A HIGHER number of rams sold and an increased sale average were clear indications of buyer support at Nantoura Poll Merino stud's annual sale on Tuesday last week.
The Wharminda stud offered and sold 109 rams, clearing an extra 20 lots compared with last year, when 89 of 92 rams sold to $7600.
The sale average was also higher, increasing $26 to $2213.
For the second year running it was a new client who picked up the highest price lot.
Pat Hannan Ag, Cockaleechie, took home just one ram, paying the $5000 top money for lot 13, tag 186.
It was a ram with a fleece measuring 16.5 micron, with a standard deviation of 2.8, coefficient of variation of 17 and comfort factor of 100 per cent.
Its greasy fleece weight was 109pc, and it had a MerinoSelect Dual Purpose Production Plus index of 144.
Its Australian Sheep Breeding Values included 17.7 for yearling staple length - putting it in the top 10pc of the breed - as well as 5.5 for yearling weight and 19 for yearling clean fleece weight.
The ram was sired by Ridgeway Advance 251, bought by Nantoura at the 2019 Classings Classic sale in Murray Bridge.
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Nantoura principal Chris Prime described the top price ram as having a "real exotic bold crimp".
"Generally, buyers were chasing staple length and a good frame, and we had four clients who took 10 or more rams," he said.
"There were 24 registered buyers, and they all took rams home."
Volume buyers included JL&LM Sampson, Kimba, with 10 rams to $4800, averaging $2800.
Stevens Farming, Seymour, Vic, operated through Bill Walker, Classings Limited, and bought 11 in the auction, as well as an additional 11 from the paddock.
Taking 14 rams home were Clay Henderson, Mangalo, who paid to $1200 and averaged $950, and SJ&RJ Agars, Tungatta Station, Sheringa, who bid through AuctionsPlus and paid to $2800.
Mr Prime said most producers in his region had a good amount of feed.
"They are pretty positive about the way the season is looking, which is different to the last two or three years," he said.
The sale was run by Eyre Peninsula Livestock, and with EP Livestock's Wilbur Williams and Platinum Livestock's Ben Donht taking bids.
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