ALLENDALE Merino ram average rose $85 above its 2017 best when 52 of 60 rams sold to a top of $4000 to average $1870 at Wellington on Saturday.
Returning to every sale since 2003 were the Doherty Brothers, Collin, Peter and Mark, Klondyke, Goolma, and again purchased the top priced ram, this year at $4000.
Mark Doherty said the family return to Allendale each year for their ram supply as Allendale principals, Tony and Penny Inder, Wellington, continually breed highly productive uncomplicated sheep.
This year the brothers only bought two rams, the sale-topper being a 17.3 micron AI son of Charinga Herbert and the $3000 19.1 micron ram by the same sire.
The Porter family, Wilga Downs, Tullamore, paid an average $3333 for three rams including two at $3500, all by Allendale sires.
Strong supporters of the stud, Anthony and Libby James, Springvale Pastoral Company, Coolah, purchased nine rams for a $1944 average.
Anthony accompanied his mother, Wendy, who enjoyed the pre-sale inspections and the friendly spirited bidding during the sale.
The Springvale flock is in rebuilding mode after the drought with Mr James saying he was keeping as many of his young ewes to join in the breeding flock to increase numbers.
The James' paid up to $3000 for their draft.
Graham (Graz) Colley, Mountain View, Hargraves, near Mudgee, bought two rams paying to $2500 for his top purchase, a son of an Allendale sire, while PD Colley, Wyoming, Hargraves, also bought two averaging $2000 and topping at $2500.
Rob Monk of Monk Partnership, Wattle Grove, Mendooran, also a returning buyer for more than 20 years, secured four rams while paying a $1625 average and top of $1750 twice.
He is currently running 1000 Merino ewes of 20 micron and cutting 6kg fleeces.
Also returning was Greg Woodlock of Tuscan Pastoral, Kaloola, Marra Creek, north of Nyngan, who this year purchased seven rams for a $1393 average and topping at $1750 three times.
Mr Woodlock said he was busy restocking adn rebuilding his Merino flock after the drought as he has confidence in the industry. The Kaloola flock is now thriving on natural grasses in the saltbush country after a late seasonal change.
Rain didn't arrive out in that country until Easter this year.
The sale was conducted by Australian Wool Network, Mudgee, and Stuart Milling, Dunedoo, with Angus Stuart the auctioneer.