What a wonderful week this past one has been for crossbred ewe sales.
Four sales over three days and new record highs set at each of the selling outlets.
It’s not often we can say it but the crossbred sheep breeding industry is now riding the crest of an unprecedented wave not seen before.
Beginning Wednesday at Bendigo in a yarding of 11,000 mainly ewe lambs and grown-out ready-to-join young ewes, aged 1 to 1.5 years, prices soared to a season high $318 a head for young ewes and $280 a head for their year-younger autumn-drop ewe lamb sisters.
It’s also fair to say that the bar was set high after an outstanding sale and yarding at Corowa, just across the NSW border where prices two weeks ago raced to season high of $314/head when about 4500 head gained prices above $270/head.
A bit of friendly agent rivalry and banter from across the border made some at the Bendigo Elders and Landmarks sale nervous about their possible outcome. However, the quality of Bendigo yardings and repeat buying support these markets have become renowned for over the years ensured these markets would also be a success and the Corowa result challenged.
And challenged it was. Three pens were sold the $300/head market and like Corowa almost all collected prices above $270 a head. However it was ewe lamb penning which Corowa really doesn’t place a great focus on that produced the highlight when best ready to join lots made $260-$280 a head and later Autumn-joining lots sold upwards of $240.
With these runs on the board attention turned quickly to 9000-head at Edenhope on Thursday which saw one young ewe lot sold for $304 a head, but few in this age group sell for less than $265. But in the ewe lamb yarding the demand proved quite sensational as local bidders and Wimmera/Mallee backgrounders tangled for a large portion to sell from $200 to a top of $270.
This was fanatic result given the area’s shortened growing season that was hindered by a wet winter and a cool start to the spring which didn’t allow these lambs to bloom before sale day.
A Naracoorte sale followed Edenhope on Thursday and as always the SA prices far outstripped these Victoria results, with half the yarding reportedly sold above $300 and to a sale high $366.
Returning to Bendigo, Friday and the scene was set for a phenomenal sale due in part to the quality, further increases in lamb, mutton and wool receipts along with perceived shortage in crossbred breeder numbers for these sales next year.
Needless to say the 15,000-head Friday sale at Bendigo, by the independent agents group, was hugely successful, with a young ewe top of $330, 12 lots sold for $300 or better, and ewe lambs topping at $302 on two occasions.