Some of the finest first-cross ewes were yarded at Casterton on Thursday during the town's annual summer store sheep sale where ewes sold to $420 a head.
About 6500 sheep were yarded for the feature market where buyers from across the local district, Hamilton and Horsham regions and south-east South Australia underpinned the sale.
Overall quality improved compared to previous years, according to agents at the Nutrien Casterton sale, despite the region only receiving between 20-25 millimetres of rain since the start of November.
- Heat-tolerant cows to boost dairy milk production, research shows
- January marked by soaring temperatures to high rainfall
Ninety per cent of the ewe yarding was aged 18 months or younger.
Nutrien Casterton livestock manager Greg Bright said the quality of the sheep sold at the sale was quite impressive.
"Those first-cross ewes were among the best we've seen here in a long time, especially along the front in the first few pens," He said.
"We've made a concerted effort to purchase better types of lambs to target this sale.
"That reflected in the line up of sheep because the better sheep sold very well, yet when you got off those, it became tight enough, especially for non-joinable ewes or ewes that had to be fed for longer before joining."
Composite ewes sold to a top price of $400, while first-cross ewes sold to $420.
JS & EM Staude sold the dearest pen of first-cross ewes with 150 ewes going under the hammer for $420.
"Seasonal conditions were alright until the start of November," Mr Bright said.
"We're in desperate need for some rain and it would certainly help summer crops."
Matlock Farm Partnership sold 984 first-cross ewes including a pen of 127 ewes for a top price of $400 and another pen of 77 ewes for $388.
Tandara sold 547 ewes including a top pen of 200 composite ewes for $400 and 96 ewes for $358.
Nangkita sold 376 ewes including 86 ewes for $290 and 100 ewes for $274.
Caravista sold 178 composite ewes including 64 ewes for $354 and 114 ewes for $352.
Hillview sold a consignment of first-cross ewes including 125 ewes for $352 and 62 ewes for $316.
IR & LE Jubb sold 260 first-cross ewes including two pens of 134 and 126, respectively, for $330.
Gatum sold 342 composite ewes including a pen of 138 ewes for $372 and 129 ewes for $320.
Homebush sold 183 composite ewes for $354.
Woorndoo Park sold 372 first-cross ewes including 188 ewes for $236 and 184 ewes for $232.
Elmvale sold 447 composite ewes including 141 ewes for $328 and 63 ewes for $306.
Hambro Pastoral sold 192 ewes for $268, while Henty Anderson Partnership sold 176 ewes for $190.