CONSISTENCY was the key to an outstanding sale for Old Ashrose Poll Merino, Merino and White Suffolks at Hallett on Thursday.
While bidding peaked at $5000 for a large-framed, heavy wool-cutting Poll Merino ram, there was consistently good competition from go to woe with the $3000 mark reached or eclipsed on no fewer than 34 occasions.
Old Ashrose principal Nick Wadlow was particularly pleased with the clearance rate achieved, with 119 of 122 Poll Merino and Merinos selling and averaging a very strong $2291, while all 83 White Suffolks were purchased for an average of $1313 and $1900 high.
In the breakdown, 21 of the 22 Merino rams sold to a top of $3800 and average of $1548, and 98 of 100 Poll Merinos sold to a $2404 average.
"The sheep represented good value today and we were certainly very pleased with the result," Mr Wadlow said.
"The clearance was fantastic, especially considering a lot of our clients are still in drought conditions.
"Fantastic support from our long term clients as well as new purchasers from Vic, the West Coast and Upper North contributed to that."
One of the stud's repeat clients Stephen Nankivell, Tumby Bay, won the bidding battle on many people's pre-sale top pick.
The 15-month-old February-shorn ram at lot six weighed in at 117 kilograms and boasted a massive 153 per cent on the greasy fleece weight measurement.
It carried a 20.1 micron fleece, with 2.8 standard deviation, 13.9 coefficient of variation and 99.7 per cent comfort factor.
The Nankivells run a mixed farming enterprise, with their sole purchase to complement their 300 Merino breeding ewe flock.
"The ram's wool quality really stood out and it has good genetics," Mr Nankivell said.
A brace of rams sold to $4800, with lots 38 and 45 going to Pluckrose Bros, Spalding, and JFH&E Sullivan, Greenfields, Hallett.
The Pluckrose purchase weighed 133.5kg and measured 132pc for GFW, with a 21.8 micron fleece, 3.1SD, 14.2CV and 99.6pc CF.
The ram off to Greenfields tipped the scales at 112.5kg and measured 106pc on GFW. It had a 19.7 micron, 3.0SD, 15.2CV and 99.5pc CF.
Long-term South East clients GM Butler & Sons, Lochaber, was the volume buyer on the Poll Merinos and Merinos with 17 rams to $4400, averaging $2088.
JG&S Weckert, Clare, secured nine rams to $4200, averaging $2556, as well as two White Suffolks to $1100, averaging $1050.
Return buyers who were active included GM&VR Power, Orroroo, buying seven rams to $1800 twice, averaging $1314, Ian Gunn Family Trust, Mount Cooper, taking six to $4200, averaging $3533, while Kanimbla Family Trust, Yaninee, bought six to $4000, averaging $2700, and three White Suffolks to $1300 twice, averaging $1267.
Buying five rams to $4200 twice, averaging $3160, was Borda Park Graziers, Coulta, while Yellowie Props, Burra, also took five to a top of $2000 and average of $1500.
There was solid competition on Old Ashrose's White Suffolk offering and Mr Wadlow said they were improving every year.
"We're very excited with the prospects of the White Suffolks going forward and certainly feel like we're moving in the right direction with them," he said.
Heading up the White Suffolk buying was Burnfoot, Myponga, who won the bidding battle on 19 rams to $1400, averaging $1184.
Taking seven White Suffolks to $1400, averaging $1229 was North Benalla Props, Hallett, while MS Behn & Co, Riverton, bought six to $1500, averaging $1350, and S&G Robinson, through PPHS Naracoorte, also bought six, averaging $1383 and to a top of $1600.
The $1900 top-priced White Suffolk was bought by Terry Anderson, TS&RA Anderson, Caltowie.
It weighed a whopping 136.5kg, and had an eye muscle depth of 46.2 millimetres, to go along with a 0.42 BWT, 15.7 PWWT, -0.8 PFAT, 1.2 PEMD and 136.5 on the Terminal Carcase Production index.
Mr Wadlow said the overall sale day reflected the medium to long-term confidence in the sheep industry his clients held, particularly in the wool industry.
Those thoughts were agreed upon by Elders auctioneer Tony Wetherall, who said clients realised the profitability of Old Ashrose genetics.
"Nick and Kate always present the Merinos well and they're very productive, dual-purpose Merinos with their growth, carcase traits and their ability to cut a lot of good-quality wool," he said.
"The depth of quality in the sale team was exceptional and the competition throughout the sale showed that."
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