A WHITE Suffolk ram with tremendous sire appeal from Kangaroo Island stud Ella Matta has set a SA on-property meat sheep record of $29,000.
The embryo transfer-bred ram, Ella Matta 180100, offered by Andrew, Tracie and Jamie Heinrich, Parndana, drew strong pre-sale interest from SA, Vic and WA studs at the stud's annual sale on Friday,
It was in the top 10 per cent for eight Lambplan traits and indexes and was sired by Farrer 160068, a ram used by the Super Whites group, which the Heinrichs are a member of.
The syndicate of Bundara Downs, Western Flat, Ashmore stud, Wasleys, and Anna Villa stud, Weetulta, staved off strong competition, including underbidder Depta Grove stud, Jeparit, Vic to become the new owners.
The three studs will share physical possession of the ram with Anthony Ferguson, Anna Villa stud, doing the bidding and having first use of the ram.
He said the ram was "slightly over their budget" but had a lot to offer the White Suffolk breed.
"It is a safe, sound, correct ram with an enormous loin," he said.
"It is a one fix ram for us - a ram we can use over a lot of our older ewes where we already have the growth but need to bring our fats up and it has good muscle to go along with it."
Related reading:Allendale Suffolk soars to $21,500 national record
The buyers decided to name 1800100 'Milestone', in recognition of the Heinrich family celebrating 40 years breeding White Suffolks, but also as the sale coincided with the 21st birthday of Anthony's son Cameron, who was helping with the bidding.
Mr Ferguson said they hoped to collect 1000 doses of semen from the ram at Brecon Breeders, Keith, which would be for sale.
An elated Andrew Heinrich said their main focus had always been breeding good rams for their commercial clients, but in recent years it had been very pleasing to also attract stud interest.
He said he would wait to see 180100's progeny before rating the ram but figures-wise it was in the top end of what the stud had produced.
It also had a low birth weight figure at 0.1 and a very good lambing ease figure, which Mr Heinrich said the industry needed, but ranked in the top 1pc of 2018-born rams on the Lamb Eating Quality index at 155.
"It can be argued that we are not getting paid in the works for eating quality, only production, but the future will be not just production," he said.
"We are getting paid a premium for lamb - we will never be able to compete with chicken which is produced so cheaply so we must produce a product that eats well."
Related reading:Paxton Border Leicesters jump to $4200
Bidding competition continued throughout the catalogue, with 211 White Suffolk rams all sold to the sale top, averaging $1493, 47 of 54 Poll Merinos sold to $3400, averaging $1530, and 37 of 40 Maternal Composites selling to $3100, averaging $1146.
The sale attracted 74 registered bidders, with more potential clients logging on through AuctionsPlus.
While all the White Suffolk rams offered were in the top 20pc of sires across all breeds nationally for Lambplan performance levels, 66 sold for $1000 or less, creating opportunities for buyers with all budgets.
Lot 2 - EM180160, a full flush ET brother to the sale-topper - was snapped up at $6750 by Dale Paxton, Gosse, for his White Suffolk flock.
The ram with the highest Terminal Carcase Production and Carcase Plus indices in the catalogue - 165.8 and 239.6, respectively - was EM180127, sired by EM170153. With exceptional carcase attributes including 3.3EMD and 20.1PWWT, it was Max Whyte and Gail Cremasco, Brimfield stud, Kendenup, WA, who placed the winning $4000 bid via phone hook-up with Elders agent Bernard Seal.
Having previously bid via phone, fellow WA client Warren Thompson, Hedingham stud, Wickepin, made the trip over in person this year. He paid $3000 for lot 3, EM180170 - a EM150097 son in the top 1pc on the Lamb Eating Quality, Carcase Plus and Terminal Carcase Production indices with 164.9, 229.5 and 161, respectively.
The Heinrichs' neighbour Sam Mumford and his son Nick were among the volume buyers, paying $2800 for lot 11 before going on to put together a draft of 30 rams averaging $1323.
Related reading:Strong support for huge Warrawindi offering
Elders local agent Greg Downing operated on behalf of WA Buttrose, selecting 16 rams averaging $806. Alex McGorman, Thornby, Sanderston and KI, was another to purchase double figure numbers, selecting 12 rams averaging $1117.
Others who were prominent White Suffolk buyers included Darren and Fiona Sanders, Keith, with nine rams averaging $1811, L&AO Thomas, American River, nine averaging $1133, Chelsea and Nathan Bell, Spring Hills KI, Wisanger, nine averaging $1022, Peter Cooper, Cooper Farming, Parndana, eight averaging $1325 and Simon and Madeline Kelly, Mine Creek Partners, Parndana, eight averaging $1200.
EM180160, sired by Leahcim Poll 122899, claimed the top price Poll Merino honours.Boasting a Multi-Purpose index of 161.7 and a Dual Purpose index of 171.3 it was bought by Mitch Willson, Willson River Trading, Penneshaw, for the $3400 top price. Mr Willson took four Poll Merinos averaging $2600, adding to five White Suffolks bought earlier averaging $1480.
Adding to their eight White Suffolks, Simon and Madeline Kelly were the volume buyers of Poll Merinos, selecting 10 averaging $1420. Not far behind was another repeat client, Geoff Nutt, with nine averaging $1056, while the Tremaine family, Parndana, averaged $1500 for six rams.
Another highlight for the Heinrichs in this draft was the sale of EM180169 to a Tasmanian breeder via the AuctionsPlus network for $2000, the first time they have sold a ram to the apple isle.
In the Maternal Composite section, Ashley Ness, buying for AW & KJ Partners, paid the top two prices of $3100 and $2600, adding to four White Suffolks bought earlier at a $1325 average.
Kerryn Muntz, buying for Steve Childs, Karatta, was again the volume buyer in this draft, with seven rams to $2000, averaging $1457.
Related reading: Repeat buyers ensure strong Seriston sale
Andrew Heinrich was thrilled with the sale results.
"What a wonderful way to celebrate 40 years of White Suffolk breeding; to get a total clearance of 211 White Suffolk rams, along with the quality of the people prepared to bid on them was very humbling really," he said.
"Also, to have three stud breeders prepared to come all the way from WA for starters and to have 11 White Suffolk studs registered to bid was very pleasing, and then to get a record-breaking sale price like that on top was mind-blowing."
Landmark and Elders conducted the sale, with Landmark's Leo Redden and Elders' Tony Wetherall sharing the auctioneering duties.
Mr Redden said described the White Suffolk catalogue as being "littered with industry trait leaders".
"What you see in the catalogue is what you see in the ring; and we like that," he said.
- Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Click here to sign up to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.