For the third consecutive year, the top price ram at Minta Poll Merino and Merino stud’s Mount Cooper on-property auction is headed to Clint Rayner’s Millbrae stud at Kimba.
In a very tough year, any beneficial rain is gladly received which was the case at sale where the overnight and afternoon rain, certainly increased positivity from the good crowd in attendance.
With Eyre Peninsula Livestock agent Richard Hill bidding on his behalf, Mr Rayner paid $6000 for Poll Merino ram Minta 392.
Fitting the ‘dual-purpose Merino’ description perfectly with a heavy-cutting 21.1 micron wool and a 42.9 millimetre eye muscle depth, the 106-kilogram son of Greenfields Wilbur immediately attracted Mr Rayner’s attention.
“It is a nice, square-bodied and well-structured ram with good muscling as verified by its eye muscle figure, plus it is well covered with plenty of bright, long-stapled and well-defined wool – a standout ram,” Mr Rayner said.
It was clear as the sale progressed that Poll Merinos are more popular with Minta buyers than their horned counterparts.
The Poll Merinos that cleared averaged $1814, considerably higher than the $1422 average for the 23 Merinos that found new homes.
In the breakdown, the stud sold 81 of 86 Poll Merinos offered, topping at $6000 and averaging $1814.
Overall, the stud averaged $1727 across the 112 rams sold.
However, that was not a universal position, with some buyers still preferring Merinos.
Nigel May, Elliston, bought both $3400 Merinos, and took three in total averaging $3133.
Like the sale-topping Poll Merino, Mr May’s purchases were Greenfields stud descendants.
The sale’s volume buyers were Leroy and Rohan Hull, GV Hull Nominees, Port Kenny.
They bid astutely throughout the catalogue and were successful on 10 rams; eight Polls and two Merinos to $3200, averaging $1880.
P&M Pastoral Co, Port Augusta, took eight rams averaging $763 though Paul Cousins, Cousins Merino Services.
Bidding through Quality Livestock’s Simon Seppelt, Simon Guerin, Courtabie Pastoral, Port Kenny, also bought eight, all at $800.
Pedro Beard, P&H Beard, Lock, purchased six rams, all Merinos to $1000 averaging $967.
Other volume buyers included D&K Hammat, Ceduna, with five rams averaging $1040; Tim Hollitt, Hollitt Pastoral, Streaky Bay, purchased five averaging $960; Peter Roe, P&N Roe, Streaky Bay, bought four averaging $1975; and JP Kelsh Nominees, Streaky Bay, also purchased four averaging $1525.
Shane Trowbridge, Santrow Pastoral, Ceduna – also buying through Mr Cousins – bought three averaging $2800. This included the sale’s $4200 second-highest price ram, Minta 047, offered at lot 1 and boasting the highest EMD reading of 44.6mm.
Jeff Bigg, Westwud P/L, Wudinna, paid the third and equal fourth highest prices of $3800 and $3600 for his two purchases, while Myles Tomney, M&K Tomney, Streaky Bay, was also strong near the top end of the sale with three rams to $3400, averaging $3000.
The Hull family offered their lot 78 ram, Minta 752 with all proceeds going to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
This ram was sold to Clint Tomney, VD&PJ Tomney, Poochera for $1400.
Mr Tomney also bought three other rams, averaging $1400 for the four purchases.
Having experienced a tough season so far, Minta principal Jesse Hull was pleased with the result.
“Considering the year, we were very happy with the line-up,” he said.
“They sold really well, especially with the northern guys who were here in numbers and bought well.”
EP Livestock and Quality Livestock conducted the sale, with the auctioneering duties shared by EP Livestock’s Adam Mountjoy and Ben Dickenson.
“It was a really good result with the evenness of quality all the way through from go to whoa being the feature from our point of view,” Mr Dickenson said.