The first ram sales of the 2018 season on Kangaroo Island have kicked off with the Bark Hut White Suffolk and Composite Stud sale held on Thursday, October 4.
Andrew and Bec Bennett at the Bark Hut stud offered a total of 120 rams – 84 composites of which 71 sold and 36 white Suffolks of which 26 sold. The average of the sale was $1038.
“We are very happy with how the sale went, good to hear feed back from clients on how happy they are with the performance from our rams,” Mr Bennett said.
“We appreciate the support from returned clients and the new clients on the day. And thank the effort and support from the stock agents on the day and leading up to the sale.”
The top sale of the day was a composite purchased for $2300 by Damian Willmott of Camelback Pastoral, located off of Bark Hut Road.
The volume buyer with the most rams purchased was Jeff Ness of JA and AC Ness, also on Bark Hut Road, with a total of 12 composites purchased.
Prime lamb prices had been solid for the last couple of years and Mr Bennett expected that to continue for the next few years, due to the drought and other factors such as a high wool price.
“The national flock is at an all time low, so you would expect the good prices to continue,” he said. “More are transitioning over to wool and that means not as many prime lambs are being offered so meat will continue to be strong.”
Mr Bennett also supported the push for a small-scale abattoir to be reopened on Kangaroo Island, or at least in the region.
He said it would have to be small operation to meet the demands of hotels, restaurants, markets and butchers.
“I’m all for it,” he said. “We have people coming here and they can't even eat KI lamb or beef.”
SA Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone while visiting last month indicated regulation would be relaxed to facilitate more small scale abattoirs and the KI Commissioner was in the process of organising some meetings on the issue.
The first ram sale of the year was a smaller sale of 20 Suffolk rams at Skallemaro near Flour Cask Bay that saw 17 sold.
Next up was the Glencorrie Border Leicester Ram Sale on Friday, Oct. 5.
Then it’s the Taljar Polwarth Ram Sale on Tuesday, Oct. 9, followed by the Ellamatta White Suffolk, Poll Merino and Composite Maternal Ram Sale on Friday, Oct. 12.
The Stokes Bay Genetics Poll Dorset Ram Sale is Friday, October 19 and the Deep Dene Merino Ram Sale is Friday, Nov. 2.