INVESTMENT in quality genetics over the past few years paid off for the Chalker family of Lach River Merinos, Darby's Falls on Thursday, with their 5th on-property ram sale results significantly increasing.
Overall 44 rams sold of the 55 on offer for a 80 per cent clearance, $12,000 top and $2471 average, up from a $5000 top and $1850 average in 2019.
Mark and Jodie Pendergast of Cottage Park Merinos, Cooma, secured the $12,000 sale topper in Lach River 190664.
Sired by a Cottage Park ram that is by Brundanella 19, he had Roseville Park 14 in his pedigree, and was thought to be a good cross out of a stud Calendar ewe from Lach River.
The horned ram measured 21.4 in the micron with a standard deviation (SD) of 3.4, a coefficient of variation (CV) of 15.9pc, comfort factor (CF) of 99.2pc, greasy fleece weight (GFW) of 8.8kg and 124pc. He weighed 106.5kg with a body weight percentage of 110pc, a fat depth of 6mm and eye muscle depth (EMD) of 40mm.
Buying from Lach River for the first time, the Pendergasts were drawn in by the coverage and outlook of the top ram.
"It is hard to find a stud sire with good feet, leg and bone with confirmation and coverage," they said.
The second high selling ram was Lach River 190021, a son of the Yarrawonga Poll ram, that was purchased for $4750 by M Kelly of Kingsdale.
A polled ram, he was 18 in the micron with a 3.1 SD, 17.2pc CV and 99.7pc CF with a 9.9kg and 139pc GFW. Weighing 97.5kg he had a body weight percentage of 101pc with a 34.5mm EMD and 4.5mm fat depth.
The largest volume buyers were the McGan family of Wyangala who purchased six rams to a top of $2500 and averaged $1667.
Returning to buy was the Wallace family of Melrose Pastoral, Cowra, who have had a number of successes in the Mid-Lachlan Maiden Ewe Competition, including being the runners-up in 2020 and winners in 2019 with their ewes of Lach River blood. They purchased five rams for a top of $4500 and average of $2200.
Lach River co-principal Richard Chalker said they were happy with the results that were significantly up from last year, and thankful for the support from buyers.
Commenting at the start of the sale Mr Chalker said despite the rams being raised in a drought this was the best line they had put up so far, with a few more figures presented.
"This seems to be the way to go, with eye muscle and fat what people are now looking for," he said.
Auctioneer Rick Power from selling agents Nutrien said the Chalkers' investment in the Merino industry is second to none, and it has paid off and will continue to be rewarding in the long-term.
"Their fifth on-property sale has been a good result and it is a testament to their investment in top sires over the past four to five years," Mr Power said.
"Sheep with Lach River bloodlines are performing locally and in ewe competitions, and it is making people pay good money for good rams."
On-display was the $72,500 Collinsville 180641 'Gladiator' ram that Lach River purchased in syndicate with Towalba Merinos, Peak Hill, from the 2019 Adelaide Royal Ram Sale last September, as well as some of his first drop of ram lambs.