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Buyers gather for new season lambs

Posted by mark3738 On November - 7 - 2018
Neil Common of PGG Wrightson sells the top cut of new season lambs for $145 a head at Stortford Lodge last week.

Neil Common of PGG Wrightson sells the top cut of new season lambs for $145 a head at Stortford Lodge last week.

THE first decent entry of new season lambs at any sale yard nationwide was presented at Stortford  Lodge last Wednesday. An annual draft consignment of 1860 Southdown cross lambs were a real talking point and successful buyers came from Taupo, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay.

TAKE THE LOT: New season lambs at Stortford Lodge last week.

TAKE THE LOT: New season lambs at Stortford Lodge last week.

New season lambs anticipation builds

By Suz Bremner, AgriHQ Analyst

It was with much anticipation that the first big entry of new season lambs went under the hammer at Stortford Lodge last Wednesday.

They came in the form of 1860 annual draft Southdown-cross from Waikareao Station, Te Aute, and owner Reece Whitelock was on the rails to see them sold.

Though the lambs hailed from Te Aute, Whitelock also owns Maunganui Station at Te Pohue and between the two properties runs 7000 Romney-Perendale ewes. The older ewes (five years plus) are farmed at Te Aute and put to high-quality Southdown rams to lamb towards the end of July and some of those progeny were presented last week.

The lambs are weaned and offloaded into Stortford Lodge anywhere from mid-October to early November to make room at the Te Aute property for weaned lambs from Te Pohue. It is a system that has proved its worth in the four years it has been used, with the lambs the first to hit

the market in decent volume so have attracted a good following of buyers. In past years they have been sold in two runs but this year the decision was made to put them all into one sale and it paid dividends.

Whitelock also decided to delve deeper into the flock with this year’s consignment up just over 600 head on 2017. All lines were mixed sex, consisting of rams and ewes, and were the perfect example of what a spring lamb should be, with the Southdown qualities shining through. Though they were drafted into six lines according to lamb size the quality was consistent throughout all the pens and it was merely the age that affected the size.

According to Whitelock, last year’s draft averaged $113 but as the last hammer fell on Wednesday the average sat at $126. Bidding was equally competitive across all six lines and Manawatu, Taupo and Hawke’s Bay were all successful. The top three lines made $138-$145 with medium types returning $119-$129 and the last cut $107.50.

Articles courtesy of Farmers Weekly 22-10-2018