Katanning ewes to $126.50
Bidding hit a high of $126.50 at last Friday's Special Ewe Sale in Katanning, with the multi-agent sale averaging $83 a head.
The first pen to go under the hammer set the mark for the sale, in which Landmark, Primaries and Westcoast Livestock agents auctioned more than 22,500 ewes, including two flock dispersals.
Most ewes yarded were 1½-year-old Merinos, followed by 2½-year olds and several older lines that ranged from 3½ to 6½ years old.
The top price, paid for a line of 16-month-old Merino ewes with eight months' wool, was well up on last year's high of $100.50/head, although it was slightly behind the top of $132/head achieved at Kondinin earlier this month.
A total of 83 registered buyers were recorded, and agents said it was a realistic sale, with big frame ewes selling well and medium types selling at value.
Greg Hambley, of Mt Barker, made sure he did not go home empty- handed, placing the top bid on the first pen of the sale, a line of 259, 16-month-old February-shorn Merino ewes, with Wallaloo blood.
Having been on the hunt for replacement ewes since July, Mr Hambley bought the ewes - which were bred by MR and SK Barr, of Newdegate, with his mother, Irene.
Mr Hambley selected the ewes for their size, frame, length and wool, and planned to join them with rams from his Noo Jee Poll Dorset stud.
Prices stayed above the $100 mark for the second and third lines auctioned at the sale.
Regular sellers, TR and DK Edwards, of Dumbleyung, sold a line of 235 March-shorn 1½-year-old East Mundalla ewes for $115.50/head. The line was purchased by GG and LA Hooper.
JW Smart and Co, of Pingrup, made $102.50/head for a line of 541 January-shorn 1.5-year-old Ketleen Valley ewes, which were purchased by Cluett and Sons, of Mt Barker.
Volume buyers included DM and JM Hallet, of Boyup Brook, who took home 987 1½-year-old winter-shorn ewes for an average of $88/head, and Brad Ward, of Dumbleyung, who paid an average of $76/ head for 959 5½-year-old ewes.
Landmark's catalogue included 492 unshorn 1½-year-old Merino wether lambs from Kohat Farm.
The lambs were bought by the Alex Cant Family Trust, of Kojonup, for $68.50/head.
Landmark auctioneer Mark Warren said quality across the catalogue was very good.
"It was good to see strong support from graziers far and wide," he said.
Out of a catalogue of 7151 ewes, a top price of $114/head was paid for a line of 1½-year-old Merinos.
"It was a very realistic sale, with the better sheep obtaining good values throughout and medium types and small lines of younger ewes selling in buyers' favour," Primaries auctioneer Peter Sheridan said.
The top-priced line, sold by absent vendors IM and MM Hesford, of Esperance, was part of a flock dispersal.
Barry Hutcheson, of Primaries Esperance, said Mr Hesford was very passionate about sheep and described the line as "the true modern multi-purpose Merino".
The Bunker family, of Kendenup, trading as Pardee Grazing, bought the August-shorn ewes with Pyramid Polls/AMS blood. They will be used as replacements, joined to Poll Dorsets and White Suffolks.
Mr Hutcheson said the Hesfords' older line of 349 2.5-year-olds, which sold for $110/head to CJ Humphries, of Esperance, had cut 6kg of wool with 17 micron and had recorded 118 per cent lambing in the paddock.
Across the catalogue, 1½-year-old ewes made $62.50/head for bare shorn up to $114/head for the top line of August-shorn ewes.
In the 2½-year-old offering, prices for August-shorn ewes ranged from $70 to $110/head, while 3½ to 4½ year olds sold for $70.50 to $80.50/head. One line of 4½-year-old ewes, all January shorn, sold for $95/head, while a line of August-shorn sold for $70/head.
Spring-shorn 5½-year-old ewes sold for $57 to $66/head and December shorn 6½ year old ewes sold for $83 to $87.50/head.
A line of Merino ewe lambs sold for $30.50/head and a line of Merino wether lambs sold for $37.50/head.
Westcoast Livestock *
West Kulin vendor David King and Son achieved the top price in the Westcoast Livestock catalogue, with $120.50/head paid for a line of 146 purple-tag Merino ewes.
A media-shy David King was very pleased with the price, but declined to say much more.
His agent, Barry Gangell, of Westcoast Livestock, Kulin, said the 2½-year-old ewes were surplus to requirements, describing the February-shorn, Rohern blood ewes as big bodied and plain sheep with a long staple.
The buyers, Malcolm and Jordan Fenwick, of Wellstead, were looking for replacement ewes with good wool and frame.
"They will suit the Wellstead area and we also bought the Kings' younger yellow tags for $105.50/head," Mr Fenwick said.
The ewes will be joined to Dohnes, adding size, milk and vigour, to produce F1 ewes for joining back to Merinos.
Also on offer was a flock dispersal of 1678 ewes from 1½ to 6½ years old, on behalf of Joe Carmody and Co, Kulin.
The Carmody family's 2½-year-old September-shorn Merino ewes with Barloo genetics sold for the second highest price of the catalogue at $114.50/head.
Mr Gangell bought the ewes on behalf of Elders Findley in New South Wales.
Merino stud breeder Luke Ledwith, of Kolindale stud, bought the Carmody family's 1½-year-old Merino ewes, a line of 586 head, for $107.50/head.
Another buyer, Fletcher International, paid an average of $80/head for Merino ewes in the 5½ to 6½ years old category.
Westcoast Livestock auctioneer Chris Hartley said buyers were selective across the catalogue, with better quality sheep selling well.
Katanning Special Ewe Sale *
Sold * 10,543 ewes
Top price *$126.50/head
·1.5 years old: $60 to $126.50/head
·Two to 2.5 years old: $66 to $92.50/head
·4.5 years old: $89.50 to 90.50/head
·Five to 5.5 years old: $75 to $94/head
Sold * 7151 ewes
Top price *$114/head
Average * $76/head
·1.5 years old: $58.50 to $114/head
·2.5 years old: $70 to $110/head
·3.5 years old: $70.50/head
·3.5 to 4.5 years old: $70.50 to $80.50/head
·4.5 years old: $70 to $95/head
·5.5 years old: $57 to $66/head
·6.5 years old: $83/head
_Westcoast Livestock _
Sold *5198 ewes
Top price *$120.50/head
Average * $88/head
·1.5 years old: $60 to $107.50/head
·2.5 years old: $74.50 to $114.50/head
·3.5 to 5.5 years old: $80/head
·6.5 years old: $80/head
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