Courtesy of Ian Turner
This year’s annual Coolawang Border Leicester sale at Mundulla on Thursday October 14th will again offer producers an outstanding draft of elite quality Border Leicester rams.
While Trevor, Judy, Lachie and Olivia James are tremendously proud of the numerous successes Coolawang has achieved over the last four decades, including two record breaking results last year, their focus is always on producing genetics that match the future requirements of their clients.
“Our objective has always been to breed commercially relevant sheep that can consistently produce top quality progeny for our clients,” Trevor James said.
Elders stud stock manager and auctioneer, Tony Wetherall best summarised Coolawang’s success after last year’s ram sale when he said, "Coolawang is renowned for breeding both stud and flock rams with the depth of quality as good as you will see anywhere.
"The growth, carcase qualities and outlook of their rams are most certainly sought after, and those genetics have been proven to receive a bonus in the saleyards; so that's why the buyers were here today."
While the headlines usually focus on their top end results, which included two new national records last year, the James family has always maintained a strong commercial focus in their breeding objectives. Besides their own significant commercial achievements, which includes one of those records, they believe the many successes of their clients is the greatest endorsement of Coolawang genetics.
“The success of all our commercial clients is the centre of focus in our breeding program and the true measure of our success as stud breeders,” Lachie James said.
“Naturally, we always welcome and value new clients as they come on board, but it is our many dedicated and long-term clients who have provided such wonderful support to our program and shaped our future direction; and for that, we value them deeply,” Lachie James added.
The James family’s more recent successes start with last year’s annual Naracoorte first cross young ewe sale in November. In clear evidence they are right on the mark with their breeding program, they achieved yet another fantastic record-breaking sale result. Their 591 first cross ewes topped at new national record of $472 for unmated 1.5 year old ewes and averaged an outstanding $457.
The purchaser of the top 253 of them was repeat buyer, Tim Widdison from Tarpeena.
He runs 1600 ewes and has purchased Coolawang ewes in previous years, saying he likes their size and subsequent lambing results. After the record purchase, he said he had just sold the first lot of lambs from the previous year’s purchase for $216/head.
With the mutton market being so strong, regularly paying $170 to $220 for good cast for age ewes, there is still plenty of margin and opportunity for producers to get a 100% return to capital in the first year, even at these prices.
Many of Coolawang’s ram buying clients offering ewes in the Naracoorte ewe and ewe lamb sales also had great success and this further backs up the Coolawang brand as one that can be thoroughly trusted.
Their second record of importance was the setting a new national record for a Border Leicester stud ram at last year’s ram sale. Coolawang 127/19 Triplet, a wonderfully well-balanced ram with tremendous presence and high quality wool sold for $27,000 to the Graham family, Glencorrie stud, Sandilands & KI.
Craig Graham said the 122 kg ram, was very well-balanced with beautiful wool and head, plus had great hindquarter conformation. It also had one of the highest Maternal $ Indices in the catalogue at 136.3.
That record was nearly surpassed when the Corkhill family, Normanhurst stud, Boorowa, NSW, put in the $26,500 winning bid on AuctionsPlus for lot 4. Rams with the qualities that attracted these top end stud buyers, were found right through to the sale catalogue.
Preceding these successes, the James family also recorded one of highest lamb prices in the state in June last year at the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange (NRLE), selling their first-cross wether lambs at $337/head.
This shows that Coolawang’s concentration on producing true dual-purpose Border Leicesters that offer both wool and carcase attributes, can result in top economic returns for commercial clients from progeny of both sexes.
“All our rams are eye-muscle and fat scanned in early August and we are very pleased with the results and progress; this carrying on through to our 1st cross flock, resulting in fantastic growth rates and muscling,” Lachie James said.
Two important extra bonuses for clients are Coolawang’s move to side sampling and micron testing all their rams 3 years ago, plus testing and selection for worm resistance. There is a real premium for sheep producers who can offer their first cross wool in the preferred under 30micron range and Coolawang is one of the few studs offering this information on all sale rams. The worm resistance selection will ensure that the Coolawang rams and their progeny will be able to withstand annual worm burdens better than most other options.
Coolawang’s Border Leicesters are produced with a balance of structural excellence, especially with strong bone and constitution, high fertility background and top Lambplan measured performance. While they seek elite performance levels, they do not focus on figures-based selection alone, but these are considered in conjunction with phenotype. Extended lifetime performance of rams is a point often overlooked when selecting on figures alone.
“With our clients in mind, we have striven to maintain affordability, while keeping quality at the highest level we can produce,” Trevor James said.
“We’ve consistently added rams in line with demand, hoping clients on all budgets can get quality rams at good value,” Trevor said.
While there were record breaking sales at the stud end of last years’ sale, to that end they were successful, with last year’s flock ram average being $110 lower than the previous year.
Trevor, Judy, Lachie & Olivia James welcome your enquiry, but all prospective purchasers can get updates on their website (www.coolawang.com.au), or through regular posts on Facebook.
Trevor James holds Coolawang 127/19, the new $27,000 Australian record priced ram sold at last year’s ram sale to the Graham family, Glencorrie stud, Sandilands & KI, represented by Craig & Deb Graham.
- Courtesy of The Stock Journal
Pictured with the James family’s $472 record priced first cross ewes at last year’s Naracoorte sale are the buyer, Tim Widdison, Tarpeena, his O&G agent, Ethan Bronca, and Lachie & Trevor James, Mundulla.
- Courtesy of The Stock Journal