IT was the end of many decades of sheep breeding for Mick Sim when the last of the ewes from his breeding flock were offered inconjunction with the drafts from a good number of other well-known Merino breeders at the annual Landmark Narrogin ewe and wether lamb sale last week at Narrogin.
Nearly 6500 mainly spring shorn ewes, over half of which were 1.5 year olds, and six lines of Merino lambs were offered in the sale.
And it was fitting that the first three lines of good, big-framed ewes offered, all came from Mr Sim, who ran the Kurrara Park Merino stud on his Highbury property and over many years purchased sires from the Tarin Rock-based East Mundalla stud to breed rams for his own use.
All up Mr Sim offered four lines of September shorn ewes, East Mundalla blood in the sale which were sold with figures of a 90 per cent lambing and a five-year wool average of 20.5 micron and 6.5 kilogram cut. Also all had been treated off-shears with Extinosad.
Opening the sale was a line of 395 young 1.5yo ewes from Mr Sim, Landmark auctioneer Mark Warren eventually got an opening bid of $160 and in one dollar bids, finally reached the $215 top price and at this point the line was knocked down to Wes Hall, EDL Farms, Newdegate.
The Newdegate operation is moving back into sheep and Mr Hall said the ewes were nice, big, robust, heavy cutters which along with their progeny will certainly fill the bales.
The losing bidder on the top line was Jon Ward, Nippering Farming, Dumbleyung, who buys his rams from East Mundalla.
Later in the sale Mr Ward secured a line of 382 October shorn, Eastville blood, 1.5yo ewes, which as hoggets were of 19 micron from an undisclosed vendor for $199, the third top price of the sale.
The second line of Mick Sim’s ewes, 211 ewes aged 2.5yo got an initial bid of $150 before going on to be knocked down for the second top price of the sale of $201 to John Brown, who has purchased land at Cuballing.
Next up were 229 ewes aged 3.5 and 4.5yo from Mr Sim and these were also keenly sought after, eventually selling at $151 to Michael Lucchesi, SD, MT & MS Lucchesi, Kulin.
The largest offering of 1.5yo ewes were offered by Bob and Tim Wiese, RL & CM Wiese, Highbury, the 702 October shorn ewes, based on Centre Plus breeding, were drafted into three lines.
The first draft of 331 head sold at $131 to Keiran Quartermaine, Carlton Spring, Narrogin, while the next line of 211 head went at $120 to M & A Blight, Narrogin.
One of the other larger lines on the day among the 1.5yo ewe offering was 299 October shorn, Leovale blood ewes from A & E Quartermaine, which sold at $140 bought account RW & SE Martin, Goomalling.
A draft of 213 September shorn, Hyfield blood, 1.5yo ewes from TJ & ME Rhodes sold to FA & WG Powell, Pingelly, at $137 while 220 September shorn, Darijon blood, 1.5yo ewes offered by BH Styles & Partners stayed locally going to AG & SR Castle, Narrogin, at $119.
Five other lines of 1.5yo ewes of winter and spring shearing, ranging in size from 103 to 190 head, sold for between $101 to $131.
One line of 190 very young ewes in from Taarblin Farm, which were dropped in July/August 2017, based on Billandri blood and April shorn, went at $125 to NG & MG McLean, Wickepin.
It was then on to three lines of 4.5yo ewes – the first and largest line of 348 August shorn, Navanvale blood ewes backed by 95pc lambing and a 20.5 micron average, offered by RJ Rowe & Co saw keen bidding until at $151 they went to Landmark Bruce Rock representative Jarrard Hubbard, account Cotswold Farms.
Next up were 210 August shorn, Rutherglen blood ewes from MG & GM Armstrong and these sold at $141 to Landmark Williams and from SP & PA Kain, 190 October shorn, Nepowie blood ewes made $145 when they were bought by Kennedy Hogg, G Bruce & NK Hogg & Son, Williams.
Competition was still very strong when it came to the six lines of 5.5yo ewes.
The first line offered contained 279 big-framed, March shorn, Darijon blood ewes from BE & RD Hardie and these sold at $149 to Yealering Shearing Services.
Also in from SP & PA Kain were 166 October shorn, Nepowie blood, 5.5yo ewes and these made $129 when purchased by Paul Keppel, Elders Narrogin, who also bought a line of 335 September shorn, Hyfield blood, 5.5yo ewes from TJ & ME Rhodes at $124.
From BH Styles & Partners were 287 September shorn, Darijon blood 5.5yo ewes and this draft sold at $115 to RA & JM Eckersley.
The largest line offered in this run was 365 October shorn, Eastville blood, 5.5yo ewes from Reynolds Family Trust, which were purchased at $111 by Lucchesi family, which had earlier bought 1.5yo ewes.
And finally in the ewe offering, perhaps fittingly, was Mr Sim’s final draft of old ewes.
It contained 96 September shorn, East Mundalla blood, 5.5yo ewes and these were knocked down at $121 to DJ, RM & JT McEllister, Narrogin.
The six lines of wether lambs offered all came with an average pen weight and vaccination details to assist the buyers.
The top price in the section was paid for the first line offered which consisted of 246 unshorn, Darijon blood wethers from RA & JM Eckersley.
With an average weight of 41.3kg this draft saw keen competition before finally being knocked down at $114 to John Patmore, Springhill Farm, Narrogin.
The following five lines of lambs had all been shorn and all but the last line offered was knocked down to Hillside Meats.
The first offered was 201 Navanvale blood, wethers averaging 40kg from RJ Rowe & Co which made $100, 187 Nepowie blood wethers averaging 41kg from SP & PA Kain also sold at $100, while the largest line of 472 Manunda and Rutherglen blood lambs averaging 38kg from Scorer Nominees made $96 and 289 Navanvale blood wethers averaging 36kgs from RJ Rowe & Co, made $95.
The final line offered was in from SP & PA Kain and it contained 276 Nepowie blood wethers averaging 35kg and sold at $90 to TG & VM Medlen, Williams.