A QUALITY yarding of more than 3200 Merino and Border Leicester cross ewes tempted bidders out of the shade and into the saleyard lanes on a sweaty sale day at Kojonup last Friday when the Primaries team held its annual December sheep sale.
Values reached a solid top of $186, a result which bested the 2018 sale top of $169 by $17.
A total of 3217 ewes went under the hammer of the Primaries selling team, with the majority slotting into the 1.5yo age category, bolstered by several lines between 2.5yo-6.5yo.
Combined, the 13 lines fetched an average of $127, with the 1.5yo ewes averaging $125.
The entire yarding consisted of Merino ewes, except for the $186 sale top-priced line.
A line of 80 October-shorn Border Leicester cross ewes offered by JGR & L Imrie, Boyup Brook, was the sale top-price getter after drawing plenty of competition before being knocked down to Daniel and Laura Sarinis, Fernslope Farm, Dingup.
Assisting in the bidding on the day was Kane Luzny, who said the Sarinis family was chasing some quality first-cross ewes to start up a prime lamb operation at their Dingup property.
"We liked the frame and size on these ewes and I think the Border Leicester cross ewes will be well suited to the higher rainfall area they'll be going into," Mr Luzny said.
"The plan is to put these ewes onto oat stubbles and join them in early January to Kolindale White Suffolks which were purchased in October."
The top-priced pens of Merino ewes were offered by the major vendor Perillup Estate, Perillup, which offers several lines of ewes at the Primaries December fixture each year.
All of the Perillup Estate ewes featured MPM bloodlines, were November shorn and OJD vaccinated.
Drawing the most attention from the Perillup Estate line-up was the line of 214 4.5yo ewes which drew an opening bid of $120 and went to $156 before the Baxter family, Moodiarrup, was declared the successful bidder.
Their line of top-priced Merino ewes were joined by 197 Perillup Estate 3.5yo ewes for which the Baxters paid the second top price in the Merino line-up at $152.
Michael and Melissa Baxter said this was their first time purchasing Perillup blood ewes.
"We were chasing large framed ewes in good condition which will be ready to mate to Poll Dorsets soon," Ms Baxter said.
Top price among the 1.5yo Merino ewe yarding was $144, paid by Landmark Kojonup agent Troy Hornby for a line of 264 October shorn 1.5yo ewes with Warrens Creek blood offered by Ringmer Grazing Co, Kojonup.
Also at the top end of the young Merino ewe line-up was Perillup Estate with its sale opening line of 405 November shorn 1.5yo ewes selling to Miarunging Estate, Pingelly, for $137.
A line of September shorn Barloo blood 1.5yo ewes from Warrenup Pastoral Co, Kojonup, sold to the Phillips family, Manjimup, after they made the successful bid of $129 for the pen of 167.
Other Merino ewe lines in the 1.5yo age category sold between $86 and $105 with a line of 231 November shorn Perillup Estate 1.5yo ewes making $105, paid by JA & TL Davies, Bridgetown.
A genuine line of 181 December shorn, Challara blood 1.5yo ewes offered by DL & WA Kirk, McAlinden, made $90 while 230 November shorn 1.5yo ewes from Thornton Park, made $86, paid by Miarunging Estate, Pingelly.
The remainder of the older yarding fetched values between $110 and $123, with a line of 266 September shorn, Sunnyview blood 5.5yo ewes offered by PJ Spooner, Wagin, drawing a final bid of $123.
Perillup Estate also had some 5.5yo ewes to offer, with a line of 325 of these hammered down for $122 to Landmark Kojonup's Troy Hornby.
The oldest line of sheep on offer for the day were 6.5yo with 301 of these presented for sale by Perillup Estate and they sold for $111 to TJ Mitchell, Mt Barker, while a younger line of 356 Perillup Estate 2.5yo ewes sold for $110 to a Landmark Mt Barker account.
Geoff Daw, Primaries Kojonup, said it was a good result for vendors and agents.
"We had a good number of registered bidders at this year's sale which was down on numbers compared to last year when we had a dispersal on offer," Mr Daw said.
"Values were fair and the quality of the ewes on offer was good.
"This year the younger sheep were a bit harder to sell but I was pleased with how the older ewes sold.
"The vendors should be congratulated for their presentation of the sheep on offer for this year's sale and I'd like to thank all the successful bidders and under-bidders for their competition."