It was a very pleasing ram sale on September 27 at Willandra, Jerilderie, when the Wells and Heath families penned 120 Poll Merino and Merino rams for their 45th annual auction.
Prior to the commencement of the sale, Ross Wells spoke a few heartfelt words and asked for a minutes silence to remember grand-daughter-in-law Heidy Heath, who passed away six months ago, wife of Angus and mother of two and a half year old Charlotte and three month old Eliza at that time.
Also the highly respected Elders agent, Clyde McKenzie who passed away in January this year and the legendary Australian Rules footballer, Ron Barassi who passed away eleven days before the auction.
Still remembered in the Merino industry is the ram 'Barassi' that Willandra purchased from Pooginook for $19,500 back in 1981.'
The top price for a Poll Merino ram was $6500 when a son of Willandra SYN 80 weighing 108kg was purchased by James Turnbull, Narada, Tambo, Qld.
The top price for a Merino ram was $6000 when George Simpson, Yooroobla, Jerilderie, purchased a son of WIL XL, in which a half share at $20,000 was bought by Michael Green, Boudjah, Cooma, in 2020.
The overall sale average for 119 rams sold was $2386.
Mr Turnbull was assisted by Hay-based sheep classer Chris Bowman, and he said the ram was outstanding for fleece quality and structure.
"The ram is exactly what we need at home," he said. "His wool has terrific nourishment, and with bold crimp which will handle our seasonal challenges, and still be productive."
Mr Turnbull is a return client, and his new sire, along with a second bought for $4500 will be joined to selected flock ewes.
The ram is exactly what we need at home- James Turnbull, Narada, Tambo, QLD, buyer of top priced Poll Merino ram
The ram's fleece measured 20.3m, 3.5 standard deviation, 16.3 co-efficient of variation, and 99.1pc comfort factor.
His body scans showed 6mm fat and 43 mm eye muscle depth.
Mr Simpson is a long term client of Willandra and his latest purchase will join three rams he bought last year in a syndicate mating of selected mixed age stud ewes.
Weighing 118kg, Mr Simpson said the ram is an outcross for his stud sheep.
"His background is different to what I have buying in the past," he said.
"He is upright and well structured and with a good productive heavy cutting skin type with fine micron.
"He will fit well into my breeding program."
The ram's fleece measured 17.4m, 3.4 SD, 19.7 CV and 99.6pc CF, while he scanned 5.0 mm fat and 40.5 mm EMD.
There were many repeat volume buyers and included TW Lord and Sons, Junee, who bought 12 rams to a top of $3500 and average of $2458, and Sleigh Pastoral Co., Jerilderie, who added 15 rams to their sire battery for a top price of $4500 and average price of $2033.
Interstate wool growers were active with GM and WJ Collins, Wedderburn, Victoria, taking home four rams to top of $3500 and average of $2750, while LM Burge, Wedderburn, Vic, bought eight rams for $2625 average and top of $4000, and W Gould and Sons, Richmond Plains, Vic, selected a draft of four rams to $5000 (2) and average of $4625.
Freemantle and Bell, Loddon, Vic., purchased four rams to a top of $5000 and average of $3437.50, Willoway Farming, Keith, SA, also bought a draft of four rams to $3500 top and average of $2687.50, and ED and RM Petrass, Nerrin Nerrin, Vic, took two rams home for $3500 and $5000 respectively.
Riverina wool growers who bought drafts included AF and LJ Naismith, Goolgowi, who took six home for $3000 top and average $2167, Cringadale Pty Ltd, Mangoplah, who selected four rams to $2000 top and $1812.50 average and TJ Henwood Family Trust, Carrathool, who selected 12 rams to a top price of $2500 (2) and average price of $1458.
After the auction, James Turnbull, Tambo, successfully negotiated the private sale for $12,500 of Willandra 0081, sired through an embryo transfer program by Poll Boonoke 780.
Mr Turnbull thought the quality of the wool on his new stud sire prospect was outstanding.
"It is a bright and very crimpy wool with plenty of nourishment," he said.
"He will be joined to specially selected ewes to breed rams for our own use."
With a body weight of 119kg, the ram's fleece measured 19.7m. 3.0 SD, 15 CV and 99.8pc CF, while he scanned 7mm fat and 44.5 EMD.
The sale was settled by Elders Jerilderie, with Nutrien Finley, and interface with AuctionsPlus, while Harry Cozens (Elders) and Peter Godbolt (Nutrien), took the bids.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.