Total clearance at Trigger Vale

Top price: Rodney McDonnell, Alex Croker Francis & Co, Tim McMeekin Elders, David Kosa and Helen De Costa Francis & Co. and Andrew Bouffler, Trigger Vale. Picture: Mandy Bouffler
Top price: Rodney McDonnell, Alex Croker Francis & Co, Tim McMeekin Elders, David Kosa and Helen De Costa Francis & Co. and Andrew Bouffler, Trigger Vale. Picture: Mandy Bouffler

After considerable pre-sale enquiry, Lot 5 was the sale topper at $10,000 and only had to travel 5 kms to his new home at J & M McDonnell's.

His great balance of Breeding Value figures made him ideal to be used in the McDonnell nucleus ram breeding program.

Mr Bouffler commented that the ram was lucky to make the sale as he was very nearly retained in the Trigger Vale program and it was only in the last week once semen had been collected for our own use that we decided to sell him. "Having breeding values in the top 10 percent for growth, Scrotal size, Breech wrinkle, Breech cover, Yearling muscle and fat and the fact that the Trigger Vale 160058 son was also in the top 20 percent band for Clean fleece weight and Number of lambs weaned indicates that there certainly are genetics available that are both a non-mulesing option with high production" Mr Bouffler said.

The losing bidder was Gleneith Grazing WA who went on to secure 6 other rams from the draft. Second top price of $7500 was a Trigger Vale 160586 son whose progeny sold very strongly throughout the sale and was secured by Zammit Pastoral, Ballarat.

With ASBV's for growth, fat and muscle in the top one percent in the Merinoselect database this ram highlights why sheep breeders from four states made the trip to the Trigger Vale sale.

Mr Bouffler stated that "while these traits aren't what producers traditionally look for in Merino programs the value of them for do-ability, resilience and lamb survival are starting to be sort after and the huge success of the sale today is a result of the fact that we are leading industry in these areas".

Volume buyers included one of Trigger Vales longest clients in the Forbes family who put together a very even draft of 14 rams averaging $2100 and second year clients the Clutterbuck family Edenhope Victoria who took home 11 rams averaging $2580.

In the White Suffolk draft a top of $2000 was reached on 3 occasions with a 100 percent clearance of the 80 lots for an average of $1260.

The first ram into the ring for the White Suffolk ram was secured for $2000 by TT & GL Leeming, Penola Victoria. With a moderate birthweight and high Post Weaning Growth breeding value's the outstanding attributes of this ram was a 3.2 for Post weaning eye muscle and a positive 0.9 for Fat.

The combination of these figures placed him in the top 10 percent for both the old Carcase + and new TCP indexes.

The second White Suffolk sold also made $2000 and was secured by Blue Hills Family Trust at Newland SA.

The attraction of this particular ram was now doubt the curve bending combination of a low birthweight ASBV of 0.14 with a Weaning weight of 10.4 and Post weaning weight of 16.8 placing him in the top 10 percent for growth.

Finally 15 lots later a Trigger Vale 160706 son was purchased in partnership between Ben Prentice (NSW) and Tim Ferguson (Vic) for their respective White Suffolk stud breeding programs.

Volume buyers included new Trigger Vale clients Craig and Ben Rodham from Uranquinty purchasing eight for an average of $995 and Coonong Pty Ltd securing seven at auction and five out the back after the sale for a total of 12.

In conclusion Mr Bouffler said "He couldn't be happier with the overall result with the real highlight being the record number of registered bidders of 74. With over 25 of them coming to Trigger Vale for the first time it shows that our committed breeding program combining over 20 years of pedigree based objective measurement with selection for structurally correct functioning animals is resonating with sheep producers". Graded rams in both breeds are now available for private sale.