Of the consignment of 109 rams, 103 were sold for an average of $1,008. Buyers from Northland to Southland made purchases with 20% of rams going to the South Island. A top price of $6,000 was paid by Nelson ram breeder Peter Moore of the Rosedale Stud. This FE tested sire (0.55mg) was ranked 1st for DPO (the overall index covering all production and disease traits), 4th for growth and 19th for worm resistance, where 350 rams were evaluated.
The result was very gratifying, but also surprising when considered against a background of abysmal lamb prices and poor results from most other ram auctions. I believe there is a growing awareness by both ram breeders and sheep farmers in general that breeding for worm resistance is both desirable and achievable. The long held view that this worm resistance trait comes at a cost to production traits is ill founded, as our best sire for worm resistance is also our best sire for production traits.