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Aussie White stud Gamadale sells ram for $23,000 to first-time buyer

*Total clearance of 12 stud rams sold to $23,000, av $13,920

*Total clearance of 110 flock rams sold to $8400, av $4467

*Total clearance of 29 ewes sold to $5000, av $2965

A MALLEE farming family was "shocked" with the results of their annual ram sale when an Australian White ram fetched a whopping $23,000 at auction on Friday.

The Rowney family of Gamadale Australian White stud sold 122 rams and 29 ewes at their on-farm sale at Lascelles, eclipsing their former best sale average and almost doubling their previous top price.

The sale included 12 stud rams at its fifth annual sale to a top price of $23,000, bought by a first-time client from SA, to average $13,920.

Before the sale, Gamadale's previous top price ram record was $13,500, and during Friday's sale four rams sold for more than the 2020 top price record.

Gamadale stud principals Nip and Di, and Ben and Sheena, Rowney also sold 110 flock rams to $8400 to average $4467 and 29 ewes to a top of $5000.

Ben Rowney said the sale exceeded his expectations.

"We were very excited and a bit shocked," Ben said.

"Last year we averaged around $2200 for flock rams as opposed to this year where it was more around $4400."

About a third of the yarding was bought by clients bidding online via AuctionsPlus, while the sale also attracted several first-time buyers.

The buying fraternity was also diverse, with rams destined to buyers at Portland and Geelong, Gippsland, SA and NSW.

Ben said the rams had risen in popularity in the last year due to a number of reasons.

"I think people are tired of the shearing side of sheep and the associated problems with flies, lice and crutching and finding shearers as well," he said.

"These sheep are easy care in terms of not having to shear them, you don't have to crutch them and they're not susceptible to lice.

"They're also well-structured and don't break down and because these rams are fast growing, it ticks the box for people who want to make meat fast."

The top-priced $23,000 ram was bought by first-time buyers Kym, Kathy and Tyke Staude, trading as KD Sheep Studs, from Bordertown, SA, via AuctionsPlus.

The March 2020-drop ram, offered as Lot 31, was the first stud ram to be sold at the on-property sale.

The ram was sired by Tattykeel 170217 via embryo transfer out of Gamadale 180335.

Kym Staude said it was the first time in four years he had purchased a ram for his 850-hectare operation.

"I've been breeding Aussie Whites for seven years and we were looking for some new genetics," he said.

"We have a very good ewe base here so this ram will offer early maturing and good muscling and the most important part for us is good shedding.

"All these rams are shorn before the sale but we saw photos of him before that happened and it's obvious he is bred very well."

The Staudes' operation consists of 300 Aussie White ewes and two additional sheep studs which feature a composite shedding breed and Charollais and composite flock.

The second top-priced ram, Lot 36, was bought by Matthew and Jessica Lee, Leebrooke Australian Whites, who travelled from the Gippsland town of Stratford to select the $21,000 ram.

The August 2020-drop twin ram was sired by Tattykeel 170217 from Gamadale 180241.

Lots 35 also beat last year's top price record of $13,500, going under the hammer for $18,500 to a buyer at Dubbo, NSW, while Lot 32 sold for $15,000.

The sale attracted 22 online bidders, 14 of those were successful via AuctionsPlus.

Volume buyers included a commercial breeder near Swan Hill, who requested to remain anonymous, and bought seven ewes, one flock ram and two stud rams to a top price of $12,000 and $8800.

Agency Halcroft & Bennett, Coonamble, NSW, also bought 10 rams to $3000.

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