Breeding Poll Merino rams with exceptional measurements backed by correct structure proved their worth on Monday, when Stephen and Carol Huggins, Woodpark Poll, Hay, offered 150 rams for annual auction at Jerilderie.
Opening the sale, Mr Huggins acknowledged the difficulty of raising Merino sheep through the very wet spring and summer last year.
He told his audience the rams that were presented have the grit and ability to rise above all the seasonal challenges thrown at them.
"I heard many sheep producers talk about their inability to keep fly out of their sheep no matter the chemical used," Mr Huggins said.
"However, through our decades of focus on breeding the 'right' skin with white mobile waxy wools, only 0.0027pc of our 5500 breeding ewes were impacted by fly through those extreme conditions, despite the fact that no fly chemical had been applied to those ewes."
A complete clearance was a feature with the top price $13,500 paid by Donald, Ann and Will Bull, Deniliquin, for a son of 19-120 (who is the top one percent of all sheep on MerinoSelect).
The sale recorded an average price of $2926.33, while 15 flock rams sold to $2000 for an average price of $1320.
The Bull family are repeat buyers and were attracted to the ram for his beautiful fleece and strong conformation.
Donald Bull said the ram has all the attributes to enhance their self-replacing Merino flock.
"He is well-structured with a great barrel, and a very rich wool, long stapled, deep crimp and soft," he said.
Mr Bull's new sire, a homozygous poll carried a fleece with the measurements of 17.9m, 4.1 standard deviation, 22.7 co-efficient of variation, and 99.8pc comfort factor.
His Flock Breeding Values indicated 8.7 yearling weight (top 30pc MerinoSelect), 0.3 yearling eye muscle depth, 0.0 yearling fat, 31.6 yearling clean fleece weight ((top 10pc), -1.3 yearling fibre diameter with 183 Merino Production Plus and 192 Dual Purpose Plus (both top ten pc).
The second top price at $9000 was purchased by JAB Shorter and Son, Burren Junction, and was assisted in their selections by Craig Wilson, Craig Wilson Livestock, Wagga Wagga.
The ram, a homozygous poll son of 19-120 carried a fleece with the measurements of 17.8m, 2.9 SD, 16.1 CV, and 99.7pc CF.
His Flock Breeding Values recorded 9.8 YWT, (top 20pc), 0.9 YEMD, 1.0 YFAT (both top 30pc), 26.2 YCFW, -1.7 YFD, with 177 MP+ and 194 DP+ (top ten pc).
The Shorter family selected a draft of eight rams for an average price of $4593.75.
Mr Wilson said the ram will be used by the Shorter's over elite Merino ewes to breed rams for their own use.
"They are involved with the wether trials in the Riverina and were very impressed with the performance of the Woodpark Poll progeny," he said. "They are very figure orientated but are also very particular on the structure of the sheep."
Volume buyers included PA and JE Rayner, Walla Walla, who purchased four to a top price of $4500 (2) and average price of $4000.
Buying through AuctionsPlus, Ben Banks, Blackall, QLD, who selected two rams at $6000 each and Marcus Gellert, Glenthompson, Victoria, who bought one at $4000.
Corynnia Pty Ltd, Carathool, bought 19 rams for $1674 average: McCorkell Pastoral Co Pty Ltd, Branxholme, Victoria, paid $2730 average price for ten and PJ Dean, Longreach, QLD, added to their sire battery with nine rams to $7000 (third top price) and average of $4500.
Mr Huggins said the sale reflected confidence in the future of wool and the integrity of the Woodpark Poll genetics.
The sale was settled by Nutrien Deniliquin, with Elders, Jerilderie, and interfaced with Elite Livestock and AuctionsPlus. Rick Power (Nutrien) and Nick Gray and Harry Cozens (Elders) took the bids.
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