RESULTS at Curlew Valley and Belmont Suffolk studs' annual joint sale at the Mount Pleasant showground on Wednesday last week indicated a growing interest in the Suffolk breed, with a greater number of rams sold and a higher overall average price.
Of the 84 Suffolk rams offered, 74 were sold to $4800, averaging $1466. This was a $351 increase on the 2018 sale average, with 11 more rams sold.
The top price ram was offered by Curlew Valley at lot 5. Sired by Blackbutt 6776, it had been used in the stud and sold to Chris Taylor, Kurrambee, Cavendish, Vic.
The ram had Australian Sheep Breeding Values of +9 weaning weight, +13.2 post-weaning weight and had a Terminal Carcase Production index of +134.6.
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"I saw the ram's sister at Australian Sheep and Wool Show and Hamilton Sheepvention and came to buy a ram of the same bloodline," Mr Taylor said.
Also operating at the top end was Mayhem Pastoral, Kangaroo Island, buying two Curlew Valley rams at $4000 and $3400.
Regular buyer Islay Mackenzie, Warrenda Props, Lyndoch, assisted by Elders agent Richard Hentschke, operated across the offering from both vendors and bought 12 rams, paying to $1600 three times and averaging $1408.
Warrenda Props use Suffolk rams over their Merino ewes, targeting the medium trade sucker lamb market.
Brecon Props operated strongly on the Belmont Suffolk offering, buying 10 rams to $2000, averaging $1440.
Another loyal Belmont client was Altus Pastoral, Lameroo, which bought five of the stud's Suffolk rams to a top of $1200, averaging $900.
Altus Pastoral also bought four rams from Belmont's Border Leicester offering, paying to $1300 and averaging $1175. Overall, 16 of 27 Belmont Border Leicesters sold averaging $1100, topping at $1800 to D&M&C Schultz, Cambrai.
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"We have been buying Belmont rams for about ten years," Craig Altus said. "The rams are used over Merino ewes with our Border Leicester-Merino-cross ewe lambs sold at the Naracoorte sale.
"The Suffolk breed gives us different market options and we select for growth and meat traits, good structure and body type that are long and deep. These rams are also used over Merino ewes."
Other volume buyers included DW Taylor, Nairne, who bought five Suffolk rams to $1400, averaging $1200 and DD&PB Schiller, Elders Roseworthy, with four Suffolk rams to $1800, averaging $1300.
Twenty Suffolk ewes were offered, with seven sold to $800 for a Curlew Valley ewe bought by Mr Taylor.
Curlew Valley principal Rachel Chrigwin said she was rapt with the sale result.
"This just tops off a brilliant show season. I select heavily using data to breed rams that perform, targeting growth, muscle and early maturity," she said.
Belmont principal Neil Kroehn was also pleased with the outcome, especially considering a lot of their clients were in the drier areas and experiencing tough seasonal conditions.
The sale was conducted by Landmark Fawcett.
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