FIRST cross ewe lambs have sold to a South Australian state record of $361 at the annual Naracoorte sale last week.
The Naracoorte saleyard agencies of Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen, Elders, Thomas De Garis & Clarkson, Landmark and Southern Australian Livestock sold 32,316 ewe lambs for an average of $273.52 at the sale last Thursday.
Buyers came mainly from throughout south-east South Australia, western Victoria and as far east as Timboon and Leongatha. Prices were generally consistent, with the top ewes ready for an early joining making $290-plus and ewes bought by producers expecting to join them in autumn 2020 given good feed, selling for $230-plus. Run-on ewe lambs lacking weight and condition generally made from $160-$220. Several lines showed the signs of the difficult season, but those with good frame and potential for growth still sold well to repeat buyers.
Southern Australian Livestock realised the top price in the sale for 180 extremely well-grown March/April 2019 drop McPiggery ewe lambs out of Glenlea/Gunallo/Ridgway blood Merino ewes by Johno’s and Paxton SuperBorder Border Leicester rams. The top price at the 2018 sale was $320.
McPiggery principal Duane Simon from Lameroo South Australia said he was happy with his prices. He averaged $295 over 1480 head, which was about $30 more than in previous years and about $15 above expectations.
“We had a real tough start to the season and they weren’t as heavy as what we have had them.”
Mr Simon said the performance-recorded SuperBorder rams put weight, shape and fertility into the first cross ewes, with extra muscle and fat.
The repeat buyer of the top-priced line, Cameron Grundy from Grundy Pastoral at Lochaber said the McPiggery and Lameroo sheep were generally well-bred and well-matured, ready to take a ram in the near future, which fitted in with his program. The ewe lambs will be joined to Suffolk rams around January 1 and in mid-December in subsequent years. Grundy Pastoral also paid $328 for another 185 McPiggery ewes, $300 for a further 197 and $341 for 173 April/May drop Elconda Downs ewe lambs.
PPHS Naracoorte sold 15,882 ewe lambs at an average of $265.22 and agency principal Robin Steen said the sale was above expectations. Energetic PPH&S auctioner Josh Manser sold 79 April/May drop Farmers Leap ewes for $340 and 100 ewes from B.K. and K.R. Lehmann for the same price.
“It was so solid from the best lambs to the smaller carry-on lambs – they were really strong.
“There were fellows there very very disappointed in their sheep because of the season we have had, but have never had a better price.”
Elders sold about 10,000 ewes for an average of $285, up to $358 for 123 L.R. Gregurke and Partners ewes. The agency also sold 131 April/May drop ewes lambs for Hayward Props for $350 and two runs of 188 and 185 April/May drop Pocock Pastoral for $320.
TDC sold 1102 head for an average of $249 with two lines making a top price of $302; Belmont Props 68 May/June drop lambs and J.A. Parker’s 111 May/June drop ewes.
Landmark sold 1789 ewe lambs for an average of $278, including up to $358 for 123 March/April drop ewes lambs from L.R. Grejurke and Partners.