A GOOD crowd, quality yarding and extremely strong returns for both young and old Merino ewes were just the right ingredients to make the first sheep sale held at Karoonda in 13 years a resounding success.
Close to 4000 Merino and Dohne ewes and ewe lambs were yarded by Spence Dix & Co, with 15-month-old Merino ewes peaking at $350 - $11 shy of the state saleyard record.
The 2031 ewe hoggets on offer averaged an outstanding $313.
Just as impressive was the returns made for older ewes.
An exceptional pen of five-and-a-half year-old ewes reached the lofty heights of $270 and the 577 offered averaged $226, 4.5yo ewes reached $264 and averaged $260, while 3.5yo ewes made a top of $294. The entire 3979-head yarding averaged $280.
Spence Dix & Co livestock agent Simon Lehmann said the return of an open cry auction to Karoonda after 13 years was met with enthusiasm by the community, vendors and buyers alike.
He said, on the back of an outstanding sale this year, they would aim to hold another next year, potentially in the first week of September.
"It was an outstanding sale and prices were exceptional," Mr Lehmann said.
"The sheep job is really strong at the moment and it has hit a new level for those lighter ewe hoggets because there's going to be a shortage of them this year.
"The mutton job has also been strong and the prices they made were also exceptional."
The sale has set the benchmark for coming Murray, Mallee and South East offshears sales - last year's highs were $342 at Keith, $340 at Lameroo, $310 at Pinnaroo and $274 at Murray Bridge.
The top-priced Karoonda ewes were 57 April/May 2020-drop and July-shorn Kamora Park-blood Merino ewes, averaging 73kg, bought by Luke and Andrew Saegenschnitter, Sharlu Park, Truro.
Vendors Tyson and Trevor Paech, Inglebrae Holdings, Callington, who have sold at Murray Bridge previously, tested the waters at Karoonda and said the result definitely met their expectations.
"We're happy and it was a very solid sale right the way through," Trevor said.
AR,HJ&BR Wait, Jabuk, sold 286 June/July 2020-drop Moorundie Park-bld Merino ewes for $344 to Cameron Jesse and Anne White, Western Flat.
Receiving $332 for 227 April/May 2020-drop Ridgway-bld ewes were Pudney Farms, Lameroo, while DT&EJ Kerr, Perponda, sold 185 March/April 2020-drop Kamora Netley Park-bld ewes for $324.
Keynes Pastoral, Keyneton, sold 205 June/July 2020-drop Wallaloo Park-bld ewes for $320 and received $316 for another 205 of the same description.
Also making $316 was BW&DS Kerr, Karoonda, for 150 March/April 2020-drop Kamora Netley Park-bld ewes.
Offering a complete dispersal was Trevor Pfeiffer, Geranium, and he would have been pleased with the returns - $300 was the knock-down price for 326 April/May 2020-drop Rices Creek-bld ewes, with his 208, 2.5yos making $298, the 195, 3.5yos making $294, 179, 4.5yos demanding $264 and 186, 5.5yos making $230.
He also sold 355 ewe lambs for $186.
Leading the way on the older ewes were Jadel Enterprises, who offloaded 59, 5.5yo July-shorn, Glenlea Park-blds for $270.
LG Slape, Coomandook, sold 100, 4.5yo Rices Creek/Flairdale-bld ewes for $260, while BW&DS Kerr received $258 for their 247, 4.5yo Kamora Netley Park-bld ewes.
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