UltraWhite rams reached a record top price of $6600, paid by a first-time buyer, at the annual Hillcroft Farms held on October 2 at Popanyinning.
With confidence in the sheep meat industry, stud co-principal Dawson Bradford welcomed 44 registered bidders, saying he was still learning how to put the UltraWhite composite sheep together.
“The stud is based on the best genetics from our past Poll Dorset stud and the best Dorper genetics that were available,” he said.
“Our aim is to produce a non-shearing, highly fertile, easy-care, low-maintenance sheep that is hardy and will perform well under a wide range of conditions.”
The Bradford’s 39th annual sale, conducted by Landmark, represented its sixth year of offering UltraWhite rams, which have been attracting interest across Australia.
But this year, with drought conditions affecting several past UltraWhite buyers from the Eastern States, there was a certain negative effect on the sale.
Overall, of the 189 rams offered, 151 sold for an average price of $2165, down $519/head compared to last year, when 180 rams sold for an average of $2684.
Nonning Pastoral White Dorper stud principal Angus McTaggart, of Nari, South Australia, paid his first visit to the sale, securing the sale-topper to use over stud ewes.
“I heard about the UltraWhite composite from other breeders and decided to trial a ram over stud ewes and by artificial insemination to produce commercial flock rams,” he said.
“I run a large flock producing 20,000 crossbred lambs annually.”
Mr McTaggart’s first pick was from lot two, which recorded a 6.4 WWT, 10.5 PWWT, 1.4 PFAT, 2.1 EMD and a Carcase+ index of 170.34.
“I selected the ram on its visual shedding and good set of balanced figures,” he said.
The under-bidder on the ram was another first-time registered buyer, Tommy Cairns, of Carins Family Trust in Toodyay.
Mr Carins settled for a ram off the top-line for $4500, and later secured another ram for $2600.
“My intentions are to convert my Dorper flock over to all UltraWhites by selecting first-cross replacement ewes,” he said. “We run a small 150 ewe flock and sell lambs at Muchea.”
Landmark agent Roy Addis secured the $5500 second top-priced ram on behalf of account Brad and Tanya Edson, of South Australia.
Account LT and MB Frame secured a ram for $5400, while last year’s top-priced buyer, Glen-Esk Pastoral Co, of New South Wales, paid $5000 for lot one.
Kojonup account Greengables secured four rams to a top of $4200 and average price of $3950.
Regular buyer Lindsay Williams, of Northampton, secured three rams to a top of $3900 and average price of $3000.
“I was selecting for good cleanskin rams with good growth,” he said.
Hamish Thorn, of Kojonup, secured five rams to a top of $3500 and average price of $2880.
Landmark agent Ashley Lock was bidding on behalf of Auctions Plus, securing a total of 16 rams for an average price of $1488.
“They were all Eastern States buyers,” he said.
HILLCROFT FARMS ULTRAWHITE RAM SALE
On the hammer results
- Offered 189
- Sold 151
- Top price $6600
- Average $2165