Record crowd at first-cross ewe sale at SELX despite big dry

Brian Frost, Hillden at Bannister purchases the Top Priced Pen from Brent Medway, Tolldale Pastural Company at Gunning. Photo: Hannah Sparks
Brian Frost, Hillden at Bannister purchases the Top Priced Pen from Brent Medway, Tolldale Pastural Company at Gunning. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Tolldale Pastoral Company, Gunning topped the first-cross ewe sale at the South Eastern Livestock Exchange (SELX) at Yass on November 25 through agency Elders for $356 per head (p/h).

They were 1.5-year-old, first-cross ewes estimated to weigh 80 kilograms (carcase weight).

The Top Priced Pen sold to Brian Frost, Hillden at Bannister (near Crookwell). He planned to join the ewes in December and sell the subsequent lambs.

Overall, vendors were pleased with the prices, slightly higher on last year.

Tolldale topped the same sale for $334 per head in November 2018.

All up, 9220 head of 1-1.5-year-old ewes topped at $356 to average $290.39, while the 2729 ewe lambs topped at $252 to average $180.15.

Sale gross was $3,169,047 and average was $265.21.

Total yarding was 12,044, 1075 less than the same sale in November 2018.

The McCormack family of Walwa, Breadalbane presented the second top price of the sale through Elders for $352 p/h.

The ewes were progeny of Walwa blood merino ewes by Kobbadah Border Leicester rams estimated to weigh 83.2kg. They sold to repeat buyer Jason Pond of Forest Reefs.

John and Suzi Shaw, Rutherford at Gunning fetched a record price for their 16-month-old, first-cross ewes through Butt Livestock and Property for $308 p/h.

Agent Phill Butt of Butt Livestock and Property sells 16-month-old, first-cross ewes to a record price of $308 per head for John and Suzi Shaw, Rutherford at Gunning. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Agent Phill Butt of Butt Livestock and Property sells 16-month-old, first-cross ewes to a record price of $308 per head for John and Suzi Shaw, Rutherford at Gunning. Photo: Hannah Sparks

"We were hoping to get $300, so we're very pleased," Mr Shaw said.

Buyers commented on the length of Shaw's ewes, agent Phill Butt said.

"We fed them right through winter but haven't fed for three months. It's been through good management and having the right ewes to join with rams," Mr Shaw said.

It was the largest crowd SELX director Brendan Abbey and SELX manager Rick Maslin have seen at a first-cross ewe sale.

A record crowd was at the 2019 November first-cross ewe sale at the South Eastern Livestock Exchange. Photo: Hannah Sparks

A record crowd was at the 2019 November first-cross ewe sale at the South Eastern Livestock Exchange. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Buyers were in attendance from Orange, Bathurst, Young, Cootamundra, Wagga Wagga, Crookwell, Goulburn, Braidwood and Taralga.

A total of 75 buyers registered and brought family and friends. Most vendors, interested farmers and spectators followed the sale to the end.

Buyers were restocking with quality young breeders, having already sold their older stock, Mr Maslin said.

Mutton numbers in general and CFA ewe numbers have been high at the weekly SELX prime sheep sales, he said.

"The biggest problem outside of obvious lack of feed around the area, is very quickly diminishing supply of stock water. The lack of spring rain and good green feed can be seen in the condition of their coats," Mr Maslin said.

"The first cross ewes have presented in great condition, however, they are a little drier in the skin than would be the case in a normal season because they haven't had that green grass."

"Still, it's excellent trading considering the ordinary season over such a wide area. Vendors have done a top job in trying conditions," he said.

Scott Kensit of Hollywood Pastural Co. at Narrawa is awarded the Best Presented Pen of Ewe Lambs. Pictured with Elders agent Tom McGregor (left) and award sponsor Will King of Bayer Animal Health. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Scott Kensit of Hollywood Pastural Co. at Narrawa is awarded the Best Presented Pen of Ewe Lambs. Pictured with Elders agent Tom McGregor (left) and award sponsor Will King of Bayer Animal Health. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Tolldale Pastoral Company's Top Priced Pen also won Best Presented 1.5-year-old Ewes.

"You want big spring of rib, a big carriage and good conformation to carry lambs. These first-cross ewes are very functional and well put together and possess the attributes of great fertility," Mr Maslin said, describing the Best Presented 1.5-year-old Ewes.

Scott Kensit of Hollywood Pastural Co. at Narrawa was awarded the Best Presented Pen of Ewe Lambs.

Mr Maslin noted the large size of Hollywood's ewe lambs at just three-months-old. They had great length of body, shape and make and spring of ribs, he said.

The sale was conducted by Landmark, Elders, Delta Livestock and Property, Jim Hindmarsh and Son, Michael Hall Livestock and Property, MD and JJ Anderson, Duncombe and Co. Livestock and Real Estate, Agstock, Butt Livestock and Property.

The next SELX special first-cross ewe sale is on January 6.

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