CONTINUING dry conditions have forced West Wyalong region sheep breeders to reassess their stock numbers resulting in a March (autumn) store sheep sale where lambs were favourites with prices reaching up to a top of $138 a head.
The sale, on Wednesday last week, which according to selling agents is not normal for this time of year, attracted 7000 head and Riverina buyers mainly from Ariah Park, Griffith, Wagga Wagga and Cowra, plus meat buyers from Gundagai and Goulburn.
Quade Moncrieff Livestock and Property's Paul Quade said breeders foreseeing the continuing dry decided it was best to quit their scanned in-lamb ewes of varying ages, and young lambs.
"They were not prepared to take a punt on the season breaking, so offered them to make way for their main breeding lines and maiden replacements," Mr Quade said.
"Most properties are very low on water, and feed is scarce so decisions had to be made early."
Mr Quad said Griffith orchardists and others on irrigation properties were keen buyers, especially of lambs to graze and fatten as the lamb market was holding well.
Rod and Mel Jones, Renee Vale, Yalgogrin, topped the sale with their pen of 70 first-cross ewe lambs, (Mt Beckom Border Leicester rams from Richmond Merino ewes) June/July 2018, December shorn fetching $138 to a Griffith restocker.
Brian and Ruth Wright, West Wyalong, gained $130 a head for their line of 148 White Suffolk/Merino mixed-sex lambs, July/August '18 drop, January shorn also to Griffith.
Maree Stockman, Gubutta, sold 282 Merino ewe lambs at $125/head to the Reynolds family, West Wyalong, being June/July '18 drop of Lachlan/Nineunook blood and February shorn. She also gained $84/head for 491 wethers of same drop.
Merringreen Farming and Grazing, sold 114 Merino ewes, July/August '12 drop of Haddon Rig blood, December shorn and in-lamb to Poll Dorset rams for $100.
The sale also featured the dispersal of the Bolagamy flock of Richard and Annie Hall, Ungarie, totalling 2200 head. The Konsortium MPM blood ewes made up of four drops, December shorn, mulesed and unjoined, produced 110 per cent lambing in 2018.
Top money at $80 each was for the 2017 July/August drop draft of 250 head with 201 '15 drop making $76 to Ravenshaw farming, Griffith, who also paid $70/head for 625 '16 drop ewes.
Hardie Partnership, Tallimba, sold, post-auction, 264 Merino ewes of One Oak blood, February shorn, at $100/head to Laffs Wade Partnership, Cowra.