The second and final stage of Ramsay Park's White Suffolk ewe dispersal sale on Friday last week had stud principal Peter Button "blown away", with breeders from right across the country bidding up on top genetics from the Minlaton stud.
Following the first dispersal stage in November last year, where 323 ewes sold of 412 offered, 172 ewes were offered in Friday's sale, which included 2020-drop ewes, mixed age ewes, and ewe lambs.
Of 132, 2020-drop ewes offered, 123 sold, topping at $5000 and averaging $1084, while all 20 mixed age ewes sold to $700, averaging $365.
All 20 ewe lambs also sold, to $3000, averaging $595, while 24 ram lambs were also offered, which all cleared to $1200 twice, averaging $750.
The top price 2020-drop ewe, lot 67, was knocked down to John Dalla, Orrie Cowie, Warooka.
A twin, and sired by Warburn 60048, the ewe sported figures including 0.48 for birthweight, 11.03 for weaning weight, 18.86 for post weaning weight, 0.37 for fat, 3.54 post-weaning eye muscle depth and -0.32 intramuscular fat. It also had a Lamb Eating Quality index of 156.89, and a Terminal Carcase Production index of 161.28.
Mr Dalla was impressed by the ewe's figures and "good type."
"She was a good balance of everything right through her figures, and a fantastic phenotype to match," he said.
Mr Dalla bought four other 2020-drop ewes, overall averaging $1340, as well as two ram lambs at $600 and another at $700, and two ewe lambs at $900 and $500.
He has been buying rams intermittently from Ramsay Park for about 15 years, and invested in last year's dispersal sale as well.
"Peter (Button) has done a good job with the breeding for a long time, the sheep are a good type and are really quality stock," he said.
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The top ewe lamb, lot 180, was snapped up by Cameron Ferguson, Tiparra Springs, Weetulta, after an intense bidding battle.
Mr Ferguson said he was impressed with the ewe's growth for age.
"I've had my eye on her for a few months, the way she stands, the body on her, and just looking at her in the ring she'd come on even more than I thought she would," he said.
Sired by Ramsay Park 200078, the May-drop ewe had figures of 0.53BWT, 11WWT, 17.4PWWT, 2.12PEMD, -0.07Pfat, and -0.46 IMF, with a LEQ index of 139.61 and a TCP of 145.9.
Peter Button said he was humbled by the faith breeders had in the stud's genetics, in this sale and for the 27 years he has been in the stud game.
"It was a fantastic sale, we didn't necessarily know how AuctionsPlus was going to go, but sitting in the stands watching the prices climb, it was pretty emotional," he said.
"Even the older ewes, most of them were at base price but they sold well and I'm pleased people have picked them up to breed with them.
"You do this for a long time, and you hope people appreciate it and see value in the genetics.
"We enjoy being involved, you get as much out of it as you put into it."
AuctionsPlus certainly carried the sale, with a total of 115 lots sold online.
Among the volume buyers online were RA & RA Caldwell, Forbes, NSW, who bought 16, 2020-drop ewes to $1300, averaging $875, while Peter O'Connell, Stormy Lodge White Suffolks, Marrar, NSW also secured 16, topping at $1200 and averaging $819.
S&N Branson, Mortlake, Vic, bought 12 rams to $1100, averaging $842, and Ashley Murphy, Kotta, Vic, also bid online securing 14 mixed age ewes to $400, averaging $314, and five ewe lambs, all at $300.
NL Geue, Kingston SE, bought five 2020-drop ewes to $900, averaging $840, two mixed age ewes at $400 and $600, and nine ram lambs to $900, averaging $789.
PR&VE Hagger, Jamestown, secured six 2020-drop ewes to $1000, averaging $783, six ram lambs to $700, averaging $633, and two ewe lambs, both at $400.
Elders and Nutrien conducted the sale, with Elders' Tony Wetherall and Nutrien's Gordon Wood sharing the gavel.
Peter and Julie have been so supportive of young people in the industry for a long time, and they have reached a pinnacle with their breeding.
Mr Wood was pleased with the interest shown online from interstate breeders.
"There are a lot of White Suffolk ewes on the market and more to come, so people are spoilt for choice and you never know what is going to happen, but there was support right across the country," he said.
"We knew AuctionsPlus was going to be strong, but maybe not quite to that level - it was great to see."
Mr Wood commended the Buttons on their contribution to the sheep industry across a lengthy period.
"The Buttons are wonderful people, Peter and Julie have been so supportive of young people in the industry for a long time, and they have reached a pinnacle with their breeding," he said.
The stud's final sale will be on January 21, 2022, which will be a dispersal of the Suffolks and black composites.
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