Jimmy Kyle and SEJ auctioneer Ben Bowman field bids on a good yarding of lambs at Leongatha last Wednesday. m060721

THE majority of the prime lambs coming out of the South Gippsland area go directly to the processors.

But there’s still a role for the regular Wednesday sheep and lamb sale at Leongatha which has now gone to fortnightly, the next being on Wednesday, February 17.

“Obviously, it’s an important selling centre here for the beef whereas the likes of Ballarat have the big numbers of sheep and lambs,” auctioneer for Elders, Damien Minogue, said.

“And a lot of the lambs from this area are going direct but the sheep and lamb sale here plays an important role, still getting some nice pens of lambs but also providing a clean-up role for smaller producers.

“It saves them having to send the sheep and lambs out of the area to be sold,” he said. And the main buyers don’t always operate at Leongatha either. However, they were well represented last Wednesday with Wagstaff, Gathercole and Radford buying, along with some local restockers looking for some stores among the lambs.

Among the top prices was $198 for a good pen of lambs sold by Elders.

Sue Williams of Toora was also happy with the price her Southdown-Wiltipoll made. If you didn’t know, Wiltipolls are a large, easy-care, plain-bodied sheep that shed their wool annually. They do not require crutching or shearing and do not suffer readily from fly strike, which makes them a useful breed for small holdings without shearing sheds.

Actually, Ms Williams said the ewes are the only ones that shed their fleeces, but either way she rates them highly for ease, health and growth rates.