EMERGING from the ashes after a bushfire razed nearly three-quarters of their property in November, the Johnson family forged ahead to hold their 14th annual Carcuma North Poll Merino stud on-property sale at Peake on Wednesday last week.
Grant, Carolyn and Elsie Johnson offered 36 large-framed Poll Merino rams, with 26 selling to $3000, averaging $1365. The result was similar to last year's sale, when 28 of 36 Poll Merinos averaged $1382 and topped at $3800.
Poll Dorset and White Suffolk sires also went under the hammer, with 16 of 23 sold to $1200, averaging $894 - a $52 increase on last year.
Eighteen bidders from the local area and as far away as Minlaton on the Yorke Peninsula registered their interest in the stud's 2021 line-up, with COVID-19 restrictions preventing some Victorian buyers from attending and sinking any plans of taking the genetics back across the border.
Heym Farms, Peake, won the bid on the first two lots offered among solid competition, paying $2400 and $2800, respectively. For the 13th year running, Heym Farms was the sale's volume buyer, securing seven rams averaging $1457.
The large-framed lot 3 had a 19.6 micron fleece with a 99.7 per cent comfort factor and ignited a bidding battle, with repeat buyers Yakkaroo Pastoral Co, Coomandook, coming out on top, paying the sale's top price of $3000.
In the White Suffolk draft, 10 of the 18 rams sold to $1100, with PJ&MS Carling, Parrakie, paying the top money for all three of their selected rams.
Related reading: Sale average increases at Kamora Park
NA&CK Heintze, Murrayville, Vic, bought four Poll Dorset rams, paying to $1200 and averaging $950.
Carolyn and Grant Johnson said they were encouraged by the return of many repeat buyers, who were happy with the reliability of the genetics and the results they had achieved.
"We're feeling very fortunate to be able to have a ram sale this year after last November's fire" Carolyn said. "Fortunately, all the stud ewes and lambs survived the blaze, which enabled us able to offer such a good selection".
"Everyone today is impressed with the depth of quality all the way through the catalogue, the carcase quality along with the definition and style of wool.
"It was encouraging to hear that buyers were happy to walk away with lot 1 or lot 36 of a great line of heavy-cutting, reliable Mallee Merinos."
Nutrien stud stock auctioneer Richard Miller commended the stud on the consistency of the 2021 sale team.
"The Carcuma North stud are renowned for breeding big-framed, dual-purpose sheep exhibiting a large carcase and extra wool cut which adds weight to fill bales and a high comfort factor," Mr Miller said.
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