The Amarula Dorpers 16th annual production sale reached $14,000 on-property at Glenavon, Gravesend, on Friday, just shy of the stud’s $15,000 record.
Justin and Lorroi Kirkby and family sold 81 of 112 Dorper rams offered at auction achieving a $14,000 top and $1699 average.
All 27 White Dorper rams offered were sold, to a top of $4000 and a $1726 average.
Another 18 from 20 stud Dorper ewes sold for a $2000 top and a $1157 average.
The entire sale averaged $1289 at auction with a number of the rams passed in selling at the conclusion of the sale.
“With the prolonged dry forcing a strong portion of our client base to reduce their ewe flock by 15-20 per cent, we had to expect a drop in our clearance,” Mr Kirkby said.
Landmark Dubbo auctioneer John Settree spoke of the respect the Amarula program had within the industry.
“Amarula are a known and trusted brand, their animals perform well in all environments and that is why registered buyers from four states came and purchased here today,” Mr Settree said.
Certified organic lamb producers, Phil and Trish Palmer, Overnewton Station, Ivanhoe, returned and purchased the top-price and second-top price Dorper rams of the sale.
Amarula 166147, a 2016-drop ram, fetched the sale high price of $14,000.
Sired by Tuckeroo Rusty 140103 and from 144610, Oxidize, as he was affectionately known, weighed 102 kilograms and measured in the top 30 per cent of the shedding breed for birth weight (BWT) -0.5, intramuscular fat (IMF) -0.3 and shear force (SFS) 0.6.
Amarula 165984 was the second top-priced ram, also purchased by the Palmers, that sold for $11,000.
Also a 2016-drop ram, the Amarula Palapah 155177 son had been used as a stud sire in the Amarula flock since 10 months of age and had semen exported to America, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
Its lean meat yield (LMY) of 1.4 measured in the top 30 per cent of the breed whilst the rams 2.1 measure for SFS put it in the top 10 per cent of the breed.
When the wool market crashed in 2006, the Palmers moved into an organic meat sheep operation supplying the Arcadian Meat Company.
“Dorpers are the most adaptable and productive sheep, we are still selling fat lambs even in these dry times,” Mr Palmer said.
In a typical year he joins 20,000 Dorper ewes annually on a no pesticides or herbicides natural pasture system.
Allan Crozier, Marfield, Cobar, made his 16th annual voyage to Gravesend and selected 12 Dorper rams to average $1434.
Erica Chambers, Osterley Downs, Cobar, returned to secure 12 Dorper rams to average $1200, complimenting the Amarula rams on putting weight, muscle and depth into her commercial flock.
The Looker family, Willow Green, Llangothwin, purchased the top-priced White Dorper Ram for $4000.
Amarula 171073, a 16-month-old ram sired by Amarula Versfeld 110194 measured in the top 30 per cent of the breed for PWEC -37.3, LMY 1.7, SRC 125.5 and MCP index of 135.5. It also measured in the top 10 per cent for SFS of 1.4.
The Southern family, Lyolia, Thallon, secured six of the White Dorper rams to average $1134.
Craig Sim, Goondiwindi, secured the top priced ewe for $2000.
Tom Groat, Conapaira Dorper stud, Rankin Springs, returned with the intention of purchasing only one ram but also loaded five ewes as a bonus for his eight hour drive home.
The sale was conducted by Landmark Dubbo and Narrabri with John Settree and Brad Wilson sharing the auctioneer duties on the day.