Demand for both crossbred and Merino ewes headed toward fever-pitch at the Elders Wycheproof store sheep sale on Friday.
A large gathering of buyers principally from the west of the state and interstate into lower South Australia competed for an exceptional yarding that displayed little evidence of the tight seasonal conditions.
Heading up the crossbred section a pen of 17-drop Border Leicester Merino young ewes, with 112 percent of Poll Dorset marked young lambs at foot set the sale alight making $366 per head.
Ex Charinga-blood Merino ewes by Blackgate Border Leicester rams, these July-shorn young ewes were sold by O’Shannessy Brothers of St Arnaud to TB White and Sons, Ballarat.
Sales of unjoined autumn-drop 1.5 year-old crossbred ewes were greeted with heaps of enthusiasm. These were sold to a top of $322 a head on two occasions with the majority of other sales sold in the $290 to $314 a head price bracket.
Younger one year-old ewes made $250 to $270 a head while a single yard of April//May 18-drop ewe lambs were sold for $271.
Elders Wycheproof veteran, Jim Coffey declared the sale as one of the best in his time at the state’s premier northwest store market saleyards.
“Certainly the sale will be the talk of the town” Mr Coffey said.
“Despite the dry, our quality was outstanding. And I reckon the buyers recognized this and the fact all classes of sheep might become scarce over the next year or two and they possibly don’t want to face the prospects of going without their replacements”.
While demand across the crossbred yarding was intense, competition for Merino ewes was also shifted into a higher gear as a good number of sales sailed above $200 a head up to a top of $254.
The best priced of the Merino young ewes were an April//May 17-drop line, Seven Oaks-blood and September shorn. These were offered by BJ & CB Rumbold while Tamaleauca Stud and Bibby Farms each sold lines at $220 a head.
A feature of the Merino ewe offering was a line of JJ Hallem, Ridgeway Advance four year-olds, March-shorn, that was sold at $240 to interests from Horsham.
The inquiry for 18-drop wether lambs also exceeded expectation. Prices firmed further as the best priced rose to $137 a head for Rosenhoe Station, Kyalite, NSW while a good depth of sales made $80 to $114 a head as the smallest made $55 to $65.