A record price of $366 was paid for first-cross ewes at Naracoorte on Thursday.
The previous record was $332, set at the Mount Pleasant saleyards last year.
Naracoorte’s previous highest price price was $312, also set last year by Coolawang’s Trevor, Judy and Lachie James.
Amazingly, the sale-toppers were not even the first pen Coolawang offered, with the stud opening with 161 June/July 2016-drops that sold for $352 to Elders Ballarat, Vic.
Coolawang’s second pen of 270 made the top price of $366 and was knocked down to Thomas Foods International Rural.
TFI Rural buyer Matt Heinrich said the ewes showed plenty of growth and capacity.
“They’re well-bred and well-renowned sheep,” he said.
The ewes will be going to TFI Rural’s property at Millicent.
Naracoorte’s first-cross sale was run slightly differently this year. Australian Border Leicester Association secretary Ian Carr said rather than having a judge select the best-presented pen, the buyers would make the choice, so the blue-ribbon went to Coolawang for having the highest price pen.
The third pen Coolawang offered at the sale also sold extremely well, with their pen of 110 selling for $342 to O’Connor and Graney.
All up, the Naracoorte first-cross sale had 19,819 ewes that were sold for a gross of $5.97 million.
The vast majority of pens offered made more than $300.
Naracoorte Combined Agents Association chairman Tom Dennis said the sale result was off-the-back of solid lamb prices and great seasonal conditions in the South East.
“It also reflected the quality of the yarding, which was the best we’ve ever had,” he said.
“It’s probably the best yarding of 1.5-year-old ewes in the country, and the prices reflected that.”
The sale got off to a great start,with a pen of 194 ewes from DA&GM Eckert, Meningie, selling for $310. The same vendor also sold a further 120 ewes at $328.
It did not take long for a record price to be set, with the third pen offered, 160 Paxton-bloods from Deepwater Trust, Lochaber, making $348.
Deepwater Trust also sold 126 ewes at $332, 125 at $322 and 145 at $316.
The largest yarding came in from Peter Scullion, Scullions Farming, Hynam, with 3300 ewes. Scullions Farming’s top was $332, for 250 sold to TFI Rural.
JW Green & Son, Naracoorte, sold 248 ewes for $344, L&EM Stanton, Apsley,Vic, sold 102 at $328 and Penola Springs, Penola, sold 147 at $314.
Regular sellers Marmon Hill, Jabuk, sold Inverbrackie-bld ewes to $340.
– PAULA THOMPSON