$280 for Merinos at Jerilderie

John Wells Memorial Shield presented to the Wettenhall family by Ross Wells. Photos: Rachael Webb
John Wells Memorial Shield presented to the Wettenhall family by Ross Wells. Photos: Rachael Webb

Ewe buyer confidence lifted at Jerilderie on Friday on the back of patchy rain falling across more removed areas of central NSW.

Henry, Phobe, Emma and James Clifton, Fairview, Grenfell bought Merino ewes to join to Poll Dorset rams.

Henry, Phobe, Emma and James Clifton, Fairview, Grenfell bought Merino ewes to join to Poll Dorset rams.

Although rainfall across the main southern buying districts was deemed as insignificant, the enthusiasm that emerged, simply because it had rained somewhere, added as much as $20, and up to $40 a head on most previously undervalued drought capped prices.

The Elders Limited market of 20,000 head was the 16th annual John Wells Memorial sale, and it was opened for the first time by Australian Livestock and Property Agents chief executive, Andy Madigan.

Millicent and Victor Stonnill, Cocketgedong, Urana sold young Merino ewes for $170.

Millicent and Victor Stonnill, Cocketgedong, Urana sold young Merino ewes for $170.

The highest priced lot, and a first-time winner of the John Wells Memorial shield, was offered by Mark and Fiona Wettenhall, Jerilderie trading as Cara Plains. 

They are pictured to the right – Sarah, Fiona, (kneeling) Hugh, and Mark (right) with Andy Madigan, ALPA CEO, standing between Caroline Heath and her father Ross Wells.

Their August-shorn line of 200 Willandra-blood, April/May 17-drop ewes, made $280 a head selling to repeat buyer, RH Blake & Co, Wagga Wagga for Malcolm McKenzie of Coolamon.

Close behind, priced at $268 a head, was another Willandra-blood yarding of 400 Sleigh Pastoral ewes, May-June 17-drop while a second-draft of the highly regarded Sleigh Pastoral maiden ewes made $262.

Don and Ann Bull’s March-shorn Woodpark Poll-blood, Irroy-bred ewes sold at $266, and Day Farm’s draft of 200 Wanganella-blood July-shorn young ewes sold for $260 while other district breeder’s lots sold at prices above $250.

A draft of young ewes presented in plainer condition were also cleared at the higher rates.

These were mostly exchanged at rates between $150 to $210 while pens of 16-drop, two year-olds, made $168 and $178 a head.

Pens of four and five year-old ewes were also pursued with greater enthusiasm. These were sold from $150 to $174 for the four year-old group and $126 to a best of $185 for April-shorn line of Willandra-blood and bred five year-old ewes.

The demand for wether lambs was somewhat more subdued. These were sold a firm rates for $38 to $82 however while most lots offered freshness most were small and young in age.

Nick Gray and Jason Andrews took the bids during the sale settled by Elders.

Sky-high Merino confidence  

Ashely Gawne with his wife Ros, Boort, Victoria paid $190 for 495 ewes.

Ashely Gawne with his wife Ros, Boort, Victoria paid $190 for 495 ewes.

There was determination among sheep breeders at Jerilderie in spite of the season.

With the expectation of limited numbers of well-bred Merino ewes coming out of the Riverina in the near future, recently appointed Elders Jerilderie branch manager, Nick Gray, said there was a slight feeling of inspired confidence in seeking available lines.

He said the word was also passed around before the sale that the October store sale at Hay, NSW was cancelled due to a lack of entries which also added some urgency to the inquiry.

“Our prices were certainly $20 a head better than was expected on our top young ewe lines and possibly up to $40 better on the plainer lots and the mature-age sheep” he said.

“Wether lambs only made the expected money”.

Australian Food and Agriculture, Boonoke, Conargo saw the tops of their 4,000 Poll Boonoke-blood, unshorn wether lambs sold for $82, while their second draft sold for $60.

This story first appeared on The Land.