By Janine Elen, Outriders Media
One of Australia’s biggest ram producers is gearing up for a bigger than usual spring sale with a near record number of performance rams up for auction in September.
Around 350 lots will be going under the hammer at the annual 3 Breed ram sale at Kurralea Studs, near Ariah Park in NSW’s Riverina, on Tuesday 28th.
Good seasonal conditions at the Prentice family property are driving a production rise with a record number of lambs expected to be tagged this year, and big growth rates being recorded across the sale ram group.
“This year’s sale rams have really taken off with the good season we’ve had. The sale rams are heavier this time of year than our previous few years,” Kurralea stud principal Ben Prentice said.
‘We’re pleased how the sale rams are presenting; a very even, consistent group from the top to bottom of the catalogue”, Mr Prentice said.
Bidding is expected to be strong at the stud’s 24th annual sale as producers get set to take home some of elite performing, structurally excellent rams Kurralea are known to produce.
Keeping to the stud’s core breeding philosophy; to produce structurally sound and structurally correct sheep across the three breeds, means both commercial and stud producers will have plenty of choice at this year’s annual sale.
“We’re confident buyers can find the style of sheep and the numbers they want,” Mr Prentice said.
Matt Dart from the DB Ag at Ariah Park has been buying from Kurralea for “as long as I’ve been farming” and says he’s getting the results he’s looking for.
“We’re trying to turn off a trade weight lamb in the shortest period of time we can,” Matt said. “They are grass fed and have the genetics to do that.”
He’s noticed strong improvements over time. “Kurralea have always been fantastic and we’ve improved on the ewe side to allow the genetics to pronounce themselves. They’ve always provided the baseline genetics and now they’re showing themselves in their true form.
“We’re achieving over 300 grams per day and selling lambs at 24-dressed at five months old. We’re getting fantastic results and couldn’t be happier.”
Progeny from a range of proven sires will feature throughout the 2021 catalogue, with approximately 170 Poll Dorset ,170 White Suffolk rams and 10 Suffolks up for auction. The sale group consists of 30 stud rams and around 320 flock rams.
Leading stud sire Kurralea 140-18’s sons will impress. He is a very well-balanced big style of ram, with a very good combination of Lambplan data and structural correctness. Visually he is top of the drop and with his figures sitting in the Top 10% for LMY, and Top 20% PEMD interest in his progeny is expected to be strong.
Ben Prentice noted there are number of rams on offer in the 30 Stud Ram group that will interest stud buyers including three Poll Dorset rams showing “stud ram presence” - K86, K101 and K164.
In the White Suffolks stud ram group, both K312 and K45 are standouts. “K312 is very good breed type, very correct structurally and has a stylish stud sire presence. While K45, sired by Gemini 70-18, also a great sire outlook with well-balanced Lambplan performance figures.” Mr Prentice said.
Over the years, Kurralea have invested strongly in outside genetics from across Australia and continue to focus on breeding visually sound, structurally excellent, clean-pointed, big-framed sheep with good feet, legs and optimally balanced performance data.
“Our rams are bred to suit a range of terrains and climates” said Mr Prentice. “We have customers around the country who look for our style of sheep so it is pleasing to be able to put up such a strong draft of rams this sale”.
With the ongoing border closures limiting visitors to the property on sale day, the auction will be fully interfaced via AuctionsPlus and interstate buyers can be confident they can still bid on the rams they want added Mr Prentice.
Kurralea Studs also offer free delivery to all successful purchasers. Ben, Lucy and Kim Prentice look forward to welcoming valued customers and friends to their 24th annual sale.