SCANNED-in-lamb one-year-old Border Leicester/Merino first-cross ewes topped the market at $320 a head in a special Wycheproof sheep sale that provided good opportunities for buyers in spite of a small yarding of 5000 head.
Elders Wycheproof's Kevin Thompson said dry conditions locally combined with the switch of focus to the upcoming cropping program meant local demand was subdued with virtually all sheep across all categories leaving the district.
"It is getting a bit dry, stubble feed is just about done locally, and that presented some good buying opportunities for those in other areas that have had a bit more rain," Mr Thompson said.
Consignments of sheep went to the Euroa district, Lancefield, Kilmore and Wagga Wagga and Darlington Point in the Riverina.
"The ewes in particularly were not as forward as they were at this stage last year and were a bit smaller but that said they were still in very good condition and represented good buying," Mr Thompson said"It may be back off the highs a little but sellers were pleased with how things went, it is still very good money," he said.
He said the Merino wether component of the sale had been a highlight.
"We saw wethers make up to $166 and there was good demand from buyers on that front," he said.
He said Merino ewes also attracted solid interest.
Garry Talbot, Lancefield, purchased two pens of Merino wethers at the sale to average $155.50.
Mr Talbot said while there had not been a full break to the season there had been reasonable autumn rain and there was some feed emerging.
He said he had plenty of hay and grain to get sheep through his region's cold winter months when there was little in-paddock feed available.
"I've bought from here before and it has worked well and these look like another good line," he said.
Jim Ryan, Darlington Point, was another buyer at the sale, saying he was looking to restock his property in spite of a recent dry spell.
Mr Ryan's purchases included both scanned-in-lamb Merino ewes and Merino wethers.
"We had good March rain, it has gone dry now, but we're hopeful it will kick off again soon and this sale presented a really good chance for us to get some on the ground at prices that represent good value," he said.
Andrew Donnan, Woomelang, sold some commercial ewes at the sale, offering Border Leicester/Merino first-cross ewes, scanned-in-lamb to Ultra White rams, which sold up to $306.
Mr Donnan said he had sold ewes at a similar time last year, which sold at around the $400 mark, however lack of feed limited the number of interested buyers.