There have been plenty of highs in the state's meat sheep breeds ram selling season, which is close to the end.
But after several years of many studs increasing the number of terminal sires in their catalogues, the market reached saturation point.
This has resulted in lower clearance rates at some White Suffolk and Poll Dorset sales in the past few months.
The Shillabeer family, Wingamin White Suffolk stud, Karoonda, set a new state record of $32,000 at their on-property sale in September.
Soon after Ashmore stud, Wasleys, received $31,000 for a ram of the same breed.
Elders SA stud stock marketing manager Tom Penna said there had been some "incredible sales" but he saw it as "season of two parts".
"The early British breed sales, especially those with good data and the studs that were established, were as good if not better than we expected but some of the later sales were quite tough and still have numbers," he said.
He said more Merino ewes had been rejoined to Merinos while some other producers had turned to shedding breeds.
"People that go into them are sold on them, they are getting higher lambing percentages and the sheep are doing well, especially in the pastoral areas," he said.
"They have a saleable sheep to sell at regular intervals and there is no debate over mulesing, which is hanging over the Merino industry."
Mr Penna also noted a large number of high price stud rams had been bought sight unseen, due to travel restrictions. An example of this was the Rangeview Poll Dorset ram from Tas, which topped the Elite Stud Sheep Sale in September, but was not at the sale and sold to WA for $27,500.
"A few years ago people said it wouldn't happen but buyers showed confidence in the studs and relied on the data, videos and agent recommendations," he said.
Nutrien SA stud stock manager Gordon Wood said it was tremendous to see buyers willing to pay $2600-$3000 for flock rams on the back of lucrative lamb prices and strong forward contracts.
"Every year for the last few we had thought we must be close to reaching the top but then we see another lift," he said.
He said most of the Border Leicester sales had been "phenomenal", especially Inverbrackie stud, Strathalbyn, where 315 rams sold for a $2814 average, including a new $20,000 stud record.
"You can sell a first-cross ewe lamb and, even if it is a small store weight lamb, you are getting at least $200 versus a crossbred lamb of the same weight making $160," he said.
"There are big margins to be made and the wether lamb portion of the first-crosses are still selling quite well.
"Borders have changed a lot in the past few years with breeders putting squareness and early maturity into the rams so they finish well."
Mr Wood said the other big lift in interest and average had come at Australian White ram sales.
Ardene stud, Mount Torrens, averaged $9136 for its 11 stud rams and $4183 for 86 flock rams, while at the Northern Pastoral Australian White sale Seriston and Baringa studs sold an extra 69 rams and lifted their average by $453 on the 2020 sale.
"For a lot of people it is a solution to a problem of finding shearers and roustabouts and instead of shearing their crossbred ewes they are able to concentrate on turning off really good lambs," he said.
"In the last six to 12 months we have seen Australian White ewes with lambs at foot make well over $1000."
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