REPEAT buyers from the local district and strong support from online bidders saw the Petali Poll Merino Ram Sale record a strong average and $4000 top near Walcha on Thursday.
At the fall of the hammer 42 of the 68 Poll Merino rams on offer by the Oppenheimer family were sold to a $2047 average. Another three rams were sold after the sale, pushing the overall average to $1977.
The draft of 15-month-old sires had been mated with the Petali commercial merino flock as ram weaners and were commended by agents and buyers alike on their worm egg count (YWEC), which averaged -29 per cent.
The top price ram, tag 171073, had an impressive YWEC of -57 per cent and was secured by Veolia Environmental Service, Tarrago, for $4000.
The son of the Petali Poll sire 150475 had a yearling clean fleece weight of 16 per cent and an early breech wrinkle of -0.7.
The $4000 ram was one of 11 secured by Veolia on the day for an overall average of $2522.
Unlike some buyers at the sale, the season at Veolia had started to pick up and their ram purchases would be used within their 8500 Merino ewe flock of 17.5 micron.
Buyer representative Alex Djikic said Veolia had been purchasing Petali rams for quite some time and was impressed with their impact on their flock.
“(The top price ram) just had good wool type, WEC, growth rate and all of his figures in general,” he said.
Petali stud principal Martin Oppenheimer told the wool shed full of buyers that they were continually committed to producing sheep that had heavy fleece cuts but not super heavy fleece weights.
“We are continually pushing, not only the early growth and higher fleece weights, but putting fat and muscle into those sheep along with WEC,” he said.
“Fat, muscle and WEC so the sheep survive better, do better, breed better and are more efficient to run under our trying conditions.
“Drought or no drought we need sheep that can pretty much look after themselves and make the most of the feed we give them.”
Of the registered bidders, eight of them were active on the day including Milparinka Pastoral Company, Guyra, who secured eight rams averaging $2031.
AuctionsPlus proved a worthwhile service with nine rams purchased by online buyers.
The Oppenheimers also offered a line of 70 White Suffolk rams on the day with 22 sold for an average of $827.
The top price ram reached $1100 and was secured by J Fletcher and Son, Kentucky Station, Kentucky.
A son of Farrer 188, he had a WEC of -28 and a lamb 2020 eating quality index of 137.
While they commonly run a fine Merino flock, Kentucky Station’s Jerry Rogers said their older ewes were joined to White Suffolk rams to produce first-cross lambs.
They had been securing Petali rams for their operation for the last four or five years.
The sale was conducted by Landmark Boultons Walcha and Elders Walcha with Paul Dooley as auctioneer.