The company’s November sale, which was held on Friday, offered some 17,000 Merino and crossbred sheep, and included a broad variety of young and older ewes along with a number of annual drafts consigned direct account the area’s noted sheep breeders.
“It was possibly a smaller crowd than we would have expected for a yarding of its size,” said Elders Wycheproof livestock manager Jim Coffey after the sale.
“Most of our local croppers are now fully focused on the grain harvest and this left a rather astute gallery of sheep and wool men to pick over the yarding,” Mr Coffey said.
“For what we had, our Merino lines sold particularly well, with our best 1.5 year-old ewes sold to $228, 4.5 year-old ewes to $182 while best 5.5 year-olds made to $168 which on paper look very good selling.
“And, on our wether lines, which saw 1.5 year-olds make to $138, 2.5 year-olds $145 and 17-drop all returned to the paddock, it was the first time we’ve seen the trade present in numbers but going home with some very small purchases.”
In the crossbred section, buyers, especially those from the wetter southern areas, were noticeably selective with their purchases to show limited interest in pens not mulesed and/or Gudair vaccinated.
On the day the price differential between the “haves and have-nots” spanned $30 to $40 a head and it was also evident those suitably treated were trucked south while those not treated stayed within the drier northwest.
Mr Coffey said “southern areas have flagged their desire for stock with these treatments, and if operators aimed to target this market then these considerations need to be met”.
The November market began boldly with an opening price of $418 bid for a yard of 16-drop Border-Leicester-Merino ewes rearing 143 marked White Suffolk lambs to 10 weeks.
Whilst not a record for the Wycheproof saleyards, the price nonetheless provided an excellent outcome for Andrew Lockhart, ‘Andshara’, Wychitella, and, also value buying for Ellis Nuttall & Co of Bendigo.
Sales of unjoined young ewes, as mentioned, ebbed and flowed on management practises.
TR Barry Family Trust, Culgoa, sold, at $306, a July/August-drop yard of 200 to Southern Grampians Livestock, Hamilton while Kaniera Holdings, also of Culgoa sold, at $280, 287 Aug/September-drop young ewes to TB White and Sons, Ballarat.
A sale unaffected by the buyer bias included two yards offered by JR & KJ Doak, Watchem that were July/August 16-drop. Each made $270 however other sales of un-vaccinated and/or un-mulesed young ewes generally made $185- $250.
The market for breeder’s line of 17-drop crossbred ewe lambs was played out with similar concerns with the mulesed and vaccinated lots drawing greater interest.
Topping this section was the annual draft of RC & MJ Medlyn, St Arnaud ewe lambs, April/May-drop and October shorn. These made $256 on a TB White and Sons bid while AD & RL Gawne, Barraport sold, at $255, a yard of 268 April/May-drop, September shorn ewe lambs to JM Ellis & Co, Hamilton.
Other sales of 17-drop ewe lambs, suitable for an autumn joining, generally made $200 to $244 a head while smaller and younger backgrounder ewe lambs made $175-$200.
A single yard of October-shorn BLM-cross wether lambs completed the sale. Offered by D&S Erwin these made $126 a head.