WET and gloomy conditions failed to deter buyers as Shalimar Park Merino stud achieved a perfect clearance rate and an average of $1653 at its 22nd annual on-property ram sale.
On Wednesday, a big crowd flocked to Shalimar, Wollun, to get their hands on the 49 Merino and Poll Merino rams on offer.
In total, 45 of the 49 rams were snapped up during the live auction, while the remaining four were sold after the auction's conclusion for a 100 per cent clearance rate.
The big crowd of 30 registered bidders in attendance, and the many more following the sale online via AuctionsPlus, did not have to wait long for the sale's top price to be reached as the sixth ram in the catalogue (tag 315) reached a sale high $3000.
The September-October 2020-drop ram, was sired by Nerstane 170, weighed 102 kilograms, had a 14.9-micron fibre diametre, a 17.7pc coefficient of variation (CV), 2.6-micron standard deviation (SD), a 99.8pc comfort factor (CF), a greasy fleece weight (GFW) figure of 143pc and was purchased by the McDonald family, Donnaville, Weabonga.
"The brightness of his wool and the crimp were the things that initially drew us to him," said buyer Andrew McDonald.
"He's also got that good frame and head that will suit our style of operation.
"Once he gets home he'll have a quiet life for a little while, until we class our ewes up and then he will get to work.
"We've got a couple hundred young ewes and I think he should be fairly well suited to them and given Weabonga is not that far from Wollun, he should handle the conditions quite well."
The top seller was one of two rams the McDonald family bought during the auction, also taking home the 25th ram in the catalogue (tag 316) for $1600, which was sired by Nerstane 910, weighed 69kg, had a 15-micron fibre diametre, a 17pc CV, a 2.4-micron SD, 99.9pc CF and a 143pc GFW.
"We came up and had a look at the sheep during the recent New England Merino Field Days and pretty much knew what we were after," Mr McDonald said.
"The top ram was shedded but the second ram we bought was paddock-raised and given he's had about 1000 millimetres of rain on him in the past year, we're confident he'll adapt to our conditions quite well."
Shalimar Park Merino stud co-principal Des Carlon, along with fellow stud co-principal Alison van Eyk, said this year's sale marked the first drop of lambs sired by the Nerstane 170 ram and it had given this year's draft "a great length of staple".
"I think the amount of wool he had on him, his GFW and his length of staple really helped him stand out in this draft," Mr Carlon said of the top-price ram.
"There was no real blemishes on him, he stands up really well and he was just very sound all around."
As well as the McDonald family, the sale's other volume buyers included C.E. and S.M. Say, Pine Tree, Emmaville, seven rams at an average of $1257; Wiltunga Properties, Hillcrest, Dundee, three rams at an average of $2200, and Llanillo Ag Co, Llanillo, Nundle, three rams at an average of $2000.
In total, 16 Poll Merino rams were offered to a top of $2600 and sold at an average of $1900, while 33 Merino rams were offered and sold at an average of $1533.
"We were delighted with the outcome of today's [Wednesday's] sale and it was terrific to see so many new and returning clients come along," Mr Carlon said.
"Hopefully all of the other studs having their sales in the coming weeks enjoy similar success."
The sale was conducted by Elders, Walcha, and Nutrien Ag Soloutions, Armidale, with Nick Hall, Walcha, as auctioneer.
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