TINTINARA stud Ramsgate achieved its best-ever sale average at its 13th on-property auction on Tuesday last week.
Averaging $2173 and topping at $4200 twice, Ramsgate sold all but one of the 72 rams on offer - an improvement on last year's clearance rate, when 63 of 72 rams averaged $1989.
The first ram knocked down for $4200 was lot 23 - tag 200309 - bought by O'Brien Poll Merino stud, Kyancutta. The Brookdale 014012 son had 20-micron wool with fleece measurements of 2.7 standard deviation, 13.4 coefficient of variation and 99.8 per cent comfort factor.
Buyer Darren O'Brien contacted Classings Limited's Bill Walker, Murray Bridge, just prior to the sale and selected 200309 for its outstanding Australian Sheep Breeding Values.
"The ram's visual assessment matched his ASBVs," Mr Walker said.
"He is a trait leader for post-weaning weight at +6.6, yearling weight +8.3 and yearling staple length +15.8, (and) has positive fat and eye muscle depth.
"He has a strong muzzle and jaw, stands well with a bold, crimpy, fluent fibre with nourishment that will suit the Eyre Peninsula and any country."
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Lot 31 - tag 200266 - also made $4200, selling to last year's top price buyers J&J Keller, Coonalpyn.
This ram weighed 111 kilograms, with a 20.7M fleece, 14.6CV, 3SF and 100CF, along with ASBVs of +27.8 yearling clean fleece weight and +17.7YSL, a Merino Production Plus index of 165 and Dual Purpose Plus index of 173.
Josh Keller said 200266 "ticked all the boxes".
"We are breeding for good early growth with positive fat and eye muscle for good returns with our wether lambs," he said. The Kellers secured three rams averaging $2867.
Operating strongly throughout the catalogue was Jason Holloway, Keilira Props, who bought 14 rams to $2800, averaging $1964. Mr Holloway was assisted by Elders Wool specialist Steph Brooker-Jones.
"We have bought at all 13 Ramsgate on-property auctions and privately prior to that," Mr Holloway said.
"They are easy-doing sheep with bright, white wool and have a good body shape. The bright, white wools suit our country during wet periods."
Other volume buyers included BJ&SM Vowles, with 10 rams averaging $970, GR Foster, with five rams averaging $2640, Richardson Brothers, also with five averaging $2600 and Joyce Ventures, with five averaging $960.
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A further 12 rams sold to $2600 in the mini auction, averaging $992.
Stud co-principal Jed Keller said he and co-principal Craig were pleased with the progression of their breeding program. They are aiming to improve meat traits and maintain wool quality with ASBVs for positive fat and good eye muscle, with good doing ability in hard times.
The sale was conducted by Elders Keith, and auctioneer Steve Doecke described the offering as very even with fantastic fibre alignment.
"The evenness of the rams catalogued was evident with very consistent prices right throughout the catalogue," he said.
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