THE EDENHOPE saleyards continued its hot streak last week, smashing another pricing record at the first cross wether lamb sale.
Rodwells Edenhope agent David Hanel said the top price of $174 a head for April / May drop lambs offered by the Dearden family, Bringalbert, north of Edenhope, was paid by restockers in the Horsham area via agents.
Mr Hanel said a mix of processors and restockers competed hard for the 4800 lambs yarded at the sale, reflecting current strong pricing right across the sheep meat industry.
He said there was diverse restocker demand, ranging from lot feeders to those with good pasture feed.
"We had buyers from Horsham, who took the top price pen to finish while there was also solid demand from the Heywood district where there is still good green feed.
Other restocker buyers came from the Ballarat and Lismore areas.
Mr Hanel said the potentially strong Wimmera grain season was likely to leave some good stubbles for mixed farmers to look to graze over the summer months as well.
"There are a few options out there for those that want to get involved."
Natalie Dearden, who sold the top priced pen, said she was thrilled with the prices on offer.
""I spoke to David and we joked about it getting to $170 and in the end it did get there," Ms Dearden said.
She said the good seasonal conditions meant restockers were buying with confidence.
Mr Hanel agreed.
"The money is there in lamb or in mutton and we're just in a great position in that in this area people have the feed and the water to be able to take advantage of that.
"With the China situation regarding African Swine Fever we could see these strong sheep prices for some time yet as they look for alternative sources of protein."
Neville Robinson, Ullswater, east of Edenhope, sold two pens, one at $154 and one at $147.
"It's been a great sale, it's fantastic to see the strength right through the line, the prices for the seconds have been right up there with the prices for the tops, there's really solid demand all the way through."