Big dry spikes Riverina yardings

Sale numbers could easily top 55,000 head at this year's annual Hay Merino Breeders’ sheep sale on Friday, 22 September


Sheep
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Hay livestock agents are preparing for a bumper yarding that could easily top 55,000 head come sale day for its annual Merino Breeders’ sheep sale on Friday, September 22.

Hay livestock agents are preparing for a bumper yarding that could easily top 55,000 head come sale day for its annual Merino Breeders’ sheep sale on Friday, September 22.

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Merino Delight: Scenes for the September 2015 Hay Merino Breeders sale

Merino Delight: Scenes for the September 2015 Hay Merino Breeders sale

Alex Curtis, Elders, said with about a week to go, entries were still being received as the season dries, particularly in the sourcing areas above the Lachlan River.

“It’s unseasonably dry here now,” Mr Curtis said. The big increase in sale numbers he says has resulted from a large turn-off wether lambs, with 16,000 nominated plus 2000 ewe lambs

Geoff McDougall, Landmark, agreed the surge in sale numbers was seasonally driven.

“Lambs that are still running with their mothers are generally in fresh condition, however those weaned have dried off and they’ll present opportunities for the restockers”.

There should be 50-50 split of each, Mr McDougall suggests.

The drier areas to north of Hay have also resulted in a lift in numbers for the annual Hillston sale: the first on the Riverina spring sales calendar.

At last Monday’s, September 11, sale numbers he said had lifted from 10,000 to 13,000 head due to the drying conditions.

"It will still be an excellent yarding,” Mr McDougall said. “Our regular breeders are presenting sheep and the young ewe lines we’ve weighed (for the AuctionsPlus interface) have good weights, in the 57-60kg liveweight range”.

Despite the rush in numbers, Mr McDougall says there has been plenty of early buyer inquiry, especially from the south (Victoria), and from the east (Riverina) for October ewe joinings.

West of Booligal breeder Graham Morphett who Alma Merino stud genetics casts a strong influence on the September Hay yarding, said it is difficult to assess the conditions across the Hay district.

“They vary and have changed so much, so quickly,” he said. “From a personal perspective our country that stretches from west of Booligal towards Oxley and Balranald was fantastic until July 1 but since frost after frost has stopped the growth and flattened the feed” he said.

“Our sheep were fat at the time and since shearing in August have remained on good order but the lambs have suffered and not grown as expected.”

On the young ewe front, Mr Morphett said ewe hoggets have never been better. “We’ve all got good numbers after a 100-110 percent lambing last year, and with the good wool prices and a strong season in our buying areas, we’d expected similar prices to last year.”

Great Expectations: Alma Merino stud principal, Graham Morphette expects similar prices to last year.

Great Expectations: Alma Merino stud principal, Graham Morphette expects similar prices to last year.

The story Big dry spikes Riverina yardings first appeared on Stock & Land.

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