IT was something of a different atmosphere from normal at yesterday's first-cross ewe lamb sale at Naracoorte, but the results were "exceptional".
Southern Australian Livestock's Will Nolan said the crowd was the lowest in history as strict COVID regulations kept all but serious buyers away.
"But the results show enough buyers there (and online) to still have a better than average result," he said.
"Overall it was an exceptional sale."
Mr Nolan said the result was a reflection of the market.
"There is plenty of feed and people are receiving good money for their lambs and mutton, so they can replace what's gone with good quality stock," he said.
He said the lineup this year was also above average.
"I'd say 50 per cent of the the yarding could be mated in the next six weeks," he said.
"That's a reflection of the season we've had, with plenty of weight and growth well-advanced."
But while the tops sold above expectations, and the lighter pens not ready for mating were "solid from start to finish", he said there was some inconsistency in the middle that created opportunities for good buying.
He said while the bulk of the yarding will stay local, there was also strong support from bidders online through StockLive.
Nutrien Livestock Naracoorte's Richard Jennings also said the results were above expectations, with good support from buyers.
He said the market on the younger ewes, that will likely be carried through to 1.5-year-olds, was strong.
The sale hits its high with a line of 128 April-drop Lines Gum Hill and Springvale North-blood ewe lambs from Sparks Farming, Munduney, Spalding, which sold at $438 to regular client RD&MA Smith, Edenhope, Vic, through Nutrien Naracoorte.
Another two runs of 170 made $400, through Nutrien Millicent, with a further 590 sold at $380 across three lots.
Mr Jennings, who did the bidding on behalf of the Smiths, said these were very good performing sheep.
"They've been bought in the past and go on to perform in the paddock," he said.
McPiggery, Lameroo, which topped the 2019 sale at $360, achieved this year's second highest price at $424, achieved for two pens.
The first, a run of 205, 62kg, March/April-drop Ridgway, Gunallo and Glenlea-bld, bought by Alan and Lyn Schinkel, Leenala, Kybybolite.
A second run of 180 also made $424, to Cameron Grundy, Grundy Pastoral, Naracoorte, who also bought the tops last year.
Mr Grundy also bought another run of 180 at $422 and 200 at $420.
A further run of 189 from McPiggery made $372, going to Martin Harvey, Western Flat.
Farmers Leap, Padthaway, had 52, 59kg April-drop Paxton and Morton-blds, with sold at $390 through Craig Gill, PPHS, while the seconds of the run - 153, 53kg ewe lambs, made $374.
Willswood, Bordertown, sold 101, 59kg Netley Park and Paxton-bld April/May-drops at $386 to Mr Harvey, and a run of 140 at $372.
Pocock Pastoral, Lameroo, sold 205 Lines Gum Hill-blds at $382 to JJ Munroe, Naracoorte.
Altus Pastoral, Lameroo, offered 150, 65kg April-drop Ridgway and Gunallo-blds, which sold to Mr Grundy for $381, while their second run of 200 sold at $368.
JJA&RLV Boddington, Binnum, sold 106, 53kg April-drop Lines Gum Hill-blds at $372 to the DiGiorgios, Sterita Park, Lucindale.
CJ&CF Pfitzner, Frances, had 75, 54kg May-drop Paxton and Deepwater-blds make $372 to Mr Harvey, and 89, 60kg ewe lambs at $354.
Mr Harvey also bought 84, 52 May/June-drop Munro and Paxton-blds from A&K Dakin at $370.
BJ&KR Lehmann, Peebinga, offered a run of 89 April-drop 60kg Paxton, Lines Gum Hill and Collinsville-bls, which made $370, while their second run of 161 sold at $368.
Merravale sold 110, 54kg March/April-drop Inverbrackie, Johno's and Rices Creek-blds at $360, with another 77 making $352.
LR Gregurke & Partners, Parrakie, sold 175, 55kg Dalveen-bls to JM Ellis & Co, Hamilton, Vic, at $364.
Wheaton Farms, Kaniva, Vic, offered 98, 51kg April/May-drop, Black Gate-blds, bought by Sterita Park at $360.
FB Lock & Sons, Conkar South, Frances, sold 159, 48kg Mernowie, Dalveen and Alderside Park Superborders-blds at $352 to Sheppard Farming.
Elconda Downs had 145 April-drop Lines Gum Hill-blds make $352 to the Fitzgeralds through SAL.
Marmon Pastoral, Jabuk, had 229, 62kg Inverbrackie-blds, make $360 to Elders Heywood, Vic, which also picked up a second run of 201, 60kg ewe lambs at $352.
Marmon Pastoral also sold two runs of 100 at $354 and $350.
SM&SK White, Netherby, Vic, sold 79, 52kg April-drop Castle Camp Superborders-blds at $350.
Belmont Trust had 110, 53kg June-drop Moorundie Park-blds sell at $350.
Schulz Livestock, Field, had 121, 55kg Dalveen and Moorundie Park-blds make $350.
PD&BH Larsson sold 100, 56kg Lines Gum Hill-blds at $350 to the Kelly family through Nutrien Livestock, Naracoorte.
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