STRONG stud interest propelled Glenville Merino & Poll Merino to an outstanding sale average and full clearance at their 59th annual on-property auction near Cowell on Tuesday.
In the sale breakdown, all 170 of the 2019-drop, March and April-shorn rams sold to a top of $9000 twice and an average of $2922.
A further 12 rams all sold for $800 under the hammer in the mini-auction.
Glenville principal Daryl Smith was ecstatic with the result, particularly after some pre-sale uncertainty as to what effect the drought experienced by many of his clients would have on competition.
"The sale result went way past anything we expected, it was amazing really," he said.
"We thought we would pass a few in towards the end. We've got quite a few clients up north who are in dire straits and weren't able to operate at all today."
Mr Smith said some new buyers, combined with strong demand from other regular clients ensured a full clearance.
"We're just so grateful for our regular buyers who have confidence in what we're doing," he said.
The interest from fellow Merino studs was evident early, with six of the first 16 rams offered taken by studs including Oak Farms Merino and Poll Merino Stud, Buckleboo, Alma Merinos, Booligal, NSW, and Whitehill Poll Merinos, Emu Downs.
Among those 16 rams were the two equal top-priced lots of the sale, bought by Oak Farms and Alma.
Oak Farms principal Nick Lienert, a regular buyer at the top end of Glenville's catalogue, secured lot 3A - a 14-month-old March-shorn Poll Merino carrying a 21.4 micron fleece, with a standard deviation of 3.1, 14.8 coefficient of variation, 99.3 per cent comfort factor and a greasy fleece weight of 137 per cent.
Mr Lienert said the $9000 ram caught his eye due to its wool quality, size, squareness and depth.
"It's a good all-round sheep, which will do well in our stud," he said.
"Its wool quality was what we were really chasing because it has the sort of bulky, bright wool we're looking for."
Mr Lienert was the underbidder for the other $9000 ram, which was eventually secured by Alma Merinos principal Graham Morphett.
That March-shorn Poll had wool figures of 20.7 micron, 3.0 SD, 14.3 CV, 99.7% CF and a GFW% of 126.
"It was a massive ram with a really good staple," Mr Morphett said.
"Its backside was really good and was the type of ram that we want and that we have got from Glenville before."
The volume buyer of the sale was regular buyer South Gap Pastoral, Port Augusta, buying 33 rams in the main auction to $2600, averaging $1655, and seven in the mini-auction all to $800.
Mundallio Pastoral, Port Augusta, bought nine rams to $3000, and WJ Sampson, Warramboo, took eight to $2400.
Securing eight rams to $4200 was Hulls Corp, Wangary, while Arden Hills, Quorn, bought six to $2600.
RJ Norris, Cowell, bought six rams to $3800, averaging $3167, Hornsdale Props, Hornsdale, bought six rams to $5000, averaging $3467, while Benbutter, Streaky Bay, bought five rams to $2600, averaging $2380.
Elders and Nutrien Ag Solutions conducted the sale, with Nutrien's Gordon Wood the auctioneer.
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