ELDERS held the first of its three special spring ewe sales at Kojonup last week and the buyers appreciated the line-up, pushing prices to $162 as the wind blew up and the grey rain clouds rolled in.
All up in the sale 4553 ewes were offered by Elders auctioneer Don Morgan and by sales end they had all sold for an average of $134.35.
Maiden, 1.5-year-old ewes made up the majority of the yarding with 2498 fitting this category and they were first offered.
They sold to the sale's top of $162 and averaged $135.41.
It didn't take long for the $162 top price to be hit when Mr Morgan stood over the second line penned.
Mr Morgan took an opening bid of $140 on the line of 413 Barloo blood, June shorn ewes from C & M English, Wagin and the price quickly rose from there, until Elders Mt Barker representative Dean Wallinger had the final $162 bid.
Mr Wallinger purchased the ewes as replacement breeders for Amerillup Pastoral Co, Mt Barker, which will mate them to White Suffolk rams.
Mr Wallinger was also the last bidder to raise his hand on the second top price line when he bid to $153 for 284 Angenup blood, September shorn 1.5yo ewes from C & K Tomlinson, Cranbrook.
He purchased this line as replacement breeders for PR Adams, Mt Barker and they will also be mated to White Suffolks.
There was a third line of 1.5yo ewes to make more than $150 and it was offered by Barrule Grazing, Kojonup.
The line of 202 Wattle Dale blood, October shorn ewes was knocked down at $151 to Evan and Blake Warburton, EM & RG Warburton, Wandering, who were in the hunt for ewes to stock a new lease block.
The Warburtons also picked up a second line, paying $133 for 281 September shorn 1.5yo ewes carrying Seymour Park bloodlines from GW & KA Prowse, Darkan.
Other better prices in the 1.5yo offering were $139 bid by Elders Boyup Brook agent Peter Forrest, for a draft of 173 MPM and Wallinar blood, October shorn ewes from JM3 Farming, Kukerin, which he purchased for SRJ & JC Larkin, Boyup Brook and $129 paid by Gary and Alice Karafilis, GS & AE Karafilis, Bridgetown, for a run of 164 Westerdale blood, October shorn ewes from DG Hansberry, Eriswell Park, Kojonup.
The line of 128 Chirninimup blood, October shorn, 1.5yo Dohne ewes from Greenholme Trust, Dumbleyung, were purchased at $130 by DM & NR Blake, Parryville.
In older ewe lines, it was a draft of 202 Westerdale blood, August shorn 3.5yo ewes from IG & SB Rutherford, Duranillin, which commanded the top price when it sold for $150 to Elders stud stock trainee Callum O'Neill, who was bidding for KD Power, Boyup Brook.
Also making good money were 379 Angenup blood, September shorn 5.5yo ewes from M & R Schinzig, Kojonup.
The line made $145 when it was knocked down to Landmark Albany representative Allan Pearce, who bid on behalf of K Dewar, Manypeaks.
Yeenyellup Trust, Kojonup, offered two drafts of ewes, which were October shorn and based on Merinotech bloodlines, aged 2.5 years and 3.5-4.5 years.
The 2.5yo run contained 217 head and sold to Elders Kojonup representative Peter Wharton at $129 while the 3.5 and 4.5yo line of 170 head made $126 selling to GS & J Cavanagh, Kojonup.
Mr Wharton also picked up two lines of ewes from Marbarup Farms, Kojonup, that were all October shorn and based on Merinotech bloodlines.
He paid $121 for its 200 ewes aged 2.5 years and $114 for its line of 94 ewes aged 4.5 years.
Cranbrook operation AM Warham purchased two lines of 5.5yo ewes.
It paid $119 for 258 September shorn, Angenup blood ewes from Riverdale Grazing, Kojonup and $115 for 181 October shorn, Wattle Dale blood ewes from Barrule Grazing.
Elders auctioneer Don Morgan said overall it was a solid sale with the older ewes selling above expectations.
"The proven breeders sold extremely well and were chased by buyers," Mr Morgan said.
"In the younger ewes buyers were very selective and were chasing the better conditioned, larger framed ewes.
"The smaller framed lines were harder to sell."