Pocock added.
A further 30 rams were offered in a mini auction, with one sold.
The sale was conducted by Elders Lameroo, with Steve Doecke as auctioneer.
"It was a terrific line-up and although they were not pumped up in the feedlot, that exercise actually enabled the rams to show more expression of the well-embedded genetic qualities for meat and wool production; the key selection points behind over six decades of paddock performance selection undertaken by the Pococks," Mr Doecke said.
"They showed extra muscling and whiter, longer-stapled wools as a result."
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