Quality, crowds vary as spring sheep sales kick off

GLENORCHY producer James Gray, Swinton (pictured left) and his family sold young ewes, older ewes and wethers at Callawadda on Friday. This pen of 140 Merino ewes, 2010-drop made $148. Mr Gray is pictured with neighbour Damien Cooper, Glenorchy. HIGH performance spring store sheep sales were heavily dependent on quality across southern Australia last week.
Nanjing Night Net

While a record high was posted for Merino young ewes in South Australia, the lack of a finishing season has robbed many lines of vital bloom and growth over winter.

This has resulted in limited price advances for Victoria and southern NSW.

Attendances at sales were also rather hit and miss with some fixtures drawing huge eager crowds, while others were only modestly attended.

A national high of $290 a head for commercially bred young ewes was set during a five-leg on-farm circuit sale conducted on the SA/Victorian border at Keith.

The August-shorn line offered by Warrawee Park was secured by Millicent-base agent Dennis Manhood, for clients Pat Lawlor, Marjon Park, Furner – a previous and long-time top price buyer, who purchased 400 head.

A pen of 200 older Warrawee Park ewes, 5.5-year-olds, also made headlines at $196.

The SA circuit cleared 23,485 Merino sheep for a gross value of $3.9 million and an outstanding average of $167.

This top price was $64 dearer than a year ago, while the sale av $27 higher.

The immediate previous best price paid for SA Merino young ewes was $280, which advanced the national record by $8 on the $282 paid for Ross and Diane Wells’ Willandra-blood young ewes sold at Jerilderie, NSW, earlier this month.

Other Merino sales were held at Nhill, Callawadda, Swan Hill and Hay, NSW, while Yarrawonga made an official start to the southern crossbred ewe selling season on Thursday and offered 9780 head.

The Yarrawonga market top of $261 was paid for 198 Border Leicester-Merinos offered by the Dye family, Kentucky, Corowa, NSW.

The July-August 2010-drop of rising 1.5-year-olds nudged out two sales made at $260, including a lot of 633 bred by Bill, Anne and David Bott, Emu Park Coreen NSW.

The line was snapped up in its entirety in a deal worth $164,580 by Moulamein prime lamb breeder Peter Redfern, NSW.

The Yarrawonga sale returned a sale av of $228 with six lots sold exceeding prices of $240. Most other sales of 1-1.5 year-olds realised $195-$230.

Yarrawonga agent Robert Tait said quality was lacking at this year, but it was a “terrific” sale nonetheless.

Crossbred selling continues this week with 18,000 young ewes and 14,500 ewe lambs to be offered in sales at Wycheproof tomorrow (Friday), Bendigo next Wednesday and Corowa next Thursday.

Full reports in this week’s Stock and Land, Thursday, October 27 edition

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