THERE was strength right from the start at the Sandalwood Poll Merino sale, on-property at Sandalwood, on Friday, while the increased offering gave clients plenty of choice.
The sale started with Lot 1 selling at $5000, but it was at Lot 19 that the top price of $6600 was achieved.
All up, 260 rams were offered, an increase of 60, with 186 selling under the hammer, for an average $2208.
The sale's top price was paid for a 96 kilogram ram with an 18.2 micron, 2.3 standard deviation, 12.6 coefficient of variation and 99.8 per cent comfort factor, as well as a fat depth of 5.8 millimetres and eye muscle depth of 41mm.
The ram, a son of a homebred Sandalwood sire, was bought by the Rudiger family, Elton Downs, Karoonda, with Spence Dix & Co's Simon Lehmann saying the ram had presented well with a long body, deep hindquarters and extra rib that "really took their eye".
"(The ram had) nice long staple, long white crimp and good depth of body and frame on him," he said.
Rudigers also bought 91kg Lot 4 - a Tamaleuaca sired ram - for $2800, with a 19.4M, 3.0SD, 15.5CV, 99.7CF, 5.4 fat and 40EMD.
Lot 1, a 105kg, 18.6M ram sold at $5000 to CA Hampel and Partners, Meribah.
The equal second top price of $5200 was achieved twice - for Lot 7, sired by Banavie and bought by GJ,HJ,DJ&BM Collins, North Well Station, and for Lot 10, sired by SPM610 - Sandalwood Poll Merinos and purchased by Warrananga Farms, Wentworth, NSW.
Long-time clients CH,AM,DC&MJ Zadow, Karoonda, were the Sandalwood sale's volume buyers with 15 rams to a top of $3200 and average of $1946.
Other volume buyers were Cavanagh Farms, Tintinara, which took home 13 to a top of $4600, David W Francis, Wanbi, with 11 rams to a top of $1300, and Ramsden Primary Producers, Naracoorte, with 10 to a top of $2000.
Repeat and volume buyers, the Ling family, Mount Benson, added another 10 rams to their flock. They family has used the Sandalwood (formerly Kamora Netley Park) bloodlines for the past 28 years with their 4000 ewes.
Alex Ling said they look for a medium density, bold, thick animal, with an 18 to 19 micron.
"We are quite happy with what we have got and what we've selected this year," he said.
Pleased with how the auction went - from return buyers to new clients - stud principal Justin Boughen enjoyed the chance to catch up with buyers to discuss breeding and flock objectives as well as gain feedback on their ram requirements.
"We are happy to fill the shed up each year, even if we don't sell them all, we would rather our clients go home with rams that meet their expectations and production needs," he said.
Nutrien conducted the sale with Richard Miller and Leo Redden auctioneering.
Mr Redden said there was a good representation of buyers from multiple areas including NSW and Victoria in high rainfall zones, local Mallee breeders and drier low-rainfall areas.
"The guts and style of the wool right through to the end of the sale was particularly impressive and the fact they seem to be able to thrive in those various rainfall areas is a credit to (the Boughen family)," he said.
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