A LARGE gallery of buyers at the annual Benalla sheep sale pushed crossbred ewes to a top of $196 a head on Friday, while ewes with lambs were another highlight at $212.
"It was certainly one of the dearest sales we’ve ever seen here, mostly due to the lack of good quality ewes around," John Gregory, Rodwells, said.
Kevin Donnelly, Rodwells, Benalla, agreed and said the market was solid to a shade dearer across the small yarding of 6500 head, with young ewes sold $10-$15 dearer.
Tarcombe Herefords, Euroa south, offered the top-priced pen of crossbred ewes at $196, with 166 May-June 2008-drop Border Leicester-Merinos, September-shorn, secured by Bill Rennie, Longwood, while a second pen of 189 made to $187 and were sold to Lima Park, Pastoral.
The entire line of 493 ewes average $189.
Owners - Rob Hayes and his son Tim - confirmed it was the highest price the family had ever received for their annual draft of first-cross ewes, bred from "around a third" of their self-replacing Merino flock.
"Three or four year's ago we received $176. We were hoping that they’d beat that, but it’s still surprising," Rob said.
Crossbred ewe lambs sold to $150.
Merino ewes topped at $106, account WR Simpson, Moondeem, Greta, for a line of 220 1.5 year-olds.
Mr Gregory said the sale enjoyed "terrific buying support" from most parts of Victoria and southern Riverina.
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