STRONG Victorian and New South Wales demand for restocker lambs has underpinned a successful inaugural wether feeder lamb sale at the western Riverina region’s Hay saleyards last Friday.
With the 19,159 crossbred and Merino lambs selling from 406-619c/kg liveweight or 960-1445c/kg carcase weight, Elders Hay manager Andrew Low said the sale result was spectacular and it could become an annual event.
Mr Low told Sheep Central store stock specialist Murray Arnel the prices paid were $10-$15 a head higher at times than expected, with 40.7kg Merino lambs making up to $176 and 44.1kg first cross lambs up to $191.
Mr Arnel said the sale’s Merino wether lambs over 40kgs averaged 425c/kg lwt, the 35-40kg lambs made averaged 443c/kg, the 30-35kg lambs averaged 472c/kg and the 25-30kg lines averaged 522c/kg.
Western Plains Grazing was paid $176 for 450 April-May drop Merino lambs weighing 40.7kgs and for another 462 40.3kg lambs. Heading the crossbred lambs was a line of 400 May 2020 drop first cross wether lambs weighing 44.1kgs that made $191 for D.K. and L.M. Comb.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions in New South Wales the sale was interfaced with AuctionsPlus and fewer than 50 people attended the sale. However, Mr Low said the sale worked well and 23 of the 37 pens were sold to online buyers.
The Merino lambs sold to buyers at Hamilton in south-west Victoria, to Griffith, Barrellan and Yarrawonga, “wherever there was some grass,” he said.
Mr Low said the lambs sold to lotfeeders or for backgrounding on grass or crops until a February shearing for resale as finished lambs.
“This the first time we’ve done it and we’ve had very positive feedback from our vendors and it will depend on the seasons whether we do it again.”
Ewe restockers expected to outcompete processor on old ewes
The Elders and Nutrien Hay Annual September Sheep sale, interface with AuctionsPlus, will be conducted from 11am tomorrow with about 36,000 Merino ewes, comprising about 25,000 1.5 year-olds and about 8000-9000 2015-2019 drop ewes.
“The sheep have really hit their straps, especially in the last three weeks, they have really filled out and rounded off, they are looking really good.
“The usual sheep that you would expect to see in Hay will be arriving again this year.”
Unlike in previous years, Mr Low said the way well-bred ewes have been selling meant processors might have difficulty competing against restockers this year.
“That is the reason why there are some six year-olds coming along that have all been mouthed and bagged and they are going to be very good sheep and there will be some breeder value in buying those sheep.”
Mr Low said the sale would be the main chance to get good quality Hay ewes, especially for first cross ewe mothers, “because there won’t be a lot left in the Hay district after this sale on Friday.”