AMONG the 184 Egelabra specially selected rams heading to three states for an average of $2632 was the 750th auction ram purchased by Womboin Station, Girilambone, who have been clients for more than 30 years.
The total auction clearance at the Kater family’s 33rd annual ram sale held on the picturesque plots of Egelabra’s ram depot “Eenaweena”, west of Warren, was a fitting tribute to the continued breeding policies of predictably, evenness and breeding true to type while producing a quality bright white fleece.
Egelabra manager, Cam Munro, said it was a time to be breeding Merinos again.
“There are no substantial numbers of Merino ewes from Winton to Melbourne.
“Traders have had a dream run, but with the decline in Merino ewe numbers from the ongoing droughts experienced by many landholders there will be a focus on good quality flocks of Merino ewes to drive profit over the foreseeable future.
“All we need is a run of good seasons and the pattern seems to be on the change.”
Flock average micron this year was 19.2 with average eye muscle depth (EMD) of 35 millimetres with rams in the catalogue averaging 86.5 kilograms weight.
The first 10 specially selected rams topped $16,000 to average $6600 while 174 selected rams topped at $5500 to average $2404.
Another client of 30 years–plus, David Lowe, secured the top priced ram HEK 3907 with his property managers David Motley of Gerar Station, Nyngan, and Campbell Keene, “Yoorooga”, Yeoval, plus another at $5000.
The top ram was high quality all over, according to Mr Lowe and will be joined to selected mobs within the Gerar flock while also used in an Egelabra AI Program.
The sale-toper, Lot 1, was 98.5kg, by a general sire, and growing 21.3 micron wool with an EMD of 38mm and cutting 5.5kg at 7mths of age.
The $5000 purchase was also by a general sire growing 17.2 micron wool and weighing 91kg with an EMD of 34mm.
Returning for their 11th year was Spike and Kirsty Wall, St Hillary stud, Bukkulla between Ashford and Inverell, who bought one ram, the second top price of the sale for $10,000.
Mr Wall said he liked the size and depth of the 18.4 micron son of EEM syndicate, the heaviest ram in the catalogue weighing 104.5kg with an EMD of 42mm.
“We were looking for an impact ram as our main sire for our stud established five years ago,” Mr Wall said.
“This ram has all the attributes we are looking for and he’ll put a bit of stretch into our sheep.”
Womboin Station in the Marra district purchased 25 rams for a $2660 average and topping at $4500 twice.
Manager, Andrew McGrath, said Egelabra rams produced free growing true medium wool and clicked well with the 7000 ewes of 20 micron average growing 7- 7.5kg of wool.
Oliver and Phillip Wythes, Rockdale Merinos, Canowindra, paid $5500 top selected ram price for an EEM Syndicate ram growing 19.7 micron wool and an EMD of 32mm weighing 79kg.
Under-bidder on the sale topper, Oliver Wythes said he liked the ram’s sirey outlook and size. “He has a sire’s head, good wool length and thickness,” he said.
Paying a $4333 average for three rams topping at $5500 was the Steeco Pastoral Company, Top Valley Station, Parkes, while the Ridley family of Pine Hill Merino stud, Forbes, also paid to $5500 for three rams averaging $4500.
Robert Hain, Gunyah stud, Cooma, a daughter stud of three Hain generations, secured two rams paying to $5000 and $4250 average.
The Peffer family’s Peffer Pastoral Company, “Vale Head”, Molong, bought six rams for a $3917 average topping at $4500 twice while the McDonald family, “Donnaville”, Tamworth, bought three rams to $5000 and $3583 average.
Mendooran’s Kenny family, “Yammon”, bought four rams for a $2938 average topping at $4500 with the Maroombah Trust, Euchareena, securing a trio to $4500 to average $2917.
Returning this year to buy 12 rams was the Nuthall family of Dutton Park Pastoral Company, Young, who paid up to $4500 for their draft that, averaged $2604.
The Smith family’s Adrian and Ellen Smith, “Tralee”, St George, Qld, paid a $2800 average for five rams to $3250 for their 1000 ewe flock of 19.5 micron.
The sale was conducted by Elders Dubbo, and Landmark Wilson Russ, Warren, with Paul Dooley, Tamworth, the guest auctioneer.