Sales at the National Ram Sale held recently at the Salt Palace totaled $445,300 and set a record for the auction, National Wool Growers Association officials said Monday.

Some 867 sheep, including champion rams, ewes and range rams were sold at an average price of $514 per head, somewhat less than the average of $575 per head in 1987.A Suffolk ram, consigned by Caras Ranch of Spanish Fork, was the top money earner at $4,000. Ronald Dreher of McHenry, N.D., was the buyer.

The Cummingham Sheep Co., Pendleton, Ore., sold the top two pens of range rams at $1,100 per ram. Buyers were the Hall Sheep Co., Grace, Texas, and Melchor Gragierene, Bakersfield, Calif. Gragierene also purchased a pen of five range rams from Olsen Bros., Spanish Fork, for $1,000 per head.

Overall sale breed averages were: Rambouillet, $594 per head; Rambouillet/Columbia, $439; Suffolk, $381; Hampshire, $362; Targhee, $361; Hampshire/Suffolk, $356; and Columbia, $348; and polypay, $314.

"This was an outstanding example of the value sheepmen place on having good rams in their flocks," said sale committee chairman Lyle McNeal, Logan.

A purebred Merino ram fleece captured the Supreme Champion honors at the 1988 National Wool Show held in conjunction with the ram sale. The fleece was shown by Western Breeders International, Bismarck, N.D., and the Shamrock Ranch, Casper, Wyo. The show featured 92 fleeces in 19 classes.