Lemani co-principals Nikki Symons, Inverell, and father Steve Symons, Ashford, with Landmark agent Angus Carter, Armidale, and the $1600 sale topping ram Lemani 87 purchased by the Conkey family, Ashford.

Wool market helps drive top price to $1600 at Lemani

Repeat and new clients from local areas attended the Lemani Merinos Annual Ram Sale that offered an increased sale draft of specialty hogget rams.

The increased offering at Lemani Merinos Annual Ram Sale was received well by a range of repeat and new clients from local areas on January 25 at “Taviton”, Ashford. 

A total of 37 sold of the 40 offered for a 93 per cent clearance to average $805, up $150 on last year. 

Conducted as a Helmsman Auction System, the sale offered 10 more specially selected hogget rams that were in demand. 

Landmark agent Angus Carter, Armidale, said there was a lot more registered buyers and the renewed interest in the wool market has certainly sparked more interest in the ram sales this year

“The extra buyer registrations are a clear indication there is more people out there trying to go back into Merinos and looking to up grade their flocks and buy the extra ram or two,” Mr Carter said.

Repeat buyers of close to nine years, Scott and Rhonda Conkey from Belcon Pastoral Company, Ashford, purchased the top price ram, Lemani 87, for $1600. 

The sale topper was sired by the Egelabra 1 ram and measured 16.6 in the micron, 111.1pc clean fleece weight (CFW), 83.7 yield, 17.2pc fibre diameter coefficient of variation (CV) and had a faecal egg count (FEC) of -11. 

Lemani Merino stud owner, Steve Symons, said the Lemani 87 ram was a standout ram of the draft. 

“He was very, very nice in the wool, he was a big ram and there was a lot of positive comments on him. Everybody thought he was a pretty fair ram,” Mr Symons said. 

“The Egelabra cross with the Roseville Park bloodline base is a very good cross. We wanted something to increase the body size and depth of the sheep and it has certainly given us that with three brothers to the [Lemani 87] ram kept to be used in our flock.”

Operating a share farm enterprise at Cootamundra, the Conkeys annually select a draft of rams from the Lemani Merino Sale to take down south where they run about 1000 ewes. 

Mr Conkey said it was important to him to keep the finer wool in a ram and to still be able to have a good wool cut. 

“The sheep do exceptionally well down there being a finer wool sheep than what they are used to in the southern area and they grow out exceptionally well,” he said. 

The Conkeys recently had success at the Wagga Wagga saleyards with Merino wether hoggets that were shorn and only had a half an inch of skin on them making $173.20, which Mr Conkey said “was amazing.” 

“Those genetics on better feed down south through the winter months show what they actually are capable of doing,” he said.

The Conkeys purchased a total of four rams to average $913 for their draft. 

The second top price ram, Lemani 143, fetched $1500 and was purchased by Greg Gallagher. 

Sired by the Roseville Park 174 ram, it had fleece measurements of 17.6 in the micron, 104.5pc CFW, 82.8 yield, 17.8pc CV and -6 FEC. 

Mr Gallagher secured three rams on the day, averaging $1267 for his sale picks. 

Other volume buyers included; Peter Stewart, who bought five rams for a top of $900 and $720 average, the Smith family secured three rams topping at $1400, to average $1100, and Chris Robinson who purchased three rams to a top of $950 and $783 average. 

Mr Carter, Landmark agent, Armidale, said most clients bought an extra ram this year off the back of the wool market being a little more sounder and to kick their genetics along a bit further. 

The Helmsman Auction was conducted by Landmark Inverell with stud stock Merino specialist Brad Wilson in attendance. 

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