Return buyers drive perfect clearance at Kurralea

Return buyers drive perfect clearance at Kurralea

Full Clearance – 305 of 305 rams sold, av $1570

Stud rams to $5250 (twice), av $2580

Flock rams, av $1480

A total clearance driven by demand from a loyal band of clients was the highlight of Kurralea Studs’ 2023 three-breed ram sale at it’s annual on-property auction, Tuesday 26th September.

Buyers shrugged off concerns about the current lamb market and seasonal forecasts, paying up to $5250 (twice) for Poll Dorset rams and $3000 for White Suffolks at the studs’ 26th Annual Sale held by the Prentice Family, Ariah Park, NSW.

Kurralea offered 305 rams including 30 stud Poll Dorset and White Suffolk rams as well as 135 Poll Dorset flock rams, 135 White Suffolk flock rams and four Suffolks with all rams selling under the hammer on the day.

Stud principal Ben Prentice said it had been difficult to predict the outcome of the sale in the lead up given the markets and season, so they were “rapt” to sell every ram offered.

He said the rams had presented very well especially after a tough season feed-wise, “At no point this year have we had a lot of feed in the paddock”.

The first ram to make the equal sale top price of $5250 was Poll Dorset K223-22 and was snapped up by the Hartwick Family, Cambrill Farming, Temora, NSW.

A May 2022 drop ram by Shirlee Downs 002-20, a son of Kurralea 140-18 who sold for $32,000 in 2019, K223-22 displayed Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) of +0.6 birth weight (BWT), +16.7 post weaning weight (PWWT), a post weaning fat measure (PFAT) of -1.3mm, post weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD) of +0.8mm and a terminal carcase production (TCP) index of 139.

Also hitting the day’s top price was Lot 3, K433-22, a June drop ram selling for $5250 to Grant and Bryce Hausler, Janmac Poll Dorset & White Suffolk Stud, Goroke, Vic, long term supporters of Kurralea genetics.

Lot 3 was sired by K027-19 and presented with ASBV’s of +0.7 BWT, +17.3 PWWT, -1.2 PFAT, a PEMD of +1 and TCP of 139.5.

Grant Hausler said Kurralea rams were always reliable and given the state of the lamb market this was a time to stick with what you know works.

He said the ram displayed good clean points and early growth genetics that were the real profit drivers for lamb producers.  The Hauslers also paid the top price of $10,600 for a Poll Dorset Ram at the 2022 sale.

Tasmania-based Will Milroy, Rangeview Poll Dorset stud purchased Lot 14 for $4500 on AuctionsPlus. The May 22 drop ram, K406-22, a son of Valma 219-20 had figures of +0.3 BWT, +15.2, -0.4 PFAT, a PEMD of +2.5 and TCP of 144.2.

Mr Millroy said the ram’s grand sire was Valma 144 and he had been following the ram’s bloodlines for some time. “The ram impressed me with its balance and how it was put together”, said Mr Millroy.

A second son of Shirlee Downs 002-20, Lot 8, K013-22, sold for $4400, to the Sammon Brothers, Majella Stud, Bungeet, Vic.

Topping the White Suffolk stud group was Lot 19, K326-22 selling for $3,000 to Jake Hamblin, Ganmain, NSW. A son of Farrer 075-20, K326-22 is a May 2022 drop ram presenting with traits of +0.4 BWT, +15.2 PWWT, -1 PFAT, +1.5 PEMD and TCP of 143.9.

Brad and Naomi Medlyn, Clover Valley White Suffolk Stud, Stuart Mill, Vic, picked two in the stud ram draft, paying $2250 for Lot 16 and $2,000 for Lot 20.

In the flock ram section, the story of the sale was the buying activity of Australian Food and Agriculture putting their hand up for a large number of rams, buying evenly between the breeds – around 50% Poll Dorset and 50% White Suffolk.

AFA general manager Justin Campbell said the rams would go to the company’s Riverina properties to be used over around 20,000 “second-class” Merino ewes.

Mr Campbell said the business was to turn off lambs straight from the ewe direct to the processor and a few weeks ago AFA’s top drafts of crossbred lambs out of Merino ewes had made $6 a kilogram or $135 to $140 a head.

“We’ve been buying rams from Kurralea for many years because of their value for money and consistent quality through the catalogue”, said Mr Campbell.

Volume buyers were strong across the sale with the Cassidy family, Foylewood Farming, Ariah Park, NSW, taking home 19 Poll Dorset rams and going over the border to Seven Creeks Estate, Euroa, Vic, are 15 White Suffolk flock rams.

Four Suffolk rams were offered and sold at $1000 each rounding at the day’s strong result.

Auctioneer for agents in conjunction, AWN Wilks McKean, Joe Wilks, said the result was “very pleasing” despite prices being down from what was an extraordinary sale in 2022.

He said the number of rams sold and averages achieved this year were “very good” considering sheep and lamb prices now and with the season in many areas already in “dire straits”.

“There is still confidence in the market and the Prentice Family had return clients who were investing in their future, knowing the Kurralea product produces year-in year-out,” he said.

“Those buyers are more than happy to come back. They know they need their numbers.”

The Prentice Family they were “thrilled” to have achieved a 100% clearance at Tuesday’s sale and thanked all clients, both repeat and new buyers for their ongoing support.

Auction conducted by Elders Livestock, AWN Wilks & McKean Livestock & Property and interfaced with AuctionsPlus.