AUSTRALIA'S record price for a White Suffolk ewe was smashed at the Detpa Grove White Suffolk 11th bi-annual mated ewe sale on Tuesday last week.
The new high price of $6500 eclipses the $5100 set last year at the Ramsay Park ewe dispersal in SA.
Detpa Grove stud principal David Pipkorn said the ewe was a unique blend of genetics and exceptionally good in lean meat yield.
The record-setting ewe, Lot 49 180294Tw was sired by Warburn 160048, who is the sire of Detpa Grove stud ram, DG Noble.
Her PEMD was +3.30 and TCP 152, plus it was mated with high-muscling ram sire Somerset 190158.
Top-priced ewe buyer Murray Long, Pendarra White Suffolk, Ardlethan, NSW, said it was the highest-performing ewe in the catalogue and would suit his conditions and add to the quality of his stud.
He had no regrets about paying a record Australian price.
"It was an exciting day," he said.
"You go there to buy something and it's no good walking home empty handed."
Mr Long bought seven ewes in total, including the second-highest priced, Lot 94, 160646Tw for $4000.
This was a 2016 drop ewe sired by homebred sire 150008, mated to Somerset 190158 and High in PEMD +4.21.
Mr Long said Lot 49 and the other purchases would fit well into his program.
"I run about 900 stud ewes and my program is based on tight market suitability, high feed efficiency and great doability," he said.
"Lot 49 was the highest performance ewe and the progeny from it were far and away the highest performance sheep in the catalogue, but what was more important was the mix of fat and muscle indexes, progeny fat and low birthweight which really works out here.
"The muscle index is a good indicator for me about feed efficiency and doability.
"I like to bring pregnant ewes back here so I can let the lambs grow out under my conditions and my regime. I've been buying genetics from David for 25 years and his sheep do very well here."
Mr Pipkorn said the overall sale exceeded expectations, with 107 of 113 ewes offered selling to $6500, averaging $1061.
"There was plenty of good buying through the sale and people were pleased with their purchases," he said.
Different people were chasing different things and when they clashed, the prices went up fairly high.- DAVID PIPKORN
"Different people were chasing different things and when they clashed, the prices went up fairly high.
"People were looking a balance of all traits, physical and phenotype and genotype and when they all came together there was a fair bit of competition."
The auction was on site at Jeparit and livestreamed via AuctionsPlus.
There were about 30 people on-property and huge support online, with 124 log ins and 19 bidders, including 13 successful buyers.
In total, 59 lots sold online to a top price of $2000.
Making the trip across the border paid off for South Australians Tim and Philip Duffield.
They were winning bidders on 20 lots, including the third-highest price ewe, Lot 26, 180779 for $2200.
The ewes are headed to the Duffields' recently-established White Suffolk stud Strathfield Genetics in Stockport.
Elders Stud Stock auctioneer Ross Milne said it was a very good clearance highlighted by the record price.
"It was a fantastic price but also a good buy; she had a nice balanced set of data, very high muscle, good TCP and a nice type," he said.
Sales went locally and across Vic and into NSW, SA and Tas, including new and repeat buyers and strong support from SA.
"It was a very good clearance with a lot of online activity," Mr Milne said.
"The sheep were very good all the way through and bidders were taking into consideration performance figures and the phenotype and structure of the sheep.
"Most buyers got good value even though there was a good average of over $1000."
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