Last week, SA vendors offered 16,202 head of the 88,403 national offering on the online selling platform and achieved both the $306 top first-cross ewe lambs and highest price Merino wether lambs at $130.
Respected first-cross ewe lamb breeders the McMahon family, McPiggery, Lameroo, are always among the top pens at the Naracoorte first-cross feature sale but this year offered their draft six weeks early due to the tight season.
“It was going to be up to $30 a head to feed them to get them through and we couldn’t make it work so we thought if we could get the money on AuctionsPlus now we would take it,” Platinum Livestock agent Adam Bradley said.
“We knew it would cost $1 to $2 a head to put them on there and the reserve was set to where we were wanting it to be so the risk wasn’t huge.”
It paid off with 1470 March/April 2018-drops setting a season high of $306 and averaging $266.
The 380 tops of the Johnos and Paxton-sired lambs weighed 46 kilograms.
Mr Bradley said the lambs made $20 to $30 above reserve and attributed their success to good promotion, but says the system has become much more user friendly and there is more faith in assessors.
Munduney, Spalding, topped the national lamb sale last week with its 2500 Merino wether lambs making $130 and averaging $111.
Landmark Jamestown livestock manager Tom Allen says the tops, weighing 38 kilograms, exceeded expectations, but the seconds, which made $100, just met reserve.
He says it was the third year in a row Munduney’s lambs had been offered on AuctionsPlus, giving them greater control of the price they received.
“We were only willing to sell them if we got a certain price, we did have the option of taking them to another property to grow out,” he said.
Mr Allen says AuctionsPlus is good for animal welfare.
“They are in the yards to be assessed and back in the paddock that same day, whereas it could be three days in and out of saleyards,” he said.
He says large breeder lines always attract strong interest but it could be “hit and miss” on smaller lines of 200 or 300, with last week’s pass in rate 48pc.
The Brinkworth family, Watervalley, Kingston, held their first-cross woolly lamb sale on Thursday last week with a total clearance of 7865 head in 24 lots.
The May to July 2018-drops marketed through Elders topped at $169 for 250 ewe lambs weighing 36.8kg The wether lambs sold from $83-$112.