KERIN Poll Merino stud has again broken records during its 12th annual on-property ram sale at Yeoval last Friday, with 550 rams going under the hammer to gross an impressive Australian Merino record of $1.939 million.
In the largest Merino ram offering in Australia, Nigel Kerin and his family sold the 550 Poll Merino rams to a $16,000 top and $3526 average.
Annually increasing the draft by 50 rams, this year's results were up from a $10,000 top, $3096 average, and $1.548 million gross for 500 rams sold in 2020.
It was a cracking result said Mr Kerin. "Feedback from our oldest clients - and biggest critics was it was the best team we have put up," he said
"These 550 rams were created in the peak of the drought. We culled out 30 per cent of our stud ewes on phenotype and data, and that decision in conjunction with the first year of using MateSel combined with single joinings creating quality in the team.
"It has been easy to add the extra sale ram numbers as our clients are expanding their ewe numbers rapidly, and our business grows as our clients grow.
"We have also normalised the behaviour of joining ewe lambs which means our clients need more rams."
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Rams sold to buyers from local regions as well as further afield in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland, and Western Australia. Several repeat clients and 14 new buyers, nine of which were on AuctionsPlus, operated through the draft.
Goulburn-based Scott Byrne purchased the $16,000 sale-topping ram, Kerin Poll 200220.
The lead lot in the sale, the 114-kilogram twin-born May-drop ram was sired by Kerin Poll 151911 and measured an 18.9-micron fleece with a standard deviation (SD) of 2.7, a coefficient of variation (CV) of 14.4pc, a comfort factor (CF) of 99.5pc.
He had Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) of 8.7 for post weaning weight (PWT), 12 for yearling weight (YWT), -0.7 for yearling fat depth (YFAT), 26.1 for yearling greasy fleece weight (YGFW), 0.3 for yearling eye muscle depth (YEMD), -1.2 for yearling fibre diameter (YFD) and -0.9 for early breech wrinkle (EBWR).
The $13,000 second top price was paid by AuctionsPlus buyers St Katharines Darriman Pty Ltd, Giffard, Vic, for KP202566 a September-drop twin-born 17.9-micron son of KP190002.
Making the trip from Avenel, Vic was the Ridgway family of Gantag Pty Ltd, who put together a draft of 24 rams for a $4667 average.
Included in their selections was the $12,000 third high-seller, KP203604. Growing a 16.8-micron fleece the 98kg September-drop ram had an 8.4 PWT, 10.7 YWT, 0.2 YFAT, 0.9 YEMD, 28 YGFW, -0.7 YFD and -0.6 EBWR.
Joining just under 7000 ewes this year, predominately to Merinos but some to White Suffolk rams, it was the third time the Ridgways had purchased from Kerin Poll.
"We have one-year-old ewes now which are steaming along. We target a 19-micron or less fleece, cutting 5-6kg which they do easily. It is about breeding a better sheep under the fleece," James Ridgway said.
"We were looking for a high PWT, high fleece weight and muscle to breed an earlier maturing lamb - all our wether lambs get sold, so we want them to mature as quick as possible so we can turn them off quickly.
"We also want to start joining ewe lambs... and we are currently in a massive pasture renovation phase to lift stocking numbers, hence coming here to get the sheep to match."
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Large volume buyers were Wykes Partnership, Euchareena, 27 rams to an $8000 top, $3907 average, Westbrook Holdings, Black Springs, 17 rams for a $2529 average, Annesley Pastoral Company, Milbrulong, 11 rams for a $3591 average, Landsgrove Partnership, Wellington, nine rams for a $4000 average and Macdonald Livestock Pty Ltd, Molong, 13 rams to a $6000 top, $3846 average.
Interstate purchasers included the Roberts of Dandaragan, WA, seven rams to a $3286 average, Dennis Rush, Texas, Qld, 10 rams for a $2450 average, Headlam Ag Trust, Woodbury, Tas, six rams to a $3750 average, RA and ML Harvey Pty Ltd, Hartley, SA, four rams averaging $3875.
Looking to the future, Mr Kerin said it is important to increase the level of knowledge needed to get the best out whatever genetics you use, which is the main driver of return on assets managed.
"As soon as the COVID restrictions are relaxed, our intention is to host pop-up field days with the theme being the business of farming which will involve getting the best out of genetics, climate, pastures and people," he said.
"Which moving forward is a major step to increase the return on assets managed on rapidly increasing land values."
The sale was conducted by Bowyer and Livermore, Bathurst, with guest auctioneers Paul Dooley, Paul Dooley Pty Ltd, Tamworth, and James Tierney, Riverina Livestock Agents, Wagga Wagga.
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