IT WAS records all round as an excellent introduction to 2021 during the 42nd Forbes first-cross ewe sale on Thursday when unjoined young ewes topped at $453, scanned-in-lamb first-crosses made to $470 each and the whole yarding of 12,000 young, old, and Merino ewes averaged $361.
The record smashing began when Geoff Jones of The Troffs, Trundle, took out the Forbes Show Society's Glamis Border Leicester stud trophy for the best pen of first-cross ewes for the fourth time in five years.
His winning pen of 214 Glamis/ Darriwell commercial Merino ewes, March/April 2020 drop and October shorn and mulesed, then sold as first pen of the sale at $432 a head.
They were purchased by John Wheeler, Canowindra through Allan Gray, Cowra.
Top money for young unjoined first-cross ewes was $453 paid by Michael Malloy, Gallymont, for 110 April/May 2020 drop, November shorn, weighing an average 68 kilograms bred by Neil and Helen McGregor Trust, Rosewood, Parkes.
Robert and Sherrie Clemson, Lilydale, Burcher, sold to top-priced scanned-in-lamb first-cross ewes at $47 a head.
These were a pen of 137 June/July 2019 drop ewes sired by Wattle Farm BL rams and from Laurel Park Merino ewes joined to Redline Poll Dorset rams purchased by Peter McDonald, Young for Steve and Carmel Deasey, Illalangi, Young.
The Morrison family, Tarlemara, Forbes sold their entire 2020 first-cross ewe drop of 2100 for an average of $397 with top money paid at $430.
Pat and Mick Cronin, Oaklands, Trundle, sold 1000 first-cross ewes for a $414 average.
In the Merino section top sale was from K.G. Green and Company's Olieview flock of Haddon Rig blood ewes, Parkes, when a pen of 148 ewes, May 2019 drop of 20 micron, sold at $340 a head to Robin and Sarah Lindsay, Tottenham.
The sale was conducted by Elders, Forbes Livestock and Agency, Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon, Nutrien, AWN Langlands Hanlon, McCarron Cullinane Chudleigh, and VC Reid and Livestock.
Adam Chudleigh from McCarron Cullinane Chudleigh said prices averaged $150 a head above last year's excellent sale, driven by the depletion of the national flock over the past three years of drought.
The successful harvest set the scene for an outstanding sale.
"Everyone is restocking, and the red meat industry is very, very buoyant," Mr Chudleigh said.
"Confidence in the red meat industry is extremely strong."
He added most of the 12,000 strong yarding sold within a 200km radius of Forbes.
Glamis Shield judges Ruth Klingner and Isabelle Roberts from Ridgehaven said the quality at the sale was outstanding.
"They are beautifully presented," Ms Roberts said. "If these are the ewes going into the lamb industry then we are in a pretty good position."
Mr Chudleigh agreed, describing the offering as "blue ribbon sheep".