AS lamb prices continue to soar across the nation, South East farmers have been making a mint, with the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange breaking records almost weekly.
The South Australian lamb price record was again set last week with a pen of 24 first-cross wethers from Coolawang Pastoral reaching $337 a head.
Just last month, lamb producers Peter and Ruth Gericke made headlines when they set the state record at $295.50 a head and again at $301.
But the father-son duo of Trevor and Lachie James from the Mundulla-based Coolawang smashed the record, adding an extra $36 to the mark.
The price also narrowly bested the South Australian Livestock Exchange record of $336 set at the end of May.
Chuffed with their new record, the pair said the current lamb price climate is exciting for everyone who has good sheep to sell.
“It has been challenging for the past few months to feed sheep due to the dry summer and autumn,” Trevor said.
“But it has really paid off for those of us that held on and supplemented with feed over those tougher times.
“You can never quite time when prices are going to be good, but it has worked really well for us this time and we are really proud of the price.”
Trevor praised the work of the Elders Naracoorte agent Josh Reeves, who secured the top price on the day.
“It is all part of it – we grow them and do the best we can then we rely on agents such a Josh to market them satisfactorily for us,” he said.
“We like to think they sell themselves, but it does not hurt to have a talented auctioneer on the day.
“It is really exciting for the livestock exchange for records to keep being broken at the moment but it is definitely nice for us to have our turn.
“I think it has been promoting the South East well and really proving what quality livestock we have in the region.”
Mr Reeves said he was proud to be part of the record-breaking sale.
“It is a huge privilege to sell on behalf of the vendors each week,” he said.
“We do this all for them and although we are not out here to set records every day, when you can get these kind of prices for your vendors it is pretty great.
“It is a great achievement to have a state record under my belt so early on in my career, but again I am just happy to be getting the best prices for these guys.”
After a shaky start to the year, producers have been blessed with consistent rainfall over the past few weeks, something the James duo has also praised.
“There was a bit of concern about germination earlier on in the year with people worried about what would happen for winter,” Trevor said.
“But we have had some beautiful rain of late and we are looking forward to a nice and wet season so that is always a positive.
“We will still be feeding for a few more weeks yet, but things have definitely started to get off the ground.”
Trevor said the positive season puts the business in good stead for its annual ram sale in October this year.