BIDDING at Mernowie Poll Merino stud's annual on-property auction at Marrabel on Friday went higher than the Rowett family's 31 previous sales.
In addition to setting a stud on-property auction record of $7800, Mernowie also improved its clearance rate, with 97 of 100 rams sold at an average of $1831.
The $7800 sale-topper was lot 1, weighing 107 kilograms with wool measurements of 19.1 micron, 3.4 standard deviation, 18 coefficient of variation and 99.8 per cent comfort factor.
This ram had impressive Australian Sheep Breeding Values of +6.9 yearling weight, +25.3 yearling clean fleece weight and 0.1 yearling eye muscle depth, and was snapped up by PJ&AM Rowett & Sons, Bordertown.
Buyer Kerry Rowett was not going to miss out on this top sire after operating strongly on the top lots at many previous sales.
Related reading:Bids fly to $3100 high at Collinsville
"The ram appealed for its width, depth and overall length of body," Kerry said. "(It's) a real multi-purpose sheep with a big barrel, big carcase and good wool."
Kerry has been buying from Mernowie for 19 years, and also bought lot 19 for $4800. It had wool measurments of 18.6M, 3.1SD, 16.4CV and 99.8CF, and ASBVs of 9.5YWT, 25.5YCFW, 1.7YEMD and 0.2YFAT. PJ&AM Rowett & Sons also bought a Mernowie ram at the Adelaide Ram Sale for $5000.
Underbidder on the top price ram was repeat Mernowie client NW,BA,BS&MK Groves, Karawa, Booleroo Centre, who secured the second-highest price ram at lot 8 for $6000.
This ram was the heaviest in the catalogue at 114kg and had 18M wool with ASBVs of 9.2YWT, 18.5YCFW, 1.3YEMD and 0.2Yfat. The Groves were active at the top end, securing five rams averaging $4840.
The strong competition from top-end repeat clients ensured the first 10 lots averaged an impressive $4530.
Sam Przibilla, Riverton - who bought the 2018 sale-topper - was after a few more rams this year and selected strongly throughout the catalogue to secure five rams to $3000, averaging $2140.
Mr Przibilla appreciates the direction Mernowie is heading with its breeding program. They select for free-growing white wools and the use of ASBV's gives them confidence in the rams they are buying.
Related reading:Commercial focus delivers $5200 high for Kiandra
Repeat client Grant Burge, Burge Estates, Tanunda, bought 26 rams to $3400, averaging $1658.
Volume buyers included Andriske Farms, Loxton, with four rams to $4000, averaging $3475, Anthony Pfitzner, Eudunda, with four averaging $1175 and MDG&KS Thomas, Orroroo, with five averaging $1000.
Mernowie principal David Rowett was pleased with the result, considering some clients were unable to operate due to seasonal conditions.
"There was good value right through the sale and clients are using ASBVs to help select for early growth, positive meat traits and clean fleece weights," David said.
The sale was conducted by Landmark Beaton at Kapunda, with Leo Redden taking bids.
"The heavy selection on visual traits backed by ASBVs gives a lot of confidence to the buyers," Mr Redden said. "It was a very solid sale with rams selling to many areas throughout the state."
- Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Click here to sign up to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.