UPDATE: PERENDALE rams sold to $1200 at the Chrome summer sale near Hamilton.
Selling agents Kerr and Co Livestock for owners Matt and Tanya Tonissen sold 119 of the 132 rams offered at Branxholme for an average of $648.
This compares to January 2012 when Chrome sold 89 ram lambs for an average of $1280 and to a top price of $2700.
Chromedale rams sold to $1100, Coopworths to $1000 and Poll Dorsets to $900. Buyers came from Euroa, Benalla, southwest Victoria and Tasmania.
Wolbunya manager Andrew Welsh from Benalla paid the top price for a 2011 July-drop Perendale ram in the top 20 per cent for the Lambplan maternal index.
Mr Welsh outlaid $650 to $1200 for 13 rams to go over first cross ewes to develop a self-replacing flock for Wolbunya owners Ross and Judy Davis.
He was looking for early growth, positive muscle and fat, and fertility in his purchase of eight Chromedale and five Perendale rams.
"You can get a better ewe by breeding your own, there are bio-security benefits and you don't have to keep buying in ewes."
Cavendish district producer Tim Broers bought 12 rams for $400 to $500 at the sale - six Perendales and six Chromedales - after coming to check out the Poll Dorsets to go over his Texel, East Friesian and Finn cross ewes.
"I am looking to breed a more compact ewe.
"The composites are basically more efficient; you can run more ewes per hectare and turn off more lambs per hectare."
Mr Broers is also moving out of fine wool production to run only a composite ewe flock for prime lamb production.
"I have more confidence in lamb than I have in fine wool."
Mr Tonissen said the pleasing part of the sale was the number of repeat and new clients. "The good support and the number of rams sold is the main thing," he said.
The Tonissens have sold 560 rams this season.
"Given the current climate, we've had a really satisfactory year."