A welcome 31 millimetres of rain the night before the Waverley Downs Merino ram sale near Delungra on Saturday renewed the confidence of buyers who took the opportunity to secure rams surplus to their orders.
The Ballinger family sold 33 of 53 rams on offer for a $1097 average and top price of $2500 for the opening ram of the sale.
Measuring 17.4 micron with a standard deviation of 3.2, a co-efficient variation of 18.5, a comfort factor 99.8 and greasy fleece weight percentage of 136 per cent, the 18-month-old ram was by the MA13 sire and weighed 108 kilograms.
He was secured by repeat client of about 20 years, Geoff Hilton, Cruachan, Texas, Queensland, who was preparing to halve his ewe flock before receiving more than 100 millimetres of rain recently.
While he sold all of his wethers, Mr Hilton had held on to 2500 ewes of about 16.8 micron in the hope of a break.
His top price ram along with another $800 purchase would help top up his ram battery.
"Water was the big thing and the rain came in the nick of time," he said.
"I kept enough rams in the hope the drought would break. I just like to keep the best of the genetics (from Sean Ballinger) to keep up with what he is doing because I think he has gone a long way in the last few years.
"They are just good doing sheep, they adapt well in this country and have really good constitution."
Despite the short term change in the season, prices were still lower than normal.
But buyers took the opportunity to secure a bargain buy including Keith Savage, Delungra, who only came for two rams but purchased five for a top price of $1000.
Ford End Pastoral secured five rams and paid up to $2000 for the best of the draft while Graham and Debbie Easey took home four to a top of $1100.
New buyers Stewart and Jackie Press only 'came for a look' but left with a few rams also.
Given the seasonal conditions, the Waverley Downs rams had been supplement fed to maintain their body weight and follow a standard growth rate.
Stud principal Sean Ballinger was very pleased with the sale result given a lot of their clients around the Delungra and Texas regions had reduced their ewe numbers.
"A lot of them probably didn't need rams but they realised they could get good value for money and get rid of a few of the old ones that they have got," he said.
"Everyone will be trying to get as many lambs on the ground as they can and get a battery of young rams rather than have too many old ones running around."
The sale was conducted by Australian Wool Network and Schute Bell Badgery Lumby.