Shut to fifteen,000 sheep crammed the city of Hay to keep away from moist climate forward of the annual sale


With rural roads throughout southern New South Wales soaked and boggy, organising 15,000 sheep to reach in time for one of many area’s largest occasions has been a “logistical nightmare”.

The Hay Annual September Sheep Sale is thought for attracting a few of the best-known genetic strains of Merino ewes from stations across the district and past.

This 12 months, as an alternative of sheep being trucked in a day or two earlier than the sale, many arrived greater than per week in the past. 

“We have needed to deliver nearly all of the sheep in and stick them in paddocks round city,” stated Elders department supervisor Andrew Low.

“That is been a little bit of a logistical nightmare.” 


As much as 15,000 sheep have been walked into the saleyards from round city the day earlier than the sale. (ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

About 15,000 sheep have been walked via city into the saleyards yesterday, with brokers working exhausting to draft them again into their strains in time for the sale.

Mr Low stated with some stations north of Hay receiving as much as 27 millimetres of rain this week, it was a superb resolution.

“[It was] undoubtedly sufficient [rain] to not solely cease a truck however bathroom it fairly effectively,” he stated.

“So we have been fairly fortunate to get as many into city as we’ve.”

Two women stand in front of a pen of sheep
Diane Allan with Helen Rogers. Diane and her husband purchased the top-priced pen of Merinos from the Rogers. (ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

High worth as much as $40 a head

There have been shut to twenty,000 sheep that went beneath the hammer in whole, with a prime worth of $440 achieved for 400 Merino ewes from Greg and Helen Rogers of Yarto, Booligal.

It was the second 12 months in a row that the Rogers topped the sale and though it did not attain final 12 months’s file worth of $512 a head, Mr Rogers stated the end result was effectively above expectations.

“I believed the problem was for somebody to get $400,” Mr Rogers stated.

Agents stand in the middle of a pen of sheep
Patrons got here from throughout NSW and Victoria, with the Murray area notably sturdy this 12 months.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

He stated they knew final 12 months’s distinctive sale can be robust to beat, with the market dropping its record-breaking edge within the final 12 months.

“Final 12 months, all of us knew, was an excellent day. You do not have lots of these,” Mr Rogers stated.

“You maintain onto these days, you set the account gross sales behind the bathroom door so that you take a look every morning.”

A man in a pink Elders shirt in front of the saleyards.
Andrew Low stated it was a superb resolution to get the sheep into city early given the rainfall acquired earlier this week.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

Hay, situated greater than 700 kilometres west of Sydney, normally experiences an arid local weather.

However three moist seasons have seen it flip into an nearly unrecognisable oasis, with loads of inexperienced feed round.

“The nation north of Hay is pretty much as good because it will get,” Mr Rogers stated. 

However he stated, like everybody else, moist climate had meant they’d had a “few adventures getting sheep to city”.

‘Energy of grass’ drives high quality

Mr Low stated the wonderful season had meant there was extra weight within the sheep this 12 months.

“We have a much bigger run of 60-kilogram-plus ewes,” Mr Low stated. 

Most 60kg-plus ewes bought for between $360 and $390 on the sale, whereas these between 55kg and 60kg largely constituted of $280 to $330 a head.

An auctioneer sells sheep to a watching crowd
The Hay Annual September Sheep Sale is among the largest occasions on the group’s calendar. (ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

However the yarding was down from final 12 months’s sale, which noticed 36,000 sheep penned.

Mr Low stated graziers have been nonetheless re-building flock numbers following smaller lamb markings through the drought.

“Individuals are most likely retaining extra five-year-old [ewes] this 12 months … we have solely received a handful of strains of five-year-olds right here,” he stated.



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