BIDDERS from six states lined up online and onsite at Bundilla near Young on Wednesday last week to secure lines of Poll Merino rams from what was one of the highest performing catalogues on Australian Sheep Breeding Value (ASBV) presented this year.
With the 320 Bundilla Poll Merino rams averaging in the top 10 per cent for 7%Dual Purpose the competition was always going to be strong.
All up, the sale averaged an amazing $4767 a head for 313 rams sold with a top of $16,000. When compared with last year's sale, the average was up $978 and the top price was $5000 more.
Stud principal Rick Baldwin said the sale was a great result for his family.
"We are humbled by the result," he told the crowd just after the sale.
"We appreciate the support we have from clients for our breeding program. We love doing what we do breeding Merinos and the result of the sale today validates this."
He said it was also satisfying for his father, Ross, to see the results of a lifetime of breeding.
The top-priced ram was knocked down by the auctioneer quite early in the auction for $16,000.
Alan Mattiske of CW Mattiske and Company, Geraldra Stockinbingal, took a shine to lot 10 and was intent on using him in his flock.
The ram was a twin with a fleece test of 18.2 micron, 2.6 standard deviation (SD) and 100pc comfort factor (CF).
The Mattiske family bought a total of 12 rams from $5000 to $16,000 which focused on a very balanced animal with gutsy white wools.
The 12 rams had an impressive average of EBVs measuring 8.7kg yearling body weight (YWT), 1.1 yearling eye muscle (YEMD), 0.3 yearling fat (YFAT), 23.6kg yearling clean fleece weight (YCFW), -0.7 yearling fibre diameter (YFD), and -0.2 early breech wrinkle (EBWR) and 1.0 for Maternal weaning weight (MWWT), an average 7%DP of 178pc.
Second top priced ram sold for $14,000 to Stan Hall, Monte Verde, Tenterden, Western Australia.
This ram was in the top five per cent for a number of its figures - 8.1 for post weaning weight (PWWT), 10.9 for YWT, 12.2 for hogget weight (HWT). The ram had fleece measurements of 18.2 micron and 99.7pc comfort factor, while carcass traits indicated 0.8mm yearling eye muscle depth, 0.1mm yearling fat, and 29.4 yearling clean fleece weight.
Rams sold to NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. There were 85 registered buyers and 26 of those bid via the online platform including six new clients. There was strong support from a number of repeat volume clients.
Gordon Welsh, Larras Pty Ltd, Molong, bought 35 rams for a top of $10,000 and average of $5600. Across the draft of rams bought by Mr Welsh the EBV averages were first-class and included 25.1kg for yearling clean fleece weight (YCFW), 8.4kg yearling body weight (YWT), 0.2 yearling fat (YFAT), 1.0 yearling eye muscle (YEMD).
Windridge Farms at Murringo near Young, bought 22 rams for a top of $3000 and average of $2200.
The consistency of the line of 22 rams was evident in a few key EBV averages - 22.3kg yearling clean fleece weight (YCFW), 8.2kg yearling body weight (YWT), 0.1 yearling fat (YFAT), 0.8 yearling eye muscle (YEMD).
Laurie Simpson, Nowranie Pastoral Company, Oaklands, took home 25 rams for a top of $11,000 and average of $5800.
Mr Simpson's new rams had a outstanding average of 28.5kg for yearling clean fleece weight (YCFW). Other standout averages were 10.2kg for yearling body weight (YWT), 0.5 yearling fat (YFAT), and 1.0 yearling eye muscle (YEMD).
The Kelly family of Rugby Station, Rugby, bought 18 rams for a top of $10,000 and average of $6555.
Chasing a high fleece weight, the rams bought by the Kelly family had an average EBV for yearling clean fleece weight (YCFW) of 31.3kg. Those rams also averaged 10.5kg for yearling body weight (YWT), 0.1 yearling fat (YFAT), and 0.7 yearling eye muscle (YEMD).
Anthony Shepherd from Sheepmatters was bought 27 rams for his clients for a top of $5000. Elite Livestock Auctions bought 30 rams online.
Mr Baldwin said Bundilla Merino stud has one of the largest genetic databases in the industry.
With this large database repeatability of performance, he said figures were greatly improved, giving clients great confidence in the performance of the rams they purchase.
"With over 40 years of breeding to produce the most balanced genetic package in the Merino industry we are very proud of these results," he said.
The sale was conducted by Landmark, interfaced with Elite Livestock Auctions, and the auctioneers were Paul Dooley and Rick Power.
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