Sale summary: 100 rams offered, top price $2500, average $1213, 90pc clearance.
New clients in western Queensland and rams sold into northern NSW were two of the highlights of the Barcaldine Downs ram sale held on-property on Monday.
Stud principal, Duncan Ferguson, said that considering the season battering most of the stud’s regular clients, it was a marvelous result.
All 20 of the Merino rams offered were sold, for an average price of $1560.
The top price of $2000 was paid twice, by James and Susie Milson, Blackall, and by Ben Childs, Glen Innes, NSW.
A Merino production value of 140.47 over the average and a dual purpose percentage of 161.65 characterised the sire bought by the Milsons, as well as a bodyweight of 88.5kg, the heaviest ram in the catalogue, and 100pc comfort factor.
A similar comfort factor, plus a 17.1 micron fleece, were standout features of Mr Child’s ram.
His family has been using Barcaldine Downs bloodlines in their breeding operation at Glen Innes for six years, saying they find them to be good robust sheep.
Using an eight-month shearing rotation, their sheep cut 75mm fleeces at their last shearing.
“They’re very hardy; worms don’t seem to faze them, and they seem to be better suited to the drier conditions we might have to learn to live with,” Mr Childs said.
Ten of the 80 poll Merino rams were passed in, with an average price paid of $1115.
Mr Ferguson said three of his regular poll buyers had had to lighten off their numbers, thanks to the drought, which accounted for the poll rams being passed in.
“You can’t pick what the season will be when you start to prepare,” he said. “Despite that, people want to follow up on our Isisford show results and see our sheep.”
Regular clients, John and Jo Milne, Loongana, Longreach paid the top price of $2500 for lot 16, a poll ram with a fibre diameter of 19.1 microns, 100 per cent comfort factor, and a body weight of 80kg.
The pair put together a line of 11 poll sires, averaging $1536 a head.
They declined to comment on their purchases.
Allick and Val Elliot, Koondi Grazing, based at Corfield, were the sale’s volume buyer, successfully bidding for 20 poll rams for an average of $1145.
They paid up to $1800 for a 17.3 micron ram. His Merino production number was 121.51 above the average of the drop, while his dual purpose percentage was 125.37.
Geoff and John Seccombe, Kenya Grazing, Muttaburra, were new buyers, purchasing 15 poll rams for an average of $833.
The former Well Gully stud clients were looking for a localised stud with the conformation and skeletal base to handle conditions in western Queensland.
“They’ve got that soft rolling skin, optimum conformation and deep crimping wool,” Geoff said.
Fellow Muttaburra grazier, Stuart Bowden, usually a poll Merino client, stepped into the Merino offering, buying 12 of the 20 on offer. He also purchased six polls, paying an overall average of $1577.
He said he was most impressed with the horned rams, saying their body weights were significantly higher and their wool was beautifully soft.