There was strong competition at the 22nd annual Burrawang Dorper and White Dorper on-farm stud ram sale with buyers from five states helping clear all 176 rams offered and reach a top price of $22,000.
Held on-farm at Ootha, the sale averaged $3588 with especially strong competition for the Dorpers helping to drive that solid figure.
Top price ram for the sale was proven White Dorper sire King Kong Burrawang WD 200083, purchased for $22,000 by Dust n Rain Dorper stud, Carstairs Station, Pooncarie.
The 40-month-old type 5 ram was sired by Ape Burrawang WD 180469 and was out of dam Burrawang WD 170749.
Weighing 113 kilograms at sale, King Kong was scanned with 44mm eye muscle depth and rib fat of 7mm, had a meat production indicator score of 3, and had seven sons sell at the sale.
Dust N Rain Dorper stud's Gary Cullinan said they had been chasing this genetic line and jumped at the chance to grab him.
"We have got about 700 White Dorper ewes and about 300 Dorper ewes, and we will use King Kong naturally over them," he said.
"I've been chasing that bloodline for a while.
'We've got quite a few sires we've bought from here before and we don't have that line. So I was after that line in particular.
"We can then cross it back over some of the ones we bought previously."
Mr Cullinan said the bloodline is a stand out for him.
"On the ewe side, it goes back to a ram I bred years ago that actually was used here at Burrawang," he said.
"It was probably one of the first Dust N Rain rams I bred and it was used here.
"So King Kong's grandmother is a Dust N Rain ewe and I want to bring that blood back around."
Top priced Dorper was shared between two proven Burrawang sires with Hit Man Burrawang Dorper 211306 and Buddy Burrawang Dorper 211277 each sharing a $14,000 price tag.
The 30-month-old Hit Man was sired by Crack Shot Burrawang Dorper 191325 and was out of dam Burrawang Dorper 160231.
He weighed 108kg at sale and was scanned with 39mm EMD, 6mm fat and a meat production indicator score of 3.
It was his growth from weaning to post weaning, where he went from 33.5kg to 57.5kg in 111 days that stood out for purchaser James Hardwick, Deepdale Dorpers, Carwarp, Victoria.
"We were impressed with his growth and traits," he said.
"We were also chasing some different genetic lines that we didn't have to get some diversity in the stud. "They were probably the two major things - growth and performance for age, and diversity in our bloodlines."
Mr Hardwick said the stud trusted the Burrawang genetics.
"Burrawang genetics have always been top class, so we've got a lot of confidence in that," he said.
"We could then just target the traits that we're looking for to advance our stud.
"For the long term, we are committed to keep spending on the top genetics and pushing the breed forward."
Buddy Burrawang Dorper 211277 was sired by Amigo Burrawang Dorper 191245 and was out of dam Burrawang Dorper 170933. The 30-month-old ram weighed in at 114kg and was scanned at 43mm EMD, 7mm fat, and a meat production indicator score of 3.
Burrawang Dorper and White Dorper's Nathan Morris was pleased with the sale result, especially given the tough market conditions at the moment.
"We are very happy. The sale averaged $3,588 for 100 per cent clearance, which given the headwinds that the commercial market's facing at the moment is a thrilling result," he said.
"There was rams here for everyone. Commercial breeders wanting to come in and buy a ram for $1,500 could as there was plenty of those on offer, right through to the top-end elite genetics, some of the best in the country, that made up to the top of $22,000 today."
Mr Morris said he was really thrilled with how the Dorpers went.
"It's funny how things, turn around. We had this sale 12 months ago and White Dorpers were the flavour of the month, and there was a lot of people chasing white rams.
"This time around, there was a really big demand for the blacks and particularly for the quality blacks with commercial buyers really chasing those guys."
Frank Old was the volume buyer of the sale, purchasing 19 rams for his sons' operation at Balranald.
Other notable volume buyers included Rick Crozier, Marfield Station, Ivanhoe (14) and Gary Hill, Roo Roo Station, Wentworth (14).
Mr Old said his sons usually attend the Burrawang sale.
"They usually buy from here but couldn't make it this time," he said.
"We have property at Bourke and another at Balranald. As Bourke is very dry, we've only had three inches since last October, we have scaled back to between 4000 and 5000 ewes.
"These rams will go down south where the season has been better."
Mr Crozier said he purchased his rams because of the genetics.
"They have proven lines here which bhave already done well at home so I was just chasing some of them," he said.
"We buy here twice a year. We've been trailing the Burrawang lines from the early days when they first started."
Mr Hill said they have been buying rams from Burrawang to service their 20,000 ewes for a long time.
"They produce good, consistent rams so we come back to buy them again and again," he said.
"We can't get enough black rams. We still need a lot more."
The sale was conducted by BR & C Agents with Josh McDonald the auctioneer. It was interfaced with Elite Livestock Auctions.
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