Sheep prices continue to sizzle in Benalla

Sheep prices continue to sizzle in Benalla


Young ewes continue to fetch a premium in Benalla.


The hot southern sheep selling season continued at the Benalla special sheep sale, where prices for the first pens regularly topped $300 a head.

A big gallery provided strong bidding on the yarding of 6150 head.

AL & AM Mort, Mardie, Lurg, sold 165 Border Leicester/Merino-cross ewes, 1.5-years-old, from Riverina ewes, by Retallack Border Leicester rams for $370.

The draft, the second pen offered, sold to Scott Walters, Euroa.

Mr Walters said ewes would be joined "pretty well straight away" to Poll Dorset rams.

"I've bought these sheep three or four times, and they are really good," he said.

Justin Way, Rodwells, said the secondary sheep sold very well, with the first run "making their money".

"It was very solid, we didn't come under $300 until 26-27 pens in, I think we only had three or four pens under $300 in our 1.5 year olds," Mr Way said.

"The sheep have carried a little bit more condition this year than they have in the past."

Mr Way said while the prices didn't reach the levels of Naracoorte, SA, and Bendigo, it was still a very strong sale.

"It's going to be 20 per cent dearer, about $50 dearer," he said.

Sheep largely went back into the local area, but there was also support from Ballarat and South Gippsland.

David Welsh, Landmark, Benalla, said the top end of the ewes were above expectations.

"I suppose the shining light was the second run of ewes, which were probably, on other sales I've been to, a good $20-30 better," Mr Welsh said.

"The ewe lambs probably didn't have the weight other centres would have had, but quality was good.

"Lambs were a fraction off recent Bendigo sales."

He said ewe lambs sold to $290, before settling just above $200.

"AuctionsPlus purchased five lots, mainly ewe lambs, going down to western Victoria and Gippsland, and it having those larger lines, sold really well, having that competition," he said.

Mr Welsh said the sheep presented into very good quality.

"Some of the second run were only 13-14-months-old, and making in excess of $300-$320, that was a great result, that was certainly a really strong point," he said.

Ray and Patricia Paget, Ruffy, kicked off the sale with 210 first-cross Border Leicester/Merino-cross ewes, which went for $350.

The ewes went to TB White & Sons, Ballarat.

Mr Paget said it had been a few years since he had sold sheep at Benalla for that price.

A pen of 110 River Gem, Benalla, first-cross Border Leicester/Merino-cross ewes, May/June 2018-drop, by ex-East Mt Ada Merino ewes sold for $358.

They also went to TB White & Sons.

The Komens, Alston, Benalla, sold 193 first-cross Border-Leicester/Merino-cross ewes, June/July 2018-drop, and October-shorn, for $340.

Sue Heaney, Broken Creek, who bought a draft of 140 ewes, said she and husband Neale were looking to restock after low numbers of sheep.

"We thought it was time to get back in the game," Ms Heaney said.

"You have to get some ewes to get lambs."

She said the property had been experiencing a good season.

Marlene Croxford-Demasi, Maindample, said she had 400 ewes on the property at the moment, and was looking to build her numbers up to around 500.

She bought a pen of 76 Mardie, Lurg, Border Leicester/Merino-cross ewes for $315.


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