A spring 2020 drop White Suffolk ram with multiple performance figures ranking among the best in the breed soared to a $12,000 high at Woolumbool's 34th annual on-property auction on Wednesday last week.
This was just one of the many highlights for Phil, Sharon, Aaron and Sally Clothier in their marathon three and a quarter hour sale.
They sold 259 White Suffolk, Poll Dorset and Multimeats of the 273 they offered for an exceptional $2166 average.
The successful buyers of the lot 7 sale topper, Woolumbool 208208, were the Gale family, Galaxy Park and Fingerpost studs, Monarto and Tintinara.
Geoff Gale said the ram was a "stand out" for its high performance figures being in the top 10pc of Sheep Genetics database for six traits or indexes, including a Terminal Carcase Production Index of 161, but he also praised the ram's phenotype.
Mr Gale said they had previously used Woolumbool semen in their AI programs but were now mating more of their stud ewes naturally so had been looking for a top sire prospect
"If you are going to buy one you might as well buy a good one," he said.
"We looked at two or three other studs and most of the rams that had high figures had some sort of structural problem but on AuctionsPlus you can see he walks around pretty correctly and with Phil's sheep what you see is what you get."
Strong bidding was sustained throughout the 101 White Suffolks with rams still making $2000 or more in the final stages.
This ensured a total clearance and huge $765 leap in average on 2020's result.
The elite Poll Dorset rams kicked the sale off strongly with the first two lots, which were both born as twins, each making $9000.
The Galpin family, Warrawindi stud, Penola, secured lot 1, a ram with a remarkable weaning weight and post weaning weights at 14.3 and 22.1 respectively.
Lot 2, was knocked down to Oakleigh Family Trust, Cavendish, Vic, with Nutrien senior account manager Brendan Fitzgerald doing the phone bidding.
There was also a lift in the Poll Dorset average with 85 of 90 averaging $2155- up $250 on 2020's result.
Adding to the massive catalogue was the inclusion for the first time of Multimeats rams which were bred from elite White Suffolks but also carry two copies of the Booroola, high fecundity gene.
These had previously been leased to clients for the past decade or so.
AuctionsPlus lit up during the Multimeat offering with 73 of 79 rams selling from Kangaroo Island to Bothwell in Tas for a $1760 average.
Many of the volume buyers bought rams from multiple breeds.
Dugald McLachlan, Nangwarry Pastoral Company, Nangwarry, was the sale's largest bidder taking home 40 rams.
Dueran Pastoral Company, Bendigo, Vic, secured 21 rams for a $2390 average, the majority of their tally were White Suffolks but they also paid up to $3200 for a Multimeat ram at lot 120.
Charlie and Penny Bruce, Boonoonar Partnership, Keilira, also secured 19 rams for a $1911 average, paying up to $2600 for their top pick.
John Cooper, Struan Research Centre, Struan, and his Elders agent Josh Reeves were only in on the Poll Dorsets but they made their presence felt securing 19 rams to $2600 twice, averaging $2005.
Guest vendors, Lucindale Area School, sold all four White Suffolk rams they offered to $2000, averaging $1500 for them.
Aaron was very pleased with how prices held up well during the sale.
"It was an excellent clearance rate and a good average," he said.
"All the rams lined up well given the weather we have been having and I am pretty pleased with how the performance figures are looking with a lot of them in the top 20 per cent or above."
He said they would continue to focus on breeding sheep with high early growth and eating quality traits as value based payments come closer.
Nutrien stud stock manager Gordon Wood said it was a very successful day for the Clothiers with buyers appreciating the stud's strong commercial focus.
"You are never going to roll up here and find mud fat sheep that you could enter into an Adelaide Show, they are not worried about ribbons just their clients' return on investment."
"Data has been a huge focus here at Woolumbool for a long time and sometime ago they had their knockers with people saying they are little sheep that wouldn't do but they have proved that is not the case.
"We are now seeing studs starting to come in and have a look and buy to lift their data as well."
Mr Wood said it was a great first-up result on the Multimeat offering with some of the stud's long time White Suffolk and Poll Dorset clients also bidding to give them a try.
"There continues to be more thinking around kilograms per hectare rather than necessarily worrying about what breed you are breeding," he said.
"If you can get that highly fertile animal that is going to keep reproducing and spit out a lamb that you can turn off quick and in a weight range you want that is where the money is."
Elders Lucindale and Nutrien were joint selling agents with Mr Wood and Elders stud stock manager Tony Wetherall sharing the rostrum.
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