THIS year's annual Elliston & Streaky Bay On-farm Circuit Sale is expected to be bigger than ever when it returns on Wednesday, September 2.
Elders Streaky Bay's Darryl Johnson said the numbers for this year's sale had grown, with an expected 18,000 lambs - mainly wethers - to be sold by 30 vendors across 12 locations.
That is an additional 3000 head, three more vendors and an extra location compared with the 2019 circuit sale.
The sale, operated by Elders, was a regular staple in the 1980s before it was brought back in 2015, and initially focused on the Elliston region.
This is the second year since its revival that vendors from Port Kenny and Streaky Bay will be included.
While the bulk of the offering will be Merino wether lambs, there will also be opportunities to buy crossbred lambs, Merino ewe lambs and even some older Merino ewes.
Nick Kelsh, Zaroma, Port Kenny, is among the vendors this year, after first offering about 550 wether lambs last year.
They will present about 1100 Glenville-blood wether lambs next week - nearly doubling their offering.
"Last year we wanted to put some in to support the sale, and we were very happy with the prices," Mr Kelsh said.
All the vendors do a very good job with their lambs.
The Kelsh family normally run Merinos, as well as Suffolk-Merinos, and they usually hold onto half of each year's Merino wether drop until they are 5.5 years old.
But with the seasonal uncertainty and little rain in their region until the past few weeks, they made the decision to sell all of this year's wether lambs.
Mr Kelsh said there were many advantages to a situation where the buyers came to the vendors.
"With it on-farm, we don't have to worry about carting them off - you get paid for what they are on-farm," he said.
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Elders Cummins' Steve Davidson said the sale was unique, with the route basically a "straight shot" down the Flinders Highway between Sheringa and Streaky Bay.
After a "sluggish start" and a dry July, he said the season had improved, with good rain in August helping to keep the sheep "fresh".
"All the vendors do a very good job with their lambs," he said.
Mr Davidson said in the years since the sale's return, many of the vendors had built up good relationships with return clients.
He said the sale was a great opportunity for the vendors to offer their sheep straight off the farm, but also for the buyers, who could access 18,000 quality ewes and lambs along the highway.
Mr Davidson said they were expecting good buyer support from across SA and also some phone orders from interstate, following rain in the eastern states.
At last year's sale, Merino wether lambs sold to $158, crossbred wether lambs to $165 and maiden Merino ewes to $186, with buyers coming from as far afield as the Upper South East.
The 12-stop sale will begin at 10am at Glenross, Sheringa, east of Elliston, and will finish at Yandra, west of Port Kenny.
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