I liked his outlook, he is well balanced with a very productive bulky fleece.
Outstanding scale was the most often quoted comment from buyers when asked about the rams they had purchased at the Yarrawonga Merino and Poll Merino ram sale at Harden on account Steve, Liz and Sam Phillips on Monday.
The Phillips family, who very ably assisted by manager Ben Patrick, offered 280 rams and saw 277 sold to top price of $22,000 and average of $3090.
Top price at $22,000 was the first ram offered, a son of Alfoxton 430, who had been bought at the Dubbo ram sales in 2017 for $30,000.
Buyers were Mark and Jody Pendergast, Cottage Park Merinos, Cooma.
Mr Pendergast said he had seen the ram at the South West Slopes Stud Merino Field Day at Harden and was impressed by his scale.
"I liked his outlook, he is well balanced with a very productive bulky fleece," he said. "His wool is sweet and soft and we are sweetening our wool for a particular market."
The rams fleece had impressive figures of 18.1 micron, 2.6 standard deviation and 99.6 per cent comfort factor.
Second top price was $20,000 paid for an ET son of Alfoxton 430 and purchased by sheep consultant Damian Meaburn for Roy Freeman, Stonehouse Grazing, Lemont, Tasmania.
Mr Meaburn said he and Mr Freeman first spotted the ram at the Harden field day and were immediately taken by his scale, a view confirmed during the auction sale.
"We both decided he would be the perfect ram for the breeding program at Stonehouse," he said.
"He is the heaviest ram in the catalogue, and with a most magnificent head he was a very well balanced ram."
The measurements of the fleece recorded 18.4 micron, 2.9 SD and 99.4 percent CF.
Third top price was $12,000 paid by Warren and Jack McRae, Oakbank Merinos, Gre Gre North, Victoria for a Poll Merino son of Y122.
Mr McRae said he and Jack had only attended the sale to have a look at the sheep after the success they were having with the horned ram they had purchased last year.
"We liked the well nourished white wool on the Poll ram," he said.
"Yarrawonga rams are noted for their big frames carrying white well nourished wool and we thought this ram will fit our breeding program."
Those comments were confirmed by the fleece measurements of 17.1 micron, 3.1 SD and 99.4 CF.
They also bought a second ram, a son of Poll Boonoke 538, for $6000.
The Yarrawonga stud had retained 300 semen doses from each of the above rams.
Sons of Alfoxton 430 were in demand with Michael Green, Boudjah Merinos, Cooma, adding to his studs genetic depth with a $9000 purchase, measuring 18.2 micron, 2.8 SD and 99.5 CF, while J and R Phillips, Jerangle also paid $9000 for their choice of the A430 sons.
Buyers who bought rams for $7000 included Forton Pastoral, Epping Forest, Tasmania, Bicton Pty Ltd, Campbelltown, Tas. and Killara Farming, Galore.
Volume buyers included W.A and R.V Webster, Woodbury, Tas who selected 20 rams to average $3925 and Beggan Beggan, Harden, who bought 16 rams to average $3281.
Studmaster Steve Phillips appreciated the continued support from woolgrowers looking for sires with correct conformation and carrying a heavy fleece.
"It was a very good result, and I am pleased people have faith in the wool industry," he said. "It was great to be able to offer 280 rams allowing commercial breeders to be able to buy large drafts of rams with 110 rams selling for less than $2000."
Landmark and Elders conducted the sale with guest auctioneer Paul Dooley, Tamworth, assisted by Rick Power, Landmark.