AFTER a challenging year spent recovering from January's Blackford fire, the relief of a strong ram sale was evident for Seriston principal Anthony Hurst on Friday last week.
Suffering significant stock, infrastructure and pasture losses in January, Mr Hurst said this year's sale lineup had not received the attention it usually would in the months post-fire.
Despite this, the 143 White Suffolk rams presented in great condition and the bidding reflected it, with 142 selling to a top of $4800 and average of $1896 - a $387 increase on 2020.
While Seriston was left underwhelmed by the Suffolk clearance - 18 of 39 rams sold and averaged $1567 - there was still reason for celebration once the final hammer was knocked.
"It (the fire and the aftermath) wasn't the best of times and we went into recovery mode for a while, which meant the rams were a bit neglected, but they've come through well," Mr Hurst said.
"The support on the top end of our rams has always been very good and the genetics we're chasing are working well for our clients.
"As is always the case with our sale, we had plenty of rams here for those buyers that have got a set price in the lower brackets so there's value for money too."
A stud buyer, Premier White Suffolks, Oberon, NSW, snaffled the $4800 top-priced White Suffolk.
The June 2020-drop twin-born ram had values of 0.5 for birthweight, 9.7 on weaning weight, 15.8 post-weaning weight, 0.06 post-weaning fat depth and 1.4 post-weaning eye muscle depth.
It measured at 132.9 on the Lamb Eating Quality index and 139.3 on the Terminal Carcase Production index.
Successful on lot five at $4600 were MJ&AJ Robinson, Jamestown, taking home a twin ram with figures of 0.51 BWT, 10.8 WWT, 17.6 PWWT, -0.53 PFAT, 1.4 PEMD, 142.2 LEQ and 146.3 TCP.
The volume White Suffolk buyer was Hillcrest Pastoral, Lucindale, which bought 32 rams to $2000 seven times, averaging $1691.
Securing 21 rams to $3000 three times, averaging $2171, was Kangaringa, Keith.
Moonee Hills, Meningie, bought 16 rams to $2200 twice, averaging $1438, while AJ&PA McBride, Brooklyn Station, Lucindale, took home 11 rams to $1200 twice, averaging $1036.
Buying six rams to $2400 twice, averaging $2067, was II&PE Hocking, Lucindale, while Bull Island Pastoral, Avenue Range, bought six to $2200 twice, averaging $2067
The black-faced rams sold to $2800, with Gamble Pastoral Co, Lucindale, winning the first pick of the pen and taking all three rams in one swoop.
The top-priced trio included a mid-July 2020-drop Suffolk which had a weaning weight of 55.5 kilograms and weighed in at 114kg prior to sale day.
Summarising the sale, Elders Lucindale agent Ronnie Dix said strong industry confidence was a major factor in the exceptional average.
"There was a strong showing from repeat buyers and there was several volume buyers that helped the clearance," he said.
Nutrien stud stock's Gordon Wood said the considerable lift in average could be attributed to not only industry confidence, but the improvement of Seriston's performance data.
"The focus here a decade ago was more on things like structure and that focus hasn't been lost, but it has been combined with an increased focus on performance data and Lambplan which will only help with the profitability of his client base," he said.
Nutrien were the duty agent, with Mr Wood and Mr Dix sharing auctioneering duties.
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