On-farm, online sale draws thousands of bids

More than 2000 bids were made online and on-site for 324 rams at Meadowslea’s on-farm sale in Fairlie.

The average price for the 300 rams sold was just under $1500.

The sale is understood to be the largest in New Zealand for a single seller.

Large television screens in tents at the Giddings family’s front paddock kept buyers apprised of bidding progress through the Yourbid online auction platform.

Romney rams led the way, averaging $1600. Equal top price of $3300 for lots 1 and 2 was paid by Tim Cameron, of Kurow, and Rodney Ruxton, of Outram.

The half-Texel cross with half-Romney rams sold completely, as did 88 black-faced Kelso terminals, that had a top price of $3200.

Romdale, Perendale-cross with Texel and Romney, and other breeds sold strongly.

David Giddings said the sale had more than 100 registered buyers. Rams were transported as far south as Tuatapere and as far north as southern Hawke’s Bay.

"With buoyant sheepmeat prices and good spring moisture there was positive sentiment in the sheep industry, and despite offering more rams this year, the stud enjoyed a very strong clearance of rams."

Mr Giddings said the stud had made major progress with lamb survival and the mothering ability of sheep, as a result of the ewe flock running unshepherded on tussock country since 1990.

"The stud has selected for medium-framed, deep, thick, and sound animals that are suitable for this hill country environment, across seven different breeds of sheep as well as the Angus cattle."

Videos were made of each ram in the offering. Online bidding opened five days before the auction start.

 - tim.cronshaw@alliedpress.co.nz

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