FIRST cross maiden ewes topped at $408 a head on two occasions as the selling of store sheep returned to the Wycheproof saleyards last Friday.
Forced into an eight-month hiatus to due to COVID-19 restrictions, a willing crowd of intending buyers completed for a 10,030 head offering, dampened overnight by 10 millimeters of rain.
Not displaying the bloom normally expected of a Wycheproof-spring yarding, the opening run of 2019 drop crossbred ewe maidens met broad inquiry, with successful buyers travelling from Pakenham, Kaniva, Ararat, Horsham, Seymour, Ballarat and Warracknabeal.
The first to achieve the $400 price tag was a yard of 189 prepared by WJ Watts, Nullawil. These were an August 2019 drop line of September shorn ewes. The Pollington family from Nullawil also sold for $408, 205 May//June 2019 drop ewes, also September shorn.
Brenco Farming, Wycheproof sold 181 April//May 2019 drop August-shorn ewes for $402 to complete a set of three lines all valued at above $400 by buyers.
Other pens of crossbred ewe maidens were also sold in a tight price range of $355 to $398, and a pen of September shorn April/May 2020 drop ewe lambs was sold at $270. These were offered by N. Weir of St Arnaud.
Jim Coffey, Elders said the market for crossbred ewes was very solid.
“To get prices over the $400 mark for young crossbreds on three occasions in a line-up of merely 14 pens was fairly special”.
The Merino job he said started briskly on the better end sheep topping at over the $300 mark on two occasions but following a lot of the lesser grown lots became very buyable between $250 and $285.
Watch Sheep Central’s post-market interview with Jim Coffey
In the Merino section, two pens of 19-drop ewe maidens were sold priced above the $300 mark.
The first sold above this mark was an Anro-blood (WA), August shorn line of 317 May/June drop ewes offered by Link Agriculture of Hopetoun. These sold to Warracknabeal interests. Mysia producers B.C. & M,I. Olive sold a breeder’s line of June/July drop Pooginook-blood ewes to an Elders Bendigo account at $316.
The next best priced was another breeder’s line prepared by Ettershank Pastoral, Murrabit. The Tamaleuca blood August shorn May/June 2019 drop ewes were snapped up by H.F. Richardson Ballarat. Most other 2019 drop pens fetched prices between $225 and $280.
Prices gained for mature-aged breeders ranged from $256 to $280, with the best price paid for a line 4.5 year-old June 2016 drop Ridgeway Advance blood ewes from breeder J,J. Hallam P/L at Hopetoun.
Merino wethers were also well supported by restockers and the meat trade. Wycheproof producers E.W. & J.A. Mead sold two February/March shorn pens of Charinga blood wethers at $226 and $232 respectively to Elders Bendigo and R. S. & A. Coatsworth.
Pens of 2020 drop wether lambs sold to a top of $157 for Gulthul Pastoral, Euston. The May/June drop August shorn lambs were booked by north-east processor, Ryans of Nathalia. Other yards of unshorn wethers made $115 to $135.