RAM buyers are scaling back on numbers at their own risk according to one breeder.Mark Yates held the Barwon Poll Dorset and White Suffolk sale near Yerong Creek, NSW, today and said he was pleased with the result, even though some rams were not offered at all.
The auction of the Poll Dorset rams, a big catalogue of 140 rams was pulled up when auctioneers hit lot 105 and it became clear that buyers had filled their orders.
Buyers were then offered about 60 White Suffolk rams and the auction concluded when all of these had been offered.
Mr Yates said he was pleased with the 67 per cent clearance and the averages of $753 for Poll Dorsets and $759 for White Suffolks.
But he said he feared for producers who may be comprising their lambing percentages by not buying as many new sires this year.
"Believe me, I am not trying to sell more rams but advisers who recommend joining rates of 1 per cent are not taking into consideration the heat and a summer where the nutrition is not in the feed," Mr Yates said.
"Not using enough rams could cost you 25 per cent in lambing rates - and at $100 a lamb, six lambs would have bought another ram here today.
"A joining rate of 1 ram to 50 ewes is what we think is right."
Those buyers who were at the sale spent up to $1300 on Poll Dorset rams and $1200 on White Suffolks.
Buyers of the top-priced Poll Dorset ram were the Laidlaw family from Tatyoon, who operated at the top end of the catalogue to spend an average of $1037 on eight new rams.
Robert Longmire from Corowa, NSW, paid $1200 for the top-priced White Suffolk ram, along with $1000 for each of two other White Suffolk sires.
The rams will be used over cull and cast for age Merino ewes on the family's prime breeding operation.
The volume buyer was Oxton Park at Harden, NSW, which paid to $700 for 17 rams.
Other multiple sales included M McKinnon and co at Brewarrina, NSW, who bought nine White Suffolk rams to $900, and R Worner and Co from Wombat, who bought eight Poll Dorset rams to $700.