• Loddon Herald

Total clearance of rams

THERE was a total clearance of rams at last Friday’s on-property sale at Willera Merinos, Serpentine.

The top price of $7500 was paid online for the first of 109 rams offered at the third annual sale.

The AuctionsPlus bid came from South Australia while buyers from across central Victoria and other parts of the state were present to make strong bidding throughout the afternoon.

The 19.6 micron ram was a double poll with a dual purpose plus (DP+) index of 183.24, ranked in the top five per cent Merino production plus (MP+) index of 170.80 (top 20 per cent). The ram had a staple length index of 17.61 (top five per cent) with an actual length of 72mm.

Another 13 rams sold for $4000 (two for $5750) or more and the sale average price was $2808 compared with $2225 in 2020.

Thirteen rams were bought on AuctionsPlus with 47 potential buyers making 134 bids on 24 lots.

Friday’s total clearance was a first for Willera.

And It was the largest offering yet by Willera where stud sheep and rams are run under commercial conditions “because it is paramount that the sheep we are breeding can perform under this environment,” said the stud’s Will Hooke.

Buyer demand had driven an almost doubling of the sale lots this year.

Will said the timing of the sale had been retained despite COVID lockdown and restrictions to ensure the chain was not impacted by delayed autumn drops.

Simon Coutts told bidders before the auction that the stud’s investment in DNA testing was now coming through in the rams.

Both Will and Simon said they were pleased with the lineup of rams presented this year and the lift in data to predict an animal’s genetic merit for a particular trait.

Willera is aiming to make further industry-genetic gains and achieve steady data improvement. The stud says the use of ewe-mating had provided the opportunity to speed up genetic gain. The stud has now ceased mulesing, opening wool marketing opportunities.

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