MATERNAL composite rams sold to $3100 at the Chrome sheep stud’s main annual sale near Hamilton Victoria last Thursday.
In a reflection of the strong demand for performance recorded maternal composite and terminal genetics, agents Kerr and Co Livestock last Friday sold 407 rams – Chromedales, Perendales, Icon Poll Dorsets and Icon Southies — for an average of $1358, about $100 higher than last year.
Buyers included new and mainly clients from south-west Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. The auctioneers were Kerr and Co Livestock’s Craig Pertzel and Josh Manser, on contract from Pinkerton, Palm, Hamlyn and Steen.
Commercial producers and ram sellers paid an average $1627 for 211 of the Chromedale rams, $204 more than last year’s result. Only one ram was passed in.
Willaura composite ram breeder Jeremy Upton from Yarram Park paid $3100 for Lot 4 in the Chromedale catalogue, a 14-month-old ram with breeding values of 11.7 for post weaning weight, 0.2 for fat, 0.7 for eye muscle diameter, -3 for FEC, 7pc numbers of lambs weaned and +0.1 for milk. Long-standing Chrome client Alaister Rentsch from Penshurst paid $3000 each for lots 2 and 3.
Volume Chromedale buyers included the Langi Kal Kal Prison at Beaufort, Andrew and Paul Nagorcka from Yatchaw, new Casterton buyer WT Harvey and Co, and Peter and Annette Rentsch from Penshurst.
Chrome stud co-principal Matt Tonissen said the Chromedales – a Coopworth-Perendale-Poll Dorset composite — ticked the boxes for most people. Self-replacing Chromedale flock ewes were contributing carcase traits to their lambs, he said.
“They’ve got a bit more moderate wool (skin type), very good fertility, got good growth rates and fantastic shape.
“They are sort of the complete package for most blokes which is good.”
The 48 Perendale rams in the sale sold to $2100 three times and averaged $975, down $136 on 2014. Penshurst prime lamb producers Andrew and Joan Rentsch at Coolibah Pastoral, Penshurst, bought the three top-priced rams. Other volume buyers included new NSW buyer Ryan McGrath from Tocumwal. Four Perendales were passed in.
The 36 Coopworth rams averaged $1056, $64 up on the 2014 result, with Coolibah Pastoral again picking the catalogue to pay $1700 for Lot 286, a ram with a maternal index of 133 based on breeding values that included 0.5 for birthweight, 11.2 for post weaning weight, 0.2 for fat, 1.4 for eye muscle diameter and 14pc for numbers of lambs weaned. Coolibah Pastoral bought eight Coopworth rams, but other volume buyers included Lindenow producer Andrew Dumaresq, who paid to $1500 for five rams.
The 42 icon Southie rams sold averaged $1305, up $160 on last year, for a total clearance. Yarram Park principal Jeremy Upton paid the top price of $2500 for Lot 333, which had a Carcass+ index of 168. Mr Tonissen said the Icon Southies – a Southdown-Poll Dorset composite — had been a success story for the stud.
“People just want a meaty lamb sire for Merinos and ewe lambs; that’s where they have been very popular.”
The 70 Icon Poll Dorset rams sold averaged $998, about $54 up on the 2014 sale. Only one ram was passed in. Two rams sold for the top price of $1900 – Lot 369 to Craig Grant at Pigeon Ponds and Ram A, an addition to the catalogue, bought by VC Gellert and Sons of Glenthompson. The Gellerts bought six rams and other volume buyers included R and L Manifold of Camperdown, who bought 20 rams and Coolibah Pastoral who paid to $1500 for 10 rams. Selkirk Pastoral from Strathdownie paid to $1400 for four rams.
Mr Tonissen said he was trying to change the shape of his Poll Dorsets to breed an early-maturing trade weight lamb, rather than also focussing on the heavier later-growing export market.
“It would be close to our biggest offering of Poll Dorsets.”
Mr Tonissen said buyers were focussing on rams with even conformation and better performance recorded data.
“We’re finding that our clients now are being more specific on targeting individual breeding values, more so than just index, including fertility.”
Breeders were also looking to put more genetic fat back into their maternal flocks, as well as early maturation and good conformation, he said.
Mr Pertzel said the quality of the ram offering was “unreal”, especially the evenness and type of the Chromedales.
“To back that up was the number of repeat buyers coming back to buy them; it is the same blokes buying them year after year and they are thrilled with them.”