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SPRING ram sales results were stronger than ever for the Poll Dorset breed this year, with many studs achieving increased clearances and averages on last year.

Despite concerns of low ewe numbers, and many areas still finding their way out of recent drought, ram buyers purchased with confidence.

Covid-19 travel restrictions had breeders concerned earlier in the season, with many looking to include an online bidding option into their usual set-up.

It didn’t dampen buyer enthusiasm however, with both online and on-farm bidding being strong.

Plenty of Poll Dorset studs cleared all their rams and then some, with averages above $1500 common, and a handful even breaking the $2000 mark.

Stud rams reached a high of $24,000 at auction, sold by Tattykeel, Black Springs, NSW, which also achieved a record stud average of $8700. Gooramma stud, Galong, NSW, also sold a stud ram privately to $30,00.

A new record average was also set for flock rams, with Armdale Park, Marrar, NSW, achieving $2218.

Nutrien Ag Solutions stud stock agent Peter Godbolt, Albury, said results were exceptional for a number of reasons.

“There was added demand off the back of producers retaining an increased number of older ewes, to rebuild flocks after destocking in the drought, alongside the wool price being lower than it has in the past three years, meaning there were more to be joined to Poll Dorset rams,” he said.

“Also the mutton and lamb job has been so strong, so producers are getting rewards back out the other end.”

Mr Godbolt said high muscled and high figured (Australian Sheep Breeding Values) rams were very sought after this year.

Ross Milne from Elders stud stock also pointed to positive carcass traits, as well as optimum growth being the traits of choice for buyers this year.

“Generally speaking there were very good clearances as a whole, most sales achieved close to 100 per cent clearance and averaged a couple of hundred dollars more than last year, so it was similar to last year’s results but maybe slightly dearer,” he said.

“The lamb job has been very good over a sustained period of time, it's been consistent and even, and a season in most areas across NSW, Victoria and south east South Australia has put confidence in the industry and encouraged people to hang onto and breed more sheep.”

Australian Poll Dorset Association president Isabele Roberts said it was great to see lots of studs achieving record prices for their rams, with everyone being rewarded for the quality of their stock this year.

“As the industry recovers from the drought people are keen to invest in areas that they are confident they are going to get value, and areas that they think are going to drive profitability in their business,” she said.

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Garry and Sam Armstrong, Armdale Park Poll Dorsets, Marrar, with top price buyer Karl Sinclair, Kinsdale Poll Dorsets, Orange. Image: Brett Tindal, The Land