Offered 222 300
Sold 172 224
Top $2900 $3300
Av $1047 $1118
While fewer clients than usual were present at Illoura's on-property White Suffolk ram sale at Moorlands on Thursday last week, all but one of the 45 registered buyers made purchases, bidding well for a quality line up of rams.
A total of 222 rams were offered, with 172 selling to $2900, averaging $1047.
Landmark's Richard Miller, who shared auctioneering duties alongside Elders' Tom Penna, said the rams on offer were "phenomenal", with their physical appearance matching the figures.
"Credit to (stud principals Allan and Sue Piggott) on one of the pick line ups of rams in SA," he said.
"We saw the quality all the way through the sale, it did not stop, from lot 1 right through to the end, they were all as even as you could find.
"The Lambplan figures and TCP indexes on these rams are as good as you'll see. 95 per cent of the illoura rams were better than average for the TCP index, and 75pc were in the top 20pc for early growth."
Mr Miller said there was "heat at the top end", with fierce competition around the $2000 mark and above.
Lot 5, an April 2018-drop ram with post-weaning values of 17.4 weight, -0.7 fat and 2.2 eye muscle depth, with a Carcase Plus index of 214, took top price honours, selling at $2900 to Gerald Leach, Walpeup, Vic.
Mr Leach has bought from Illoura for about three decades, liking the growth of the rams, and the stud's use of objective measurements.
"We particularly look for weaning weight, that's really important to us because that's the stage where we'd want to sell the progeny," he said.
Lamb prices are very strong at the moment, so it's good to see lamb producers pay breeders for good genetics.
Mr Leach bought three other rams at $1700, $1800 and $2000, and will join them to Gum Hill-blood Merino ewes for prime lamb production.
West Creek, Langhorne Creek, was the sale's volume buyer, putting together 10 rams to $900, averaging $790, while RN&LA Bald and Sons, Ettrick, bought 8 to $1500, averaging $1138.
Redbanks Pastoral Co, KI, bought 7 to $2000, averaging $1429, and IJ Frost, Ki Ki, bought 6 to $1000 averaging $817.
Three other clients bought six rams each, including Hansen Farms, Coomandook, which averaged $625 and topped at $700, Booderoo Partners, Coomandook, topping at $1400 and averaging $1150, and DKT Pastoral, Cambrai, who bought to $1500, averaging $1075.
Illoura stud principal Allan Piggott said he was not surprised with result, which he said reflected the tough season.
"We knew before the sale started that we didn't have enough buyers," he said.
"We've had over 70 buyers in the past, when we were selling 300 we thought 70 was a big number, today we were hoping for 50 to 55 buyers.
"There's just not the ewe numbers out there."
Despite the lack of buyers, Mr Piggott still described the sale as "solid", and was pleased with the bidding competition.
"Lamb prices are very strong at the moment, so it's good to see lamb producers pay breeders for good genetics," he said.
"The rams had the weight despite the season, which is a testament to their hardiness."
Eight more rams sold after the sale through private selection.
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