JOHNOS Border Leicester stud bowed out of 40 years of stud breeding on a spectacular high, with a new $19,500 Australian record for one of the rams in its swansong ram sale on Monday at the Naracoorte Showgrounds.
In its 22nd and final ram sale there was a total clearance of 81 rams offered by Jeff and Raelene Johnson for a sensational $2712 average- up more than $800 on a great 2019 sale.
The opening bid for lot 7, the $19,500 record breaker, was just $3200 but the sale quickly found some momentum with multiple studs raising their hand to Southern Australian Livestock auctioneer Mat MacDonald in the shed along with intense online bidding.
The 116.5 kilogram ram, Johnos 290/19, was eventually knocked down to a syndicate comprising Horspole Brothers, Boogas stud, Camperdown, Vic and George and Cherie Pagan, Cooinda stud, Gilgrandra, NSW, with United States studs ,Hickory Grove and Vast Plains both from Illinois, securing semen rights for their flocks.
Out of one of their proven sires, Johnos 83/11, the August 2019 drop had a maternal $ index of 162.9- ranking in the top 10 per cent of maternals on the Sheep Genetics database.
This included a number of lambs weaned figure of 28 and post weaning weight of 11.9.
Mrs Pagan said the ram was a "triple package" with a great post weaning weight and fertility figures, as well as bred from proven genetics and possessing a great phenotype.
"He is an outstanding ram for style and type so we are really glad that we were able to secure him with the help of the syndicate," she said.
Johnos' sale topper eclipsed the previous national record of $18,200 set back in 2013 when the James family, Coolawang stud, Mundulla West, sold a ram to the Graham family, Glencorrie stud, Maitland.
It also smashed Johnos' stud record of $15,000 set at its 2019 annual ram sale at the same venue.
Many studs took the opportunity to secure Johnos genetics for the last time including Scott and Emily Davidson, Morton stud, Lucindale, who bought lot 6 for the sale's $12,200 second highest price.
Sired by Johnos 269/17 the twin born ram was one of the highest figured in the catalogue with a maternal $ index of $166.5.
"It had beautiful dense fleece wool, good figures, good structure and plenty of bone and strength," Mr Davidson said.
Tom Munro, Taronga Park stud, Hynam,secured another Johnos 83/11 son for $6750 at lot 15 and lot 8 at $4500.
The Dowdy family, Deepwater stud, Binnum, also took home two rams- lot 14 at $2700 and lot 21 at $6400.
Leading the flock ram buyers was Paraway Pastoral Company, NSW, which put together 16 rams to $2600 averaging $2144.
Berko Group, Mount Gambier, led the local South East interest with 10 rams to $2100, averaging $1890.
Concluding the sale, 12 of 13 young ewes sold under the hammer to $1600 twice and averaged $1067, most going to establish new studs.
AuctionsPlus was a dominant force with 117 potential bidders logging on during the sale and successful in buying 25 lots after 409 online bids.
In a sign of the demand for Johnos genetics 84 lots received online bids.
Mr Johnson said it was an "unbelievable result" and humbling to see so many stud and commercial buyers operating.
"To know that they respect Johnos for 40 years of breeding I think that is a feather in our cap," he said.
"It has been hard work and a lot of politics involved (this year) but I'm pleased that we were able to bring the sheep over with a local Colac carrier."
Mr Johnson said he had immensely enjoyed helping "better the industry" with his brother Neil and their families for many years.
"Being a livestock buyer I have always tried to breed commercial sheep that are good for the commercial industry and the flock ram buyers get rewarded for what they produce," he said.
Mr MacDonald said there was strong stud support but also plenty of confidence from commercial first cross ewe breeders.
"There were good meaty sheep to suit people and also good long sheep with good figures," he said.
"Australia wide the sheep side of things is going well with a lot of confidence from NSW rebuilding numbers and a couple of good years around here price wise for young ewes."
SAL Naracoorte conducted the sale.
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