Buyers up ante on Border-East Friesian rams at Warrawindi sale

Sale delay impacts on Warrawindi's Poll Dorset clearance

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PENOLA-based Warrawindi stud had a fortnight longer to wait for its 17th annual on-property ram sale than anticipated, but last Friday's sale was still a strong result.

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PENOLA-based Warrawindi stud had a fortnight longer to wait for its 17th annual on-property ram sale than anticipated, but last Friday's sale was still a strong result.

The Galpin family had their sale plans thrown into chaos after a positive COVID case in Mount Gambier three days before their sale was originally scheduled. SA Health restrictions then forced them to postpone their sale.

At the later date buyers from four states fought it out for the Border Leicester-East Friesian offering where 115 of 148 rams averaged $2400, nearly on a par with last year.

But the biggest impact was seen in the Poll Dorsets where 36 less rams sold than 2020.

In the Border Leicester-East Friesian offering, AuctionsPlus had 239 bids with eight buyers successful on 34 lots.

This included the $6600 sale topper which sold to Dennis Gleeson, Colligen Creek Farms, Wakool, NSW.

The lot 10 ram which had a MCP+ of 133 was sired by Inverbrackie 180407 and out of an East Friesian ewe.

Underbidder, DL&DM Hawker, Serviceton, Vic, was successful on four rams, two of these at $6000 each.

Buyers preferenced those Border Leicester-East Friesians which were 50 per cent of each breed, rather than 75 per cent and 25 per cent.

Volume buyers included Benara Pastoral, Mount Gambier, with eight rams to $3200, averaging $2300 and the Tonkins family, Casterton, Vic, who secured 10 rams to $2000, averaging $1510.

Stud principal David Galpin was "extremely happy" with the result on the maternals but said rams were still one of the cheapest investments in agriculture.

He said they, along with their clients, were seeing the benefits of the East Friesian infusion with high fertility but ewes also able to rear lambs to finished weights.

"The year has been tough enough (season wise) but with our second cross lambs out of the East Friesians we have topped at $280 and averaged $246 and in a couple of late lambing mobs we have had 200 per cent lambing," he said.

"The only issue we are finding is that in the middle of winter we have too many lambs but we have been able to drop our ewe numbers back and still turn off the same number of lambs."

An impressive Poll Dorset which was used as a ram lamb made the $3600 top price of the category.

The lot 171 ram, Warrawindi Gladiator 200138, sold to Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson director Rob Handbury who was buying on behalf of Carcoola Pastoral, Lucindale.

"He is a really thick, deep bodied ram with a nice open face and his figures are good but structurally he is exceptional," Mr Handbury said.

The May 2020 drop was a son of Ivadene 100056 and had already produced 40kg plus progeny.

The ram was in the top five per cent on Lambplan for lambing ease.

Throughout the Poll Dorset offering there was some great value with many selling between $1000 and $1400. Overall 123 of 149 rams averaged $1495.

Securing 10 rams each were JM&MC Williams, Kalangadoo and Baxter Hill, Kingston SE, paying to a $2000 and $1800 high respectively.

Jordan and Chelsea Galpin, Warra-J, had a full clearance of their 18 Suffolk rams for a $1377 average.

The first of these- lot 151- sold for the $3000 highest price in the category to Stuart and Samantha Moeck, Valley Creek Simmentals, Bowral, NSW.

Nutrien Mount Gambier auctioneer Sam O'Connor said the market for the Border Leicester-East Friesians was opening up with many new Vic buyers operating.

SA Health in their wisdom chose to not allow this one sale in the state to go ahead when every other sale across the state and across the country has. - Nutrien Mount Gambier's Sam O'Connor

He said the Poll Dorset sale showed the stud had many loyal clients but understandably some buyers chose not to wait.

"SA Health in their wisdom chose to not allow this one sale in the state to go ahead when every other sale across the state and across the country has," he said.

"I just hope that no other producers are put in that position by stupid government decisions."

Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson auctioneer Matt Treglown said it was a solid result on the Border-East Friesian rams and the pass in rate on the Poll Dorsets was no different to many other South East sales.

"The East Friesian-Borders just keep getting better and better each year and in the Poll Dorsets there is quality all the way through, you don't just have to operate in those top 50 rams," he said.

David Galpin said the Poll Dorset sale result was about what he expected but estimates the later sale lessened demand by 20-25 rams.

"We had quite a few people that had bought extra rams last year that didn't need any this year but there was definitely an impact from putting the sale off for two weeks," he said.

"Several of our clients who normally buy half of their rams from us and half from somewhere else bought extra at these other sales because the rams were good value."

Mr Galpin said it was very frustrating to see other ram sales go ahead nearby yet they could not get approval to have a sale. Buyers from the area deemed high risk were still attending these sales too.

"Our sale could have gone ahead without any risk of spreading the disease," he said.

"These decisions are being made from city offices by people who do not understand how things work in the country."

Nutrien and TDC were joint selling agents.

On Friday, November 26, Warrawindi will hold another sale, with 120-130 spring drop Suffolk, Poll Dorset, Border Leicester-East Friesian and Border Leicester rams to be offered on AuctionsPlus.

Mr Galpin said the new sale had been a few years in the making.

"A lot of people haven't bought their ewes yet or are still shearing so they don't have a handle on the number of ewes they have to mate yet, and many of our clients don't mate until the the beginning of December or even January," he said.

"We always get people looking for a few extras and we had some high quality spring drops so we thought why not put them up."

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