POLL Merino rams with extensive genetic data sold to $18,000 in a massive line-up offered by the Michael family from the Leahcim stud at Snowtown on Tuesday.
Overall, Andrew and Rosemary Michael, with sons Alistair, Stewart and Luke, sold their entire offering of 300 rams for an average of $3237 - a $549 increase on the 2020 sale.
The $18,000 top price ram sold to fellow Poll Merino stud Ridgway Advance, Bordertown.
David Ridgway said they came to the sale, after an absence of more than a decade, as they were looking for a new genetic line and was "very happy" to pick up "such a good ram".
"We like what Leahcim produce, a real pure-genetic type sheep, we don't like our outcrossing too extreme," he said.
"The top ram was very similar to its sire (Leahcim 182295), as were other rams in the shed, with really good skins and wools - similar to what we breed at home.
"The top ram had a good wool cut and quality. It was a very safe, well structured sheep."
The June 2020-drop ram at lot 18 had a Dual Purpose Index of 153, while its ASBVs were 28.8 for yearling clean fleece weight, -0.5 yearling fibre diameter, -1.7 yearling fibre diameter coefficient of variation, -0.9 breech wrinkle and 14.6 yearling staple length.
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It also boasted figures of 7.1 for weaning weight, a 9 yearling weight, 0.7 genetic fat, and 2 eye muscle depth, while its 18.7-micron wool had 3.1 standard deviation, 16.6CV and 99.6 per cent comfort factor.
Mr Ridgway said the ram would be put out with 100 stud ewes, and possibly enter their AI program.
The Ridgways took home a second younger ram, a September 2020-drop at lot 98, at $3800.
The sale's second-highest price of $10,200 came halfway through the sale at lot 165, bought by another stud - Rosebank at Mount Pleasant.
This April 2020-drop ram had a Dual Purpose Index of 158.72, while its ASBVs were 24.9YCFW, -1.9YFD, -1.9YFDCV, -0.4EBWR and 14YSL.
It was also 6.2PWWT, 9.1YWT, 0.7Yfat, and 1.2YEMD, while its 16.4M wool had 2.9SD, 18.2CV and 99.8CF.
Rosebank took home two rams, also buying lot 3 - which had some pre-sale hype - for $6500.
Despite border restrictions keeping interstaters at home, more than 60 return and new clients registered at the sale, while more than a dozen buyers were active on AuctionsPlus.
About 87 rams sold online to buyers from SA, NSW, Vic, Tas and WA.
Some of the sale's largest volume buyers operated online, including AWN Goulburn; Hollywood Pastoral, Crookwell, NSW; K&A Grazing, Crookwell, NSW; Spence Dix & Co Keith; Harslett Rural, Gladstone; Lukin Springs, WA; Esperence, WA; John Lamb Pastoral, Conargo, NSW, and an Oatlands, Tas, client.
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Other volume buyers operating in the shed, through representatives, were Paspaley Pastoral, Coolah, NSW, with 20 averaging $2230; Bono Station, Pooncarie, NSW, with 20 averaging $1980; and a Swan Hill, Vic, client with 12 averaging $2000.
Also in the shed, RG&CA Collins, Minlaton, bought 10 rams averaging $2180, while Bill Walker, Classings Ltd, bought nine rams on behalf of four clients, including the sale's third-highest price ram at $9200.
The sale was conducted by Nutrien, with Gordon Wood and Richard Miller sharing the auctioneering duties.
The family were ecstatic after the sale.
Andrew Michael said he was "super excited" about where the industry was heading and where these genetics would take clients.
"We have done a lot of data work, focusing on follicle density and carcase traits, as we're trying to cater to where the industry is going to go in the future - sheep with high value meat, beautiful skins and the highest value wools," he said.
Leahcim wool tested 978 rams on May 19. The flock averaged 17.6M, 15.7CV, 2.8SD and 99.8CF.
The sale was conducted by Nutrien Ag Solutions.
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