Indicative of the current strong interest in quality Merino sheep with conformation and heavy-cutting fleeces, the Litchfield family’s Hazeldean Merino stud, Cooma, had a near one hundred per cent clearance of 164 rams.
As it was, 163 sold to top of $5000 and averaged $2529.14 which was indicative of the consistent bidding right through the auction.
Such was the potential pre-sale demand for rams, a further 60 were added to the sale over and above the 104 catalogued.
Confidence in the Hazeldean genetics was also evident with solid support from long-term clients including Bill Brewis, “Murranumbla”, Dalgety, who has been sourcing rams from Hazeldean since the early 1970s.
Mr Brewis paid $5000 for his pick of the Hazeldean offering and said he considered the ram was the heaviest-cutting potential sire in the catalogue.
“He has a great sire head and the highest greasy fleece weight and with the lustre and nourishment in his wool, will be a great addition to our flock,” he said.
“I like the integrity of the Hazeldean sheep; they still look the same after 12 months as when we bought them today.”
Mr Brewis selected a draft of three rams for an average $3500.
Volume buyers and loyal supporters of Hazeldean genetics, Tony and Alex Hill, “Springvale”, Cootamundra, were assisted by Orange-based sheep consultant, Jason Southwell, in their purchase of 14 rams to top $4250 at an average $3018; Warrigal Creek Nominees, “Warrigal Creek”, Darriman, Victoria, took 12 rams south of the border for average price $2250 and J. W and R. M Guthrie, “Meadowbank”, Delegate, added 11 rams to their sire battery for a $2614 average price.
Southern tablelands wool growers, Brian and Helen Anderson, “Lower Sylvia Vale”, Binda, purchased nine new rams to top of $4500 and an average $3695.
Their Merino ewe flock, with average fibre diameter for fleece line of 18.1-micron and classed by Rick Power, Landmark studstock, Grenfell, won the ninth annual ANZ Agribusiness Crookwell Flock Ewe competition in 2017 for the second time in five years.
Other volume buyers included R. and D. Maclure and Son, “Dunedin”, Tarcutta, who selected eight rams to top $4250 (twice) for an average price of $3375; Chris Komos, Willow Bend Station, Boorowa, bought 18 rams for an average $1958 while Street Brothers, Ocean Grove, Victoria, purchased seven rams for average price of $1250.
Sheep breeding consultant, Craig Wilson, purchased six rams on behalf of T. A. Field Estates Pty Ltd, “Benangaroo”, Jugiong, to a top of $3250 (twice) and an average $2750, and advised James Larritt, Woodstock Partnership, Cooma, in his selection of four rams for an average price of $3000.
Springfield Grazing, Cooma, added to the genetic strength of their self-replacing Merino flock with the purchase of eight young sires for an average $1750 while interstate buyer, Chelwood Farming, Mintaro, SA, bought four rams to a top of $4250 at an average price of $3687.50.
Butmaroo Station, Bungendore, purchased two rams at $3000 and $3500 respectively; Romani Pastoral Co, “Garangula”, Harden, bought two rams at $2750 apiece and “Narrangullen”, Yass, also bought two rams at $2750 and $2000.
The sale was conducted by Elders, Cooma, with Tamworth-based auctioneer, Paul Dooley, on the rostrum.