Dannevirke's weekly store and prime lamb sale on May 28 started with high expectations following good prices at previous Feilding and Stortford Lodge sales a few days before.
Vendors and livestock agents were generally happy with the prices, Carrfield's Roger Watts saying it was a strong sale with particularly good prices for prime lambs and fair prices for the lighter store lambs. There were over 400 prime lambs and ewes, the top price for prime lambs of $163-50/head being M. Seatter's 42 Romneys. No other pen came close to that price, the average being $135/head for lambs and $76/head for prime ewes.
A vast sea of store lambs greeted buyers at Dannevirke, with a yarding in excess of 4000, one of the biggest of the year.
The sale started strongly with large yardings from well-respected stations, nearly 600 from R.G. and S.J. Kjestrup's Maungahuia Station. Its top offering reached $126/head and the balance averaged at $117/head, which was close to the sale average of $115/head.
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Top price of $129/head went to Glanworth Farming of Pahiatua selling 137 cryptorchid lambs.
Nearly 1000 ewe lambs sold well towards the end of the sale, averaging $103/head with a top price of $116/head going to Maungahuia Station.
Buying power came from the Hawke's Bay despite its drought, bigger stations banking on more rain and orchards buying lighter stock to clean up their undergrowth over winter.
There was interest from the Wairarapa, with PGG Wrightson's Andrew Jennings from Martinborough being delighted to buy good-quality ram lambs for $120/head. He commented that Dannevirke stock always do well when shifted, strong framed and in good condition.
Phill Robson, auctioneer for Carrfields Livestock, said prices were up on last week and there was steady bidding throughout the sale. There was a reluctance to buy lambs with long fleeces as the cost to shear is not recovered by the price of wool.
PGG Wrightson's livestock manager and auctioneer, Bjorn Andersen, said it was a good solid sale and it was pleasing to see so many vendors sending in lambs of such good quality, especially given the drought. There were 44 pens. He hopes over the next months the sale will continue to be supported.