VALUES soared at the annual Elders Moora Ewe and Lamb Sale last week, hitting what is believed to be a record top price for the sale.
Onlookers were already calling the sale red-hot when the first two lots of Merino ewes hit the $191 mark, let alone further down the line when 3.5 year old, winter shorn Merino ewes reached the sale-topping price of $201.
The Elders team yarded a total of 9324 head of Merinos on Thursday last week, largely consisting of spring and winter shorn 1.5yo ewes in an offering which was bolstered this year by two genuine flock dispersals from operations in the Kirwan area.
It was a strong crowd of buyers who attended the sale on the day, with buyers travelling from as far as Kojonup and Mingenew to compete on the yarding.
Elders auctioneer Pat Hannagan powered through the line-up which started off strong and finished up with an overall average of $154 in the Merino ewe offering, up by $29 on the sale result last year.
Looking at age group breakdowns, the 1.5yo ewes sold well, averaging $161 across the 3436 head offered, with the winter shorn types averaging $175 while the spring shorn ewes averaged $156.
Thanks to some strong competition on winter shorn 3.5yo ewes, sheep in the 3.5yo age bracket saw the highest average of $179, with the winter shorns averaging $196 and the spring shorns averaging $163.
The 4.5yo ewes averaged $158, most being spring shorn, while the 5.5yo which were all spring shorn averaged $126 and one line of mixed 5.5-6.5yo ewes made $115.
There were two lines of wether lambs penned, which averaged $107 including a top of $111 unshorn.
The sale top price of $201 was paid by Jamie Perry, Copley, for 290 robust Wheatbelt type 3.5yo ewes from AHR & KG Harris.
Mr Perry’s ewes were July shorn with Parakeelya bloodlines and had the size and scale he was looking for.
“These are good, well-mulesed, big framed ewes,” Mr Perry said.
“I’ll be joining them to Mount Ronan White Suffolks for lamb production.”
The top priced ewes were joined on the truck by 343 head of 1.5yo August shorn, Ejanding blood ewes for $182 offered by RJ & VM Hathway.
Coming in at the second top price achieved on the day were the first two lots sold on the day, as part of the genuine flock dispersal offered by BR & DE Clarke, Kirwan.
Firstly, a pen of 314 August shorn, Nepowie blood 1.5yo ewes with an average micron of 18.9 were knocked down to Elders Corrigin for $191, quickly followed by the next lot of 329 August shorn, Nepowie blood 3.5yo ewes averaging 20.3 micron which went north after they were successfully bought by Elders Mingenew for the same amount.
Ross Tyndale-Powell who bought the 3.5yo ewes said the Clarke sheep were good sheep of a genuine line.
“Generally the sheep throughout the sale looked really good, I think this is one of the best yardings we’ve seen at Moora,” Mr Tyndale-Powell said.
The Clarke dispersal finished with a line of 372 August shorn, Nepowie blood 4.5yo ewes with an average micron of 21.5 which sold to Elders Wongan Hills for the top price for winter shorn 4.5yo ewes at $170.
The second flock dispersal to sell on the day came next, offered by KJ & SA Simpson, Kirwan.
Again the 3.5yo ewes fetched the big money with a line of 530 September shorn, Yarrum Valley blood ewes averaging 18.6 micron selling for $169 (which was the top price for spring shorn 3.5yo ewes) to Mr Tyndale-Powell also.
The Simpson family offered two lines of 1.5yo October shorn ewes which topped at $158, as well as lines of 4.5yo which sold at $158 and 5.5yo ewes which sold at $134, which was the top price for the 5.5yo age bracket.
It was a sad day for the Clarke and Simpson families who were saying goodbye to their sheep flocks, with Basil Clarke attending the final sale after selling sheep through Elders for 59 consecutive years.
Mr Clarke was joined at the sale by Michael Clarke and Kim Simpson with the group joking that even their sheep dogs had shed a tear as the last sheep left their farms for the sale.
Moving on to other top-prices fetched on the day which included $175, the highest value paid for 1.5yo spring shorn ewes.
The 456 September shorn, Glendemar blood 1.5yo ewes offered by NC McGillivray fetched the amount when Primaries livestock representative Nick Benson secured them for a Dongara-based producer.
Spring shorn, 4.5yo ewe values peaked at $161 when 194 September shorn, Cranmore blood ewes offered by LV Tierney & Sons sold to Meecham Holdings.
Further down the line, the Elders team also offered some Merino wether lambs with 406 unshorn MPM blood lambs offered by Fitzsimons & Son selling to a Westcoast Wool & Livestock account for $111, while 172 September shorn, Anro blood lambs offered by R & A Keamy sold for $96.