THE small yarding, compared with previous years, and the large crowd at last week's Elders special sheep sale in Katanning helped push prices to a top of $60 for a line of 1.5yo June shorn ewes.
The very short supply of ewes at this year's sale coupled with strong demand for Merino ewes state wide ensured prices were well above last year's levels and followed the trend of many sheep sale held throughout WA this season already.
Throughout the yarding of just over 2500 ewes buyers were selective paying better money for the well recognised bloodlines which regularly appear in the Katanning yards.
Under the control of Elders auctioneer Roger Fris the ewes sold strongly to an average of $46.75.
The honour of selling the top price pen at the sale went to Warrenup Pastoral Company, Tambellup, with a line of 298 2000 drop Wallinar blood June shorn ewes.
The ewes which carried a soft handling white wool characteristic of Wallinar breeding created a lot of interest amongst the large crowd of mainly graziers present.
However, in the end it was Tenderton farming enterprise Watterson Bros that secured the top line for $60 amid intense competition from all directions.
It did not take long for last year's top price to be eclipsed, when the first line of sheep in the offering sold for $51 to Richard Poulish, Elders Wagin, who was bidding on behalf of DJ & VA Frost, Kukerin.
The line of 362 well covered 4yo & 5yo Willemenup based April shorn ewes on account of FT Diprose & Co, Tambellup, set the tone for what was about to follow.
Fronting up again this year at the sale with two lines of ewes was the Thompson family's, Nardlah Grazing, Broomehill.
Their first line of 100 1.5yo Nardlah blood January-February shorn ewes made $53.50, second top price when Elders auctioneer Roger Fris knocked them FG Smith, Cranbrook.
While Craig Heggaton, Heggaton Family Trust, Kojonup, who secured a number of lines in the Wesfarmers Landmark offering and has been active at other sheep sales throughout the state lately, secured the second line of well bred Nardlah ewes, 217 mixed age February shorn ewes with soft white wool for $49.
After securing the first line of Nardlah ewes FG Smith, Cranbrook, had the final bid of $52 on a line of 101 1.5yo February shorn ewes trucked in by BD & D Clegg, East Katanning, along with the last bid at $44 on a line of 156 2.5yo AMS blood February-March shorn ewes offered by Ross Anderson & Co, Katanning.
Graeme Henderson, who was buying on behalf of Pardelup Prison Farm, Mt Barker, was successful in securing a line of 233 1.5yo Wallinar blood August shorn ewes for $49.50 which were offered by RP & JM Edwards, Kukerin.
Elders Lake Grace secured two lines of ewes in the sale including a line 196 1.5yo August shorn ewes for $44 which were sold by MD House and a line 206 3.5yo & 4yo October shorn ewes, sold by Rockcliffe Grazing, Kojonup, for $37.50.