In what is believed to be the top price ever achieved for a ram at the annual Mid Northern Romney Ram Fair at Claudelands Events Centre, the Reeves farming family of Waimai Valley sold one of their top animals for $9000.
PGG Wrightson NZ Livestock genetics manager Bruce Orr, based in Hamilton, said he had never seen such a high price for one animal at the sale, which has been running for 28 years.
The Reeves family, headed by John and Alastair Reeves, sold other rams for figures ranging from $1400 to $4800, John Reeves said. His family have been farming in Waimai Valley since 1932.
Orr said the key reason for the family's stock sale success was a facial eczema testing programme they had been running for 27 years. "If you want facial eczema-resistant sheep, you have to come to the Waikato or go the Auckland Romney Development Group, as that is where the majority of these animals are."
Another Waikato farmer running a successful facial eczema testing programme is Keith Abbott from Raglan.
Buyers attending the fair came from as far afield as Dargaville, Manawatu, Gisborne and the King Country.
About 80 rams were catalogued for the sale, with 65 sold. There were about five vendors and 35 purchasers, with some rams selling in the $8000 range.
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