Talk around the Dannevirke saleyards last Thursday at the first ewe fair of the year was all about the grass, which seems to be lush everywhere.
The sale included stock from lifestyle block farmers like Bill Gunderson who was selling seven fat lambs, a mere drop in the bucket of the 6688 head of stock up for sale, to vendors such as Bruce Dillon and Chris Thompson, selling capital stock after 50 per cent of his property had sold.
Five of Gunderson's lambs fetched $150 a head, while two went for the bargain price of $107 each and with booming grass at home he reckoned he should have perhaps kept the lower-priced lambs at home.
"But they were starting to get too fat," he said.
In the primes, 762 stock, many big, heavy ewes, sold for between $137.68 and $170 a head, with prime lambs making between $139.40 and $156. One lone prime hoggett sold for $68.
But it was the 5926 stores, including some capital stock lines, which fetched the best prices, with the average $210.57 and the highest $275 a head.
The first pen of capital stock, Perendale two-tooths from Bruce Dillon and Chris Thompson of Pongaroa, were described by auctioneer Phill Robson as "beautiful, lovely stock in tip top condition," and made $257.
But it was the spirited bidding on a pen of 287 Romneys from Woodville vendor JD Cleghorn which hit the high note when they sold for $275 a head, the top price at the sale.
Demand for good, quality stock continued at the first of the dairy beef sales of the year on Tuesday, where 600 bulls and heifers were up for sale, averaging a great price of $587 a head, with strong interest from buyers from Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa.