AN absence of stud buyers did little to quell the success of Lawral Park's 17th annual on-property SAMM ram sale at Ungarra on Monday, with a mixture of new and repeat commercial clients helping the sale to a full clearance and an improved average.
All 80 rams offered were sold, topping at $5200 and averaging $1741 - the highest ever average achieved by the stud, and a significant jump on last year's average of $1428.
With SA-based agents bidding on behalf of interstate clients, the sale-topper, lot 4, will not leave the state, being knocked down to AJ&PA McBride's Braemar Station, north-east of Burra, bought by station manager Josh Sheridan.
The May 2019-drop sire weighed 137 kilograms, with an eye muscle depth of 51.7 millimetres, a fat depth of 8.9mm and a 22.5 micron fleece.
Braemar Station has been a repeat client at Lawral Park for nearly 15 years, with the sires helping to "top up" the station's own SAMM breeding program, which makes up 40 per cent of the business, while Merinos make up the remaining 60pc.
About 4000 SAMM ewes will be mated to SAMM rams this year according to Mr Sheridan, who said the Lawral Park rams got "bigger and better" every year.
It just shows that if you produce a good ram and people are getting good results, commercial buyers will pay top dollar for commercial rams.
The second top-price ram was made by lot 5, knocked down at $4600 to repeat clients TJ&KA Pietsch, Bordertown, who bought a total of four rams, averaging $2600.
The $4600 ram, also a May 2019-drop, weighed 144.5kg, with an EMD of 50.2mm, a fat depth of 9.2mm with 24-micron wool.
Lawral Park principal Campbell Lawrie said it was a "fantastic" sale result.
"It just shows that if you produce a good ram and people are getting good results, commercial buyers will pay top dollar for commercial rams," he said.
"SAMMs are gaining a lot more awareness to be a prime lamb breed, and they do well in tough conditions, the breed performs."
Elders conducted the sale, with Tony Wetherall auctioneering.
"The Lawral Park SAMMS are as good a SAMMs as you'll find around the country, Campbell and Lawral Park have put a heap of genetics into the stud, they are always striving to get the breed better and better," Mr Wetherall said.
"The EMD ranged from 43mm to 52mm, most were above 48mm with weights from 110kg-140kg, that really says something about the rams on offer."
"It was a good sale, a good result and I'm sure all the purchasers would be happy with what they got."
IMPROVED SEASONS INTERSTATE HELP TO BUOY UNGARRA SALE
GOOD seasons in parts of NSW, Vic and Tas allowed interstate clients to secure big teams of rams at the Lawral Park SAMM sale on Monday, largely through phone bidding from SA-based agents.
Stud principal Campbell Lawrie said while stud interest had waned, due to rams unable to be taken on the show circuit, commercial buyers from eastern states contributed heavily to the sale result.
"A lot of our client base is in NSW and Vic, we'd been missing those guys for two or three years but they were back on board this year because it has rained," Mr Lawrie said.
Of the 24 buyers who secured rams, 10 were from interstate, securing a total of 54 rams, with 45 rams going to NSW (including 16 via AuctionsPlus), six rams going to Tas, and three bound for Vic.
Windalle Station, Menindee, NSW, was a volume buyer, with the repeat client securing 10 rams topping at $1700 and averaging $1500.
The other volume buyer was new client JM Kerin & Co, Fords, who bought 11 rams to $1800, averaging $1445.
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Rob Kerin, JM Kerin & Co, said the Mid North business had previously run a SAMM stud, Kincora, for 15 years, before switching into the commercial game about five years ago.
"First off, we were using Alfrinos but they were a bit wild, so we wanted to go back to the frame and size of the SAMM," he said.
Impressed by the good cover and depth of the Lawral Park rams, the Kerins will join the sires to 400 SAMM ewes at their Mid North property, while terminal White Suffolk rams will be joined to 1000 SAMM ewes at their Tailem Bend property.
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