Seeing the long-term value of Dohnes: Our January ram auction
DOHNE MERINO, AUCTIONS | Aug 24, 2024
The Suidplaas Dohnes January auction belied a downbeat agricultural sector in South Africa – with three rams selling for more than R50 000. According to owner Wynand du Toit, this once again shows the value of sheep farming – and especially of the Dohne race.
The January ram auction took place on Wednesday 24 January at Klipbankskloof, with our long-term and trusted clients looking to add Suidplaas genetics to their own studs and herds.
The top ram, Lot 40, was bought by Jan and Wessel-Jan van Deventer of Blydskap Dohnes in Riviersonderend.
It sold for R80 000.
The second-best selling ram, Lot 20 A, was bought by HL Kitshoff en Seuns of Moorreesburg for R60 000.
The 78 rams on offer at the auction sold for an average of R14 750. The 220 ewes sold for an average of R2 720.
From left: Jan van Deventer, Wessel-Jan van Deventer (Buyers: Blydskap Dohnes), Jakkie Nel (Auctioneer), Pieter Groenewald (OVK Bredasdorp), Marschell (Manners) Afrika (Ram Manager: Suidplaas Dohnes), Wynand du Toit (Seller: Suidplaas Dohnes) and Jacques le Roux (General Manager: Fibre for OVK, OVK in Gqeberha)
Minimising risk in the farming sector
According to Wynand, despite challenging times in the agricultural industry, sheep farming allows farmers to minimise risk. “I personally believe that in the South Western Cape, sheep farming and especially farming with Dohnes is one of the least risky agricultural ventures. That’s because Dohnes offer exceptional fertility, and because of their dual-purpose characteristics.”
Even though wool and meat prices have fallen around 14-20% this year, while the cost of feed and diesel has increased, farming with sheep still offers incredible value. Wynand says, “I recently spoke to a very successful Overberg farmer, who said that he will undoubtedly continue farming with sheep for the next 30 years, because he’s seen the value, especially of Dohnes.”
Farming with Dohnes also offers important diversification for landowners, many who may rely solely on grain farming. “When grain prices plummet, it has an immediate impact on these farmers. That’s why I believe a stable farm is one that is diversified. Bear in mind that in the past year, grain prices have fallen more than wool and meat prices in percentage terms. And I believe that wool and meat prices are stabilising now – so I remain very positive.”
He adds, “While you won’t make a quick buck farming with sheep, you’ll also not be affected by a sudden collapse.”
Partnering over the long-term
What’s more, if you offer exceptional genetics, you can partner with clients who work with you over the long term. “I’m very grateful to everyone who has walked this path with me over the years; thank you to all my clients – we strive to keep you satisfied with our Suidplaas genetics.”
Wynand also made special mention of Jacques le Roux, General Manager: Fibre for OVK, based in Gqeberha, Pieter Groenewald from OVK Bredasdorp, and the rest of the OVK team for their help with the auction, as well as now-retired stud advisor, Stefan van der Westhuizen, who still offers his advice and inputs. He also thanked his own team – in particular Marschell (Manners) Afrika, the Suidplaas Sire Manager.
“I’m extremely grateful to everyone who participated in the auction – and I believe my clients are happy with what was on offer at the auction. They know that sheep farming is a long-term investment, and that the industry can only keep growing and improving as we live our mantra: Genetics for profit.”