A STRONG outlook for agriculture and recent spike in lamb prices contributed to a buoyant on-property sale for Richmond Park White Suffolks and Mulgundawa Poll Dorsets near Robe on Monday last week, with the studs achieving a significant increase in top and average prices across both breeds.
A full gallery of fifty six registered buyers resulted in a lively bidding competition, ending with a complete clearance of 143 White Suffolks and all but two of the 160 Poll Dorset rams offered in the catalogue.
The Poll Dorset top price of $4400 was an increase of $2000 from the 2019 peak, with the average also up by $345 to $1790.
GC&RK Reichelt, Mount McIntyre, bought lot 2 at $4200, then paid the top of $4400 for lot 3, the last of the three stud rams to be offered. Lot 3 was a twin ram sired by Valma 16046, weighing 125 kilograms with an eye muscle depth figure of 1.4, post-weaning fat of -0.55, and a Terminal Carcase Production index of 132.
Graham Reichelt, a client of Mulgundawa for the past eight to nine years, described his top pick as "thick-set and broad".
As well as buying two of the three stud rams, the Reichelts took another two flock rams at $3000 and $3800 for an overall average of $3850.
Volume buyer of Mulgundawa Poll Dorsets was Benara Pastoral, Mount Gambier, which secured 11 rams, paying from $800 to $1800 and averaging $1463. Benara Pastoral also bought four White Suffolks from $900-$1400, averaging $1200.
Lucindale graziers VH Hocking & Co bought nine Poll Dorset rams from the top of the catalogue, paying from $2000 to $3600 for an average of $2889; and Waterloo Ag, Mount Gambier, also bought nine rams from $1700 to $2800 for an average of $2322.
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The 143 Richmond Park White Suffolks sold averaged $1332, a rise of more than $200 from last year.
RA&MJ Jones, Lochaber, paid the top price of $2800 for the second lot offered, eclipsing last year's top of $1700.
The lot 2 triplet, weighing 111kg, was sired by Aylesbury Farm A177375 and recorded an EMD figure of 1.2, -0.3 PW fat, and a TCP index of 138.
In addition to the top price stud ram, the Jones family bought another 11 White Suffolk flock rams, paying $1600-$2600, averaging $2042.
After a few years' hiatus, the Joneses returned to Richmond Park in 2019.
"We were pretty impressed with the rams we bought last year and exceptionally happy with their 2020 crop of lambs," Lachie Jones said.
"These top rams seem to be able to put the weight into the lambs a lot earlier.
"The line of rams this year is extremely good - very broad the whole way through, with lovely length. Our top ram was smooth, well-muscled and long-bodied."
Wattle Range grazier Matthew Goode was the volume buyer in the White Suffolk draft, paying $1000-$1400, averaging $1200 across the 16 rams purchased.
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Taking home 14 rams apiece were repeat buyers Kentish & Sons, Mount Gambier, paying to $1700, averaging $1450; Vic agents and regular return clients BR&C, bidding to $1500, averaging $1279; and TW&DL Flint, Kingston SE, who paid to $1300, averaging $1100.
Nutrien stud stock auctioneer Gordon Wood commended the presentation of the 2020 draft.
"It's probably the best line presented from the Burzacott and Emery families ever and they've been richly rewarded today for their effort," he said.
"The Poll Dorsets met with feverish competition, particularly in the top-end of the catalogue and sold very much on par if not stronger than other Poll Dorset sales so far in SA.
"The White Suffolk prices started out a little tight but improved as the sale progressed and were on par with other sales or perhaps a little cheaper, but buyers realised they weren't going to get the rams if they held back."
Stud principal Mary Burzacott said they were thrilled with the clearance rate.
"Having had a tough start to winter, the rams are jumping out of their skins with the turnaround in the season," she said.
Richmond Park's Michael Emery paid tribute to family member and stud founder, the late Kevin Burzacott, who passed away recently.
"We owe a great deal to Kevin's good eye for stock in the livestock you all see here today - particularly the Poll Dorsets," he said.
The sale was conducted by Nutrien, with Mr Wood sharing the auctioneering duties with Richard Miller.
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