SRS Monaro ram sale hits $4000

Elders conducted the third annual SRS Monaro ram sale at Severn Park on Wednesday October 24. Elders stud stock auctioneer Andy McGeogh is with Cooma branch manager Rob Nicholl (right) on the stand. Richmond Merino stud produced the top priced ram of the sale – lot 30, bought by Geddes Pastoral Company of Holbrook for $4000. Lot 30 is pictured with Elders Rob Nicholl and the breeder, Richmond Merino stud principal Trevor Ryan.
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Year 12 Bombala agricultural students Nick Rosten, Harry Sellars, Richard Stewart with teacher Max Stewart. The school has an SRS Merino stud.

Dr Jim Watts who developed the SRS Merino along with a team of CSIRO scientists about 20 years ago, pictured with volume buyer George Haylock (right) of Old Springfield partnerships.

Dr Jim Watts who developed the SRS Merino along with a team of CSIRO scientists about 20 years ago, was at the annual SRS ram sale at Severn Park on Wednesday. Dr Watts said he and a team of CSIRO scientists realised that if sheep were selected for density and length of wool a plainer bodied sheep which was easy to shear and didn’t need mulesing was the result. “Productivity and fleece weights are high as well as high quality wool. Dr Watts said the name ‘soft rolling skin’ (SRS ) refers to the skin which becomes thinner and looser as it is genetically selected for high density and length of wool. “You can see the skin and wool rolling as the animal moves around in the paddock,” Dr Watts said. “In the 1980s a team of CSIRO scientists worked out that by developing wool follicles and understood how an advanced wool could be grown.” SRS Merinos are extremely fertile and weaning averages over 120 per cent are common. Over 40 Merino and Poll Merino studs are implementing the SRS Breeding System supplying to over 1200 commercial growers across Australia to improve enterprise profitability.

Local Nimmitabel Sherwood Merino stud principal Henry Bridgewater was happy with his 100 per cent clearance rate at the sale.

The third annual SRS Monaro ram sale reached a high of $4,000 for a Richmond Merino stud ram – lot 30, down on last year’s high of $6,600.

The sale sold 56 rams averaging $1,103.57. Eighteen rams were passed in with many sold after the auction.

SRS Monaro Selling Group Trevor Ryan said the sale was a reflection of the market conditions.

“Both the wool and meat markets are nowhere near the level for the same time last year,” Mr Ryan said.

“Considering that, we are happy enough, with the sale.”

Geddes Pastoral Company of Holbrook took home the top priced ram.

There were 21 registered buyers on the day with good local interest from Cooma, Nimmitabel, Dalgety, Bombala, Queanbeyan, Delegate and as far afield as Queensland.