It was a record-breaking ram sale season for Poll Dorset breeders.
Records fell for both flock and stud sires, as a growing sheep flock, consistent lamb prices and a continuing good season in many areas encouraged strong bidding.
Last season, reported averages were commonly above $1500, and a select few breaking $2000.
This season, studs broke the $3000 average mark, and were commonly landing the $2000s.
Sale high’s were also on the rise, with flock buyers lifting their sites to $5000 and above to secure the rams they needed, and a new record stud sire price.
Andrew and Caroline McLauchlan of Valma stud at Whitemore, Tasmania, set the new Australian record of $41,000 for a stud ram.
Valma 200040 was offered in their AuctionsPlus select sale, and purchased by the Patterson family of Kinellar stud, Canowindra, NSW, with the Corcoran family of Gooramma stud taking a 25 per cent share.
The ram was by Felix 160494, a semen sire from the Felix stud at Greenethorpe, NSW, which has been used across seven flocks and has 631 registered progeny.
Valma 200040 has Australian Sheep Breeding Values in the top 5 per cent of all terminal sires for Post Weaning Weight (19.1), Post Weaning Eye Muscle Depth (4.1) and Total Carcass Production (164.7), and an Intramuscular Fat (-0.13) in the top 20 per cent.
Valma principal Andrew McLauchlan said while he was hopeful the ram would sell well given the current industry climate, he wasn’t expecting to break any records.
“We are wrapped that he made that money and that there was that much interest in him – while it is tremendous to get a record price, to see the amount of interest in our genetics was the most important thing for us, people wanting to use Valma sheep hopefully means heading in the right direction with our genetics,” he said.
Andrew said the ram was out of a ewe that had bred multiple stud rams and came from a very strong family line.
“(The ram’s) got a really good balanced set of ASBVs, he’s very good on what is going to become quite important in the future with his eating qualities but still maintaining tremendous growth, muscle and fat figures on moderate birth weight,” he said.
“All that is on a very good animal structurally…we have over 100 lambs on the ground by him and are really happy with them.
Also breaking a record was Tattykeel stud at Oberon, NSW, when their annual on-property stud ram sale averaged $15,954 for 22 lots.
Tattykeel held the previous stud ram sale average record of $8700, set just last year, where their stud sale topped at $24,000.
This year’s sale topped at $36,000 for Tattykeel ET200080 – the second highest priced ram of the season – purchased by the Armstrong family, Armdale Park stud, Marrar, NSW, and Karl Sinclair, Kinsale stud, Lidster, NSW
Armdale Park broke a record of their own, setting a new flock ram sale average price high of $3927 for 173 lots sold, hitting a top of $5000 five times.
Again, it was the stud’s own record it broke, having set a flock ram average high of $2217 in 2020.
Of the 59 on-property auctions that provided results for the 2020 December journal, the flock ram sale average was $1584, with 6009 rams sold.
In 2021, the results we have received show an average of $2029 for flock rams across about 65 sales, an increase of just shy of $500 on last year, with 6548 rams sold.