Challara sells to $3200
Badgingarra-based Challara Poll Merino stud sold to the top of $3200 at the Wilkinson family’s on-property ram sale on September 6.
The sale, which hotted up last year with a South Australian record top-priced buyer, was somewhat affected by WA’s boarder closure, not allowing Eastern States buyers to attend.
Challara stud classer Bill Walker, of South Australia, was also not able to visit and assist this year. Overall, the sale offered 120 rams with 100 sold for an average price of $1122, down $122/head on last year when 134 rams sold for an average price of $1244.
Challara Poll Merino stud co-principal Peter Wilkinson welcomed a good local crowd to the sale in what he said had been a challenging year.
“Easy-care Poll Merinos will ride out the effects of COVID-19 on wool prices in time,” he said.
“It’s a matter of looking long-term.”
Taking up the auction proceedings, Nutrien auctioneer Grant Lupton praised lot one, Challara 157, a son of Gunallo 295.
“This ram has superior staple length with good weaning weight and a high Dual-Purpose index,” he said.
The 22-micron ram recorded an Australian Sheep Breeding Value of 10.5 WWT and a 163 DP+ index and was secured by Nutrien Badgingarra agent Greg Wootton for $3000, on behalf of buyer Brett Fitzgerald, of Birrawong, at Badgingarra.
“Brett told me to buy him the best ram in the sale,” Mr Wootton said.
Back for a second sale, Tambellup woolgrower Chub Walker selected out the $3200 top-priced ram from lot 20 as his first pick.
The 20.6 micron ram, Challara 793, was sired by a Challara 684, a home-bred sire.
“I was selecting for length of wool, nourishment and style,” Mr Walker said.
Mr Walker runs 1600 ewes and secured a total of four rams for an average price of $1550.
Other top buyers included Badgingarra woolgrower Dennis Martin, of GA & PA Martin & Son, who secured a total of seven rams to a top of $2000 and average of $1300.
South Badgingarra woolgrower Matt Taylor, who trades as Taylor Shiralee, secured five rams to a top of $1800 an average price of $1580.
Mr Taylor said he was selecting for dual-purpose rams that were quick growing and had a high post-weaning weight ASBV.
Mr Taylor runs 1500 ewes and has been selecting Challara genetics for 14 years.
Volume buyer Andrew Kenny, of Rubicon Trust, at Badgingarra, secured a total of 14 rams for an average price of $972.
“We have had only 210mm of rainfall for the growing season, or half of our normal amount,” he said.
Mr Kenny said he was selecting for dual-purpose rams that were easy care with free-growing wool and strong fertility traits.
“Despite the downturn in wool values, sheep prices remain strong with good interest from the east,” he said.
“We may decide to hold on to our woolclip.”
Mr Lupton said buyers had a good selection to choose from and the lower clearance this year reflected how many breeding ewes had left the State.
Top price: $3200
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