THE insatiable appetite for Border Leicester rams continued at Inverbrackie's 29th on-property auction at Finniss on Wednesday, with the main auction average surpassing last year's amazing result.
While there was a full clearance of 224 rams in the main auction, with a $20,000 top price and $3367 average, Inverbrackie principal Lynton Arney was pleased to offer a further 119 rams in buyer selection pens this year to cater to all budgets.
Of the 119 rams offered in the buyer selection pens, 91 sold to a high of $4200, averaging $1453.
Overall, 315 of the 343 rams offered were sold to an average of $2814. That compares to an overall offering of 229 rams, which averaged $3068, in 2020.
"Last year was an exceptional sale and so was this, but it was pleasing this year that we could offer more numbers and cater to the more price-sensitive market," Mr Arney said post-sale.
"You could see people being really selective about the rams they were wanting and we were just pleased to have rams with data to that level."
Renowned for its focus on industry-leading performance data, Inverbrackie's sale lineup boasted 48 rams ranked in the top one per cent of the breed on Lambplan across Australia and 280 in the top 10pc.
"With lamb prices the way they are, people are telling us they are seeing the value of that performance data in the progeny they are getting," Mr Arney said.
There was plenty of stud interest on the top end of the catalogue, with a new stud record set for lot 21.
The $20,000 ram was purchased for stud duty by Martin Harvey, Paxton stud, Western Flat, who also bought lot five for $5600.
The stud record ram boasted an enviable set of data, ranking in the top one per cent in the breed on sheep genetics for weaning weight at 9.9, post-weaning weight at 17, yearling weight at 17.8, adult weight at 19.4, post-weaning eye muscle depth at 2.1, post-weaning scrotal circumference at 6.3, number of lambs weaned at 24pc and maternal dollar index at a catalogue high 191.2, while also ranking in the top 10pc on fecal egg count at -46 and maternal weaning weight at 1.8.
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Lot 17 ranked in the top 1pc on YWT, AWT, NWL and the Maternal Dollar Index and was snapped up by Warra-M Border Leicesters, Penola, for $6400.
Volume buyers across both the main auction and buyer selection pens included two NSW buyers represented by Lambs Alive consultant Jason Trompf.
He bought on behalf of Jemalong Wool, Forbes, NSW, securing 27 rams to $5000, averaging $3415, and regular volume buyer Heulen Pastoral Company, Hovells Creek, NSW, which was successful on 13 rams to $5000, averaging $3769.
Telang Lamb & Beef, Kingston, bought a total of 21 rams to $3600, averaging $2924, while Smith Partners Belton, Orroroo, finished with ten to $2800, averaging $2030, and Poltalloch Pastoral Co bought ten to $2400, averaging $1540.
Cooinda Farming Trust, through TDC, bought eight rams to $2200 twice, averaging $1950.
Buying seven rams to $4400 twice, averaging $3886, was CJ Crawford, Normanville, while Stephens & Stephens, through Elders Kingscote, bought seven to $5000, averaging $3086.
All successful on six rams apiece were HM&LJ Spinks & Sons, Naturi, to $2400, averaging $2233, Sparks Farming, Spalding, to $3800, averaging $3433, and Delro-Alaman, Woolumbool, to $4200, averaging $3500.
There was a huge amount of activity on Auctions Plus, with 115 rams across the whole offering selling and averaging $2291 on the online platform.
Major online buyers included Bradford Hills, Shelbourne, Vic, SJ Brown, Trunkey Creek, NSW, Yalgoo Partnership, Walcha, NSW, Woodstock Partnership, Cooma, NSW, GA&AF Keogh, Morven, NSW, D Todd, Cavendish, Vic, Woodside Moutajup, Moutajup, Vic, and PPHS Naracoorte.
Nutrien stud stock's Gordon Wood said while a $3300 average across 224 rams just a couple of years ago would have seemed inconceivable, the strength and bright future of first-cross ewe and ewe lamb sales meant the result was right in the "sweet spot".
"It was a fantastic result, particularly after last year when we didn't quite have the numbers for all buyers," he said.
"The unknown was whether people would come back in numbers after a bit of pain trying to purchase last year.
"With what we've seen in the industry currently with Border Leicester rams, these (Inverbrackie) rams are not out of reach for people, especially with the massive number on offer."
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