Perfecting fleece foundation has proven success for Lachlan Merinos with long-term buyers in various climates purchasing rams at the 18th annual on-property sale, near Warroo.
Buyers sought rams with good growth and high fleece value.
Lachlan Merinos sold 149 of the 160 rams offered, which were 2022-drop, to average $3427. The sale's top price of $8500 was reached twice.
The first of the two sale-topping rams, Lachlan 221211, was purchased by return buyer Scott Gibson, Riverside, Bald Ridge.
Sired by 190072, the ram had Australian sheep breeding values (ASBVs) of +44.8 yearling clean fleece weight, placing him in the top one per cent of the breed.
He was also in the top 5pc of the breed for a Merino production plus index at +198 and the top 20pc for wool production index at +154. The ram had an 18.3-micron fibre diameter.
While Mr Gibson runs a self replacing Merino flock with 1400 breeding ewes on lighter country, he has recently begun breeding his own rams.
"Out of personal interest and satisfaction I've started to breed a few rams at home and am enjoying the challenge," he said.
"The way the lamb market is at the moment, the lamb job has dropped off a cliff, but wool is still 50 per cent of our income so we need that dual purpose sheep with carcase and frame, but also good quality wool.
"He (Lachlan 221221) is a well balanced ram with good quality wool and carcase shape so he'll do just wonders for us."
Gerald and Claudette Woodhouse, Myack Poll Merinos, Tarcutta, purchased the second sale topping ram, Lachlan 221204, for $8500.
The 190072 son had ASBVs in the top 5pc of the breed for a +193 Merino production plus index and a yearling clean fleece weight of +36.6.
He also had a yearling fibre diameter figure of -2.4, placing him in the top 10pc of the breed as well as the top 20pc for a wool production index of +158.
Mr Woodhouse said Lachlan 221204 has great character and extraordinary wool, one of the best he's seen.
"The wool is just magnificent, he has a 16.5-micron fibre diameter and is bright, white and soft," he said.
"We're in a 26 to 28 inch rainfall (650-700mm) area so we need to keep our wool on the finer side.
"We have 300 stud ewes, mostly sired by Lachlan 190007, so I'll try and join him to about 80 of them in the first week of December."
Volume buyer and long-term client Brad Jones, Booroola, Condobolin, purchased 34 rams to a top of $7000 to average $4060.
His top ram, Lachlan 221039, son of 200742, had ASBVs in the top 5pc of the breed for a +11.3 post weaning weight and +12.2 yearling weight.
When selecting his draft of rams Mr Jones said he looked for structure and well nourished wool.
"Due to the red dirt and soil conditions at home, we need good nourished wool to keep the dust out," he said.
"The rams perform really well on our country and we are quite happy with them.
"If the season stays the way it is going we'll put the rams out with about 2600 ewes this year."
Mitch Rubie, of Lachlan Merinos, said he was pleased with the sale.
"It was encouraging to see so many people who bought last year and were happy with their purchase bring their neighbour along today," he said.
"The top-priced rams are productive sheep who went to really proud wool growers.
"We sold rams into high rainfall areas such as Tarcutta, but also out west to the Jones family near Condobolin.
"When you get the foundations of fleece weight and high value fleece that is when the sheep can go anywhere."
AR, GF, MA and CJ Taylor, Collingwood, Caragabal, purchased 12 rams to a top of $5000 to average $3145.
M H Stockman, Gubbata, purchased 12 rams to a top of $5500 to average $3458.
AC, MF, TM and LC Knight, Wattle Villa, Grenfell, purchased eight rams to a top of $5000 to average $3750.
The sale was conducted by Nutrien Dubbo, online via AuctionsPlus. John Settree, Nutrien stud stock, Dubbo, was auctioneer.
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