With PPHS auctioneer Jack Schulz at the helm, a superbly bred lineup of more than 7000 May-June drop Border Leicester-East Friesian-Merino lambs were sold at the annual Maroona Station on-property lamb sale at Reedy Creek last Friday.
A smaller than usual buying gallery, coupled with current market forces, dictated a dip in prices, presenting an incredible opportunity for the discerning buyer to secure some blue ribbon genetics at bargain prices.
The first pick of the top line of 49 kilogram ewe lambs went to repeat buyer Graham Thomson, Condah, Vic, who made the winning bid of $118 and selected 156 from a draft of 256, through Elders Hamilton, Vic.
Mr Thomson has been buying ewe lambs from Maroona Station for 15-20 years.
"I've really noticed the difference in these Maroona ewes with the Friesian infusion" he said.
"They milk like cows and it's reflected in their lambs.
"Most years we have 100pc lambing from the ewe lambs and once they reach their full potential at two to three years old, the average is 150pc.
"They've been well worth the investment."
Repeat buyer, RF&JE Dickenson, Lochaber, paid $100 each for the remaining 100 ewe lambs.
The Dickenson family also bought 164 in the second draft of 964 ewe lambs with an average weight of 44.9kg, at $80.
PPHS paid $62 for the next pick, selecting 150; WP&MA Andrews paid $58 for 200 through Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson, Penola, and 400 of the ewe lambs are heading to Dubbo, NSW, via AuctionsPlus, at $56.
A total of 2390 ewe lambs in the next three drafts, weighing from 33kg to 40.7kg, sold from $40-$52 to PPHS.
Wether lambs topped at $105 with the top draft av 52.8kg selling to PPHS a/c Gill, and the second draft of 1072, 48.1kg wethers selling at $84 via Auctions Plus to a Dubbo buyer.
The next two lines of wethers sold via AuctionsPlus with 984 at 43.8kg making $76 and 584, 40.3kg wethers at $56 with Richard Harvey, PPHS Naracoorte, buying the last draft of 280, av 35.5kg, at $47.
In the post sale wrap up, Maroona's Rob Starling was philosophical about the result.
"There was an abundance of buying opportunities here today," he said.
"We had the notable absence of a few regular buyers who've lost lease blocks and sold land and which gave other buyers the prospect of buying top quality sheep at good prices.
"We had to meet the market and this is obviously where the market trend is at."
Mr Starling said he couldn't have been happier with the lineup of the lambs and the way they presented in the yards.
"We had the same weights in the wether lambs this year as the last and nearly the same in the ewes," he said.
"Realistically, for the difficult season we've had, the result has been exceptional with 132 per cent lambing.
"I'm pretty happy that we were able to get the sheep up to the weights we have and were able to fill the yard to overflowing.
"I really believe the East Friesian infusion has absolutely no downside - they're very similar to traditional first cross lambs but with more fertility and milk. The lambs that these ewe lambs produce, will be outstanding."