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.
Top money for young unjoined first-cross ewes was $453 for 110 April/May 2020 drop, November shorn, weighing an average 68 kilograms bred by Neil and Helen McGregor Trust, Parkes.
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 recent drought years.
"Everyone is restocking, and the red meat industry is very, very buoyant," he said.
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".
Robert and Sherrie Clemson, Lilydale, Burcher, sold to top-priced scanned-in-lamb first-cross ewes at $470 a head.
The Morrison family, Tarlemara, Forbes sold their 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.
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.