Re­stocker in­ter­est pushes top to $180

Countryman - - LIVESTOCK - Bob Gar­nant

Merino ewe prices were pushed to $180/head for top lines, with strong com­pe­ti­tion from re­stock­ers.

The Elders Spe­cial Ewe Sale at Ko­jonup com­prised a large yard­ing of 6849 sheep sell­ing for an av­er­age of $131/head across the board, while the ma­jor­ity Merino ewe por­tion (6286 head), that ranged from 11⁄2-year-olds to aged ewes, av­er­aged $134/head.

Elders sale co-or­di­na­tor Jamie Hart said buy­ers were chas­ing bet­ter wool types and were pre­pared to pay a pre­mium, par­tic­u­larly for younger sheep.

“Un­der the cur­rent sheep and wool mar­ket, re­al­is­tic val­ues were paid for a qual­ity line-up,” he said.

Two ven­dors shared the $180 top­price, both of­fer­ing 11⁄2-year-old Merino ewes for the first time at the sale.

Mt Barker Land­mark agent Char­lie Staite was bid­ding on be­half of both buy­ers, who were keen to se­cure young ewes for their cross­breed­ing pro­grams.

Mt Barker lamb pro­ducer Kevin Jones, who re­cently sold fin­ished cross­bred lambs for $110/head, said the in­dus­try out­look was good. “I liked the size and shape of the young ewes I se­cured to­day,” he said.

Mr Jones paid equal top-price for 123 Mianelup-blood 11⁄2-year-old Oc­to­ber-shorn ewes of­fered by RJ He­witt.

Elders stud stock agent Rus­sell McKay said Jack He­witt nor­mally sold his sur­plus ewes at Katan­ning, but the Ko­jonup sale was worth a look, which re­sulted in prices achieved above eval­u­a­tion.

“The He­witts have been buy­ing Mianelup rams for the last 15 years and are pro­duc­ing very pro­duc­tive white wools for their ef­forts,” he said.

An­other line from the He­witt fam­ily, con­sist­ing of 301 11⁄2-year-old ewes, sold for $164/head to John Bates, trad­ing as IJ & HM Bates, of Vic­to­ria.

Mr Bates, who runs a 10,000-head-a-year lamb trad­ing op­er­a­tion and feed­lot at Bairns­dale, se­cured a to­tal of 1311 head over six lines of ewes from as many ven­dors for an av­er­age price of $142/head.

The Gipp­s­lan­der, who has bought pre­vi­ously on trips to the West, con­sid­ers WA sheep an “af­ford­able op­por­tu­nity”.

His ex­ten­sive shop­ping list this year in­cluded a line of 216 11⁄2-year-old Leo Vale-blood Novem­ber-shorn ewes of­fered by Bal­coombs Farm­ing, which sold for the equal $166 sec­ond top-price.

Mt Barker lamb pro­ducer Tom Collins, of Napier, said he was se­lect­ing for good frames in his pur­chase of 153 head of 11⁄2-year-old Woolk­a­bin-blood Novem­ber-shorn ewes of­fered by ac­count Nullaw­ill Traders.

Mr Collins said the re­place­ment ewes would go into his fam­ily’s 800-strong an­nual lamb pro­duc­tion us­ing Ray­mond Park Poll Dorset rams. “It was a good op­por­tu­nity to ac­quire our first Woolk­a­bin-blood sheep rep­re­sent­ing bet­ter wool qual­ity,” he said.

South­ern Cross breed­ing in­ter­est came from ac­count Kevin G. Kenny, which se­cured two lines of sheep con­sist­ing of 95 11⁄2 –year-old Strath-Had­don-blood ewes of­fered by Aurora Farms, which sold for the equal sec­ond top-price of $166/head, and 171 11⁄2-year-old Cul­bin Park blood ewes, of­fered by WB & N Har­ri­son, which sold for $148/head.

The sale be­gan with a line of 149 Moo­jepin MPM blood 11⁄2-year-old Novem­ber-shorn ewes of­fered by ac­count JM3 Farm­ing, of Kuk­erin, and bought by Col­lie ac­count Your­damung Graz­ing for $162/head.

Ac­count Ter­linga Farm of­fered three lines of 11⁄2-year-old Wal­li­nar­blood June and July-shorn ewes with the top line of 267 sell­ing for $160/head to ac­count Black­wat­tle, which also se­cured a line of 280 wether lambs of­fered by ac­count JM Gibbs & KM Har­ring­ton for $92/head.

A large 1009-head of­fer­ing of older 51⁄2-year-old Westray-blood Novem­ber-shorn ewes from ac­count DP & JM Boyle con­sisted of three lines, with the best price of $126/head achieved from a third of the of­fer­ing and bought by ac­count Yongerup Pas­toral Co.

Pic­ture: Bob Gar­nant

Elders Ko­jonup Spe­cial Ewe Sale buyer Kevin Jones, cen­tre, of Mt Barker, Elders Katan­ning branch man­ager Ger­ald Wether­all, Land­mark agent Char­ile Staite and Elders agent Rus­sell McKay, with the $180 equal top-priced line of ewes of­fered by RJ Hewett.

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