Confidence in the wool industry was evident during the seventh annual on-property ram sale held on account of Michael and Jane Corkhill, Grassy Creek Merinos, Reids Flat.
District wool growers returned, looking for rams with the potential to breed heavy cutting progeny and aware of the genetic ability of the sires to perform on their properties.
Tom and Georgie McGuiness, Clonalton, Reids Flat added to their genetic pool with the purchase of two Poll Merinos at $6,500 and $6,250.
The top priced ram, a son of Tallawong 280 in turn sired by Hazeldean 3542, had the impressive figures of 15.8 micron, S.D 2.1 and comfort factor of 100 per cent.
They have been using Grassy Creek rams for the past six years, and are very happy with their flock performance. They are now involved closely with studmaster Michael Corkhill and sheep consultant Craig Wilson in driving the productivity to higher levels.
“We have contracted to breed rams for Tom and Georgie,” Mr Corkhill said.
“Each year 160 of our ewes are A.I’ed to rams selected by Tom, Craig and myself from which the top ram lambs are then selected for use in Tom and Georgie’s flock.”
Mr McGuiness said the program gave him some control over the specific genetic destiny of his flock, and enjoyed having an input into the breeding of his rams.
“We are looking for a sheep with moderate frame so they are not to big to handle, yet have a lot of wool and high MP+ index,” he said.
“Ours is similar country to where the rams are bred and the early maturity suits us.”
Mr McGuiness said he evaluates his flock performance on kg/ha rather than on a per head basis, and was currently producing 35 kilogram clean per ha.
“We are trying to get it to 40 kilograms across all the flock,” he said.
“Their fertility is incredible. With our spring lambing we consistently mark over 100 per cent from our 12,000 Merino ewes.”
Kangiara woolgrower Tom Gunthorpe was advised by Elders Goulburn wool manager Craig Pearsall in his choice of the draft, also sired by Tallawong 280, for which he paid $5500.
“I am looking for a very deep crimping soft wool on a correct ram,” Mr Gunthorpe said.
“The wool is perfect for the Tablelands and our ram has high index figures along with 17.3 micron and comfort factor 99.5 per cent.”
Mr Corkhill noted the ram had a particularly soft skin and was growing a long-stapled fleece.
Returning from southern Victoria, Garry and Kaye Davidson of Walpa paid $5750 for the pick of the Grassy Creek offering.
A Poll Merino, he was bought because he was a son of Tallawong 280.
“We had been on Middleview bloodlines, and continued here because the sheep suit our high rainfall country in the Gippsland,” Mr Davidson said.
“Our fleeces average five-and-a-half to six kilograms across the flock, and the wool, which is white and of good style, is sought after by the trade.”
The Davidsons run their wethers as wool cutters until they are five years and sell them through the Ballarat sale yards.
Repeat buyer Willow Bend Station, Boorowa made their presence felt purchasing 23 rams for top $2500 and average price $1706.
A new buyer was David Mayne, purchasing rams for his properties in the Cowra and Frogmore districts.
Mr Mayne was attracted to the Grassy Creek draft for their performance he had noted in district flocks.
“I think they are the best rams for our area,” he said.
Mr Mayne selected a large draft of 19 rams and paid to $4250 to average $2369.
Other volume buyers included Craigmoor Partnership, Goulburn, who bought eight rams for $2625 average and Heven Pty Ltd, Belgravia, who paid to $2750 in their selection of seven rams for a $1857 average.
Speaking of the sale result, Mr Corkhill said it had been a challenging period for all woolgrowers due to adverse seasonal conditions, but the wool market and sheep prices had never been better.
“We have every confidence in the wool market for the medium term and we have just shorn our maiden ewes cutting 7.8 kilograms of 17 micron wool, up a bit from last year,” he said.
“We have a lot of very good young ewes coming through, so can put a lot of selection pressure on them.”
The auction was settled by Landmark, Yass and Boorowa, with Rick Power drawing the bids.