THE Rogers family, Tammin, set a new bench mark for sheep prices last week when they sold a line of Merino ewe lambs for $321 to set what is believed to be a State record price for commercial Merino ewe lambs.
The line, which was sold in the AuctionsPlus national lamb sale last Tuesday, consisted of 1180, Seymour Park blood ewe lambs.
The 10-11-month-old (green tag), October shorn ewe lambs were purchased at the record $321price by Wandon Farming, New South Wales.
It was the first time Rod and Jane Rogers, who trade as JS Rogers & Co, have used the AuctionsPlus platform and it seems to have paid off.
"Our sheep classer Kevin Broad advised us to use it," Mr Rogers said.
"It was a surprise to receive that price, it was well above our expectations."
Mr Rogers believes the market is being driven by the Eastern States at the moment.
Mark Flagg, Mark Flagg Livestock and Property Pty Ltd, Barellan, NSW, said the line was purchased because of their good body weight, size and frame of the sheep.
"They were a nice complete line of ewe lambs," Mr Flagg said.
The Rogers' flock has been classed by Elders stud stock representative Kevin Broad for the past 35 years.
"Rarely do you see lambs presented at this weight, that's partly why they sold so well," Mr Broad said.
"The Rogers are good sheep farmers, their sheep are never short of feed and that's why they have turned out so well."
Rod and Jane and their three sons are the fourth generation to farm the Tammin property.
In addition to their sheep enterprise they also run a cropping enterprise, including wheat, barley, lupins and canola on the 6000 hectare farm.
Looking for a change of direction, the Rogers have reduced their flock of 5000-6000 head (2800 breeding ewes) down to a more manageable size.
"We have just sold off our breeding stock," Ms Rogers said.
"It's a change of emphasis, we are wanting to do some more cropping and looking for a bit more ease of management."
"We will probably just run some additional dry sheep and have already purchased a couple of mobs of wethers," Mr Rogers said.
Prior to the flock reduction the Rogers would normally join in December, to Seymour Park rams, for lambing mid-May and would sell their lambs to WAMMCO.
"Our green tag wether lambs were shorn a couple of weeks ago and are in the feedlot now," Ms Rogers said.
"They will be marketed within the next month."
Like many other farmers in the area the past season was a tough one.
Mr Rogers said the 70mm they received in February was a "severe false break" with most of the clover pasture that did germinate not surviving.
"It has been a long summer, particularly for the sheep," he said.
Mr Rogers praised farmhand Oaklee Treasure, Cunderdin, who has been managing the livestock during the summer months.
"Oaklee deserves a lot of the credit, she was the one looking after the ewes," Mr Rogers said.
The Rogers have started their 2020 cropping program and have dry sown lupins, canola and cadiz serradella.