Sale summary: 86 rams offered; 100pc clearance; top price $2600; average price $1620.
- 48 dorper rams sold, top price $2600, average price $1633
- 33 white dorper rams sold, top price $2400, average price $1624
- 5 ultra white composite rams sold, top price $1400, average price $1320
The sale of all rams offered at the inaugural invitational dorper and white dorper ram sale at Charleville has underlined the growth in the meat sheep industry in southern Queensland.
Four studs - Boonoon at Weengallon, Bellevue at Millmerran, Amarula at Moree, and Annalara at Dubbo - participated in last Thursday's event, which is now likely to be a regular feature on the calendar.
Topping the sale was a nine-month-old dorper ram from Amarula, sold to RD Pastoral, Richmond Downs, Roma for $2600.
Spokesman Scott Arthur said he was the type of ram he looked for, having softness as well as being a twin.
He was in the market for replacement rams and averaged $2200 for three rams purchased on the day, saying the sale was stronger than he expected.
According to breeder Lorroi Kirkby, the top ram weighed 76.5kg and had good fat cover as well as muscle and carcase attributes.
"Fat cover is something we select heavily for, knowing the next dry time is just round the corner," she said. "It helps with survivability."
He was sired by Droughtbreaker, who had similar statistics and who sired many of the Amarula rams in the sale.
Ms Kirkby and husband Justin Kirkby sold 25 rams for an average of $1850, which she said was comparable with their February on-property sale.
They crossed into Queensland hours before the border closed and said the decision to participate and capitalise on the rain that had fallen in areas where they had an existing clientele, had been a really good one.
They also sold the top priced white dorper ram for $2400 to LG and LE Jukes and Sons from Tregonning, Morven.
The Jukes were also the sale's volume buyer, purchasing 19 head, both dorpers and white dorpers.
The top white dorper tipped the scales at 86kg at 10 months of age, and was a twin.
"We put emphasis on twins," Ms Kirkby said. "Once again, his muscling and fat cover stood out, but his daily weight gain figures showed he had the ability to put the weight on."
In the 12 days from when he was picked for sale to the sale day he put on 7kg.
The Annalara stud at Dubbo, NSW was the only one of the four participating studs to offer ultra white composite rams, bringing up five and selling them all.
The top price of $1400 was paid four times, by Rumleigh Partnership, Tambo; by Lionel Smith, Buckey's Creek, Augathella, and by SC and KG Bowen, Shannonvale, Quilpie.
Stud principal Steve Cresswell said they had been the first ultra white rams offered outside of their own sale but they did have Queensland clients already.
"Elders invited us and we do travel to western Queensland a lot," he said.
"We have been giving composites a go, to see what they will do.
"Buyers will find they'll be very much like a white dorper."
Mr Cresswell said they hadn't been sure what to expect of the sale, having been so dry previously and being the first one, but said they were keen to return, whenever that might be.
Elders Charleville representative Gus Foott said they had noted the increasing dorper population in their area plus around Cunnamulla, Tambo and St George.
With no other dorper sale in the wider region, they felt there was a place to hold one, which had resulted in a terrific outcome.
"I feel it will be a regular event now," he said. "We're grateful to the vendors for giving it a go, and to the purchasers for supporting it in trying times."
There were less than 25 in attendance at the sale but 16 bid cards were taken out, with a number of potential buyers bidding on the phone.
- Selling agent - Elders