CONFIDENCE from loyal wool growers pushed prices at the 10th annual Maister’s Swamp Merinos ram sale to a $2000 high near Kentucky last Thursday.
The 20 rams sold at auction from David and Tina Watson’s draft averaged $1016 with a number of rams from the 20 remaining selling after the fall of the hammer.
Gavin Thorpe, “Auburn”, Delungra, secured the $2000 sale topper, a poll ram measuring 8.4 kilograms for Greasy Fleece Weight (GFW), a fibre diametre of 17-micron, a standard deviation (SD) of 3.4pc and a positive Worm Egg Count (WEC) of +45.
The 70.5kg 2014-drop ram was selected on long body length and wool cut.
“He has a lovely loose skin and he’ll take our lambs to the next level,” Mr Thorpe said.
A past shearing contractor for Maister Swamp, Mr Thorpe had the advantage of seeing what the stud ewes were cutting and took notice by purchasing his first ram six years ago.
“Since using the David’s rams, our wool cut has increased phenomenally. Our ewes have gone from cutting 3kg to 4.5kg and our wethers are at 7-8kg,” he said.
Rick McCowen, Deepwater, secured six rams to average $1084.
Included in his draft was the second highest priced ram, an 82kg poll sire measuring 9.12kg for GFW, 19-micron, SD of 4, and a WEV of +53, purchased for $1700.
“His wool cut being high in the numbers, his loose skin and good development were the characteristics I liked about him,” Mr McCowen said.
Described as “the best kept secret in the New England” Mr McCowen said he has benefitted from an increase in wool cut and decrease in micron since using the Maister Swamp rams over the last 10 years.
“The first rams I bought of David cut double the wool,” he said.
Also present at the sale where the winners of the inaugural Northern Tablelands weather trial held at Glen Innes, Steve and Robyn Johnston, “Oakhurst”, Deepwater.
The husband and wife won the competition using Maister Swamp genetics and complimented the rams on improving the type, style and cut of their wool.
“We now have a wool type,” Mr Johnston said. He selected five rams to average $800.
Vendor David Watson was pleased with the turnout of repeat buyers complementing their trust and loyalty to the Maister Swamp breeding program.
A minutes silence was also lead by Mr Watson at the start of the sale for the tragic passing of a fellow up and coming Merino breeder, Cameron Cox, Bocoble Merinos.
The sale was conducted by Schute Bell Badgery Lumby with Graham Andrews controlling the bids.