Kangaroo Island sheep studs are about to start the ram sales for the year.
Incoming Agriculture KI chairperson Jamie Heinrich said the sales were even more important given the ongoing recovery from the bushfires.
"We're still building up the flock on the Island after losing about 60,000 sheep," Mr Heinrich said. "There's two ways you can go about that - you can buy in or breed up - and we are seeing a mix of those."
The sales across KI last year were excellent as local farmers looked to put rams over their surviving ewes and develop their bloodlines.
"But this year, it's hard to know what is going to happen what with the ongoing impacts of COVID and the bushfires," he said.
First off on the Island is the Skallemaro auction that commences 1pm this Friday, September 17 at 255 North Coast Road, just past the Wisanger oval.
This is only the second auction for new owner Malcolm Schaefer, who is continuing the tradition of worker Kerry Graham, who has had a sale for about seven years.
He will be offering 35 pure Suffolk rams from the Allendale and Pamellen bloodlines.
Mr Schaefer said pure Suffolks were a heritage breed, known for the great-tasting meat qualities and long bodies.
Not on the Island but with plenty of local connections to the Island and specifically the Graham family, next up is the Glencorrie Border Leicester Stud's 12 annual on-property auction at Sandilands on the Yorke Peninsula where 90 rams will be offered on October 1.
Next up are the Bark Hut and Ellamatta studs, that this year are occurring on the same week, which only happens once every seven years, according to Mr Heinrich.
The Bennett family and the Bark Hut stud hold their white Suffolk and composites auction on Thursday, October 7, while the Heinrich's Ellamatta auction on Stokes Bay Road will be the following day.
Ellamatta this year is offering 225 white Suffolk rams, 60 maternals and about 60 poll merinos.
He expected quite a bit of mainland and even interstate interest this year, with the auction being broadcast live with AuctionsPlus again, so buyers even on the Island could watch and bid from home, negating any COVID impact.
The Stock Journal meanwhile this week reported an impressive medium wool ram from Orrie Cowie stud, Warooka, which won two major show ring accolades this season, has sold for $40,000 in a private sale to Glenlea Park stud, Keith.
At the conclusion of last week's Adelaide Stud Merino and Poll Merino Ram Sale it was announced that Peter and Marianne Wallis had secured the 20.7 micron ram, Orrie Cowie 1189, "King George", which had been in the display pens in the sheep pavilion near the sale rams.
The April 2020-drop was the Riverina Wool Australian Hogget Ram of the Year at Hay, NSW, in June and also took out the Northern SA Hogget Ram of the Year at Jamestown in August.
Orrie Cowie stud principal John Dalla said he never had any intention of selling the 136-kilogram ram but had a lot of respect for the Glenlea Park breeding program and saw it as an opportunity to get Orrie Cowie bloodlines into the stud for the first time.