A mix of new and repeat buyers were present at the Maister’s Swamp Merino Stud ram sale on Thursday.
Topping at $2000, the sale saw 20 of the 40 rams offered sell for a 50 per cent clearance rate and average of $1000, with a further five rams selling after the conclusion of the auction.
Jim Ferguson of “Merivale”, Tardan, was the top bidder on the day, purchasing Lot 7 for $2000.
The top-priced ram, Maister’s Swamp JH182, was a poll and weighed 70.5 kilograms. It had a fibre diameter of 16.6 micron, standard deviation (SD) of 2.5 micron, and a co-efficient variation (CV) of 14.8pc.
The second top-priced ram, Maister’s Swamp MS15158, was purchased by Rick McCowen, Tenterfield for $1700.
Weighing 87.5kg, the horned ram had a fibre diameter of 17.4 micron, SD of 2.9 micron, and CV of 16.9pc.
Mr McCowen was also the top volume buyer on the day, taking home four rams for an average of $2100.
Maister’s Swamp stud principle David Watson said he was pleased with the outcome even though dry conditions were making it difficult to sell rams.
“We’re very pleased with the outcome because this is the best offering we’ve ever had,” he said.
“They’re well-grown, they’ve got beautiful tips on them, and they’re heavy cutting.
“It’s very hard still for Merinos to compete against cross-breds and cattle.
“People are still a little bit hesitant and the weather’s playing into it too.
“It’s very dry out this way. Even in the last two weeks, it’s dried off and that stops people coming to sales and buying rams.”
The sale was conducted by Schute Bell, Armidale, and Graham Andrews, Schute Bell, was the auctioneer.