Buyers at the Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange made up for lost time this week, setting a new season sales record.
About 19,100 sheep were sold on Wednesday, a record for Autumn.
The record comes as the exchange re-opened to the public for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange manager Paul Christopher said stock prices were reasonable as the region entered cropping season.
"We have increased numbers from last week, probably by 8000," he said.
"I think people are starting to get into cropping mode and wanting stock off their paddocks so they can start cropping.
"This is an extraordinarily big sale for April. We are hoping the numbers will be quite good through to winter."
The sale yard had been restricted to accredited buyers and agents since COVID-19 protocols began 12 months ago.
Livestock exchange advisory board chairman and seller, David Grimble, said while the sale yard still operated throughout the pandemic, it was good to meet with fellow farmers.
"It was a good thing that the state government identified the saleyards as an essential service - to have it operated through that time," he said.
"From a farming perspective, when you see a line of sheep, you get an idea of the value of your stock on that particular day.
"It does help to get a visual appraisal on what stock are worth. Ultimately the live auction system reflects the true market value of stock on the day."
Farmers attending the first day of re-opening were pleased with the turn-out. Horsham farmer and seller Leo White believed the re-opening should have happened earlier.
"It should have happened a long time ago. You can go into a supermarket without mask before it opened. The buyer is a lot more honest if the seller is there," he said.
Seller Bruce Crafter agreed and said sellers like to see auctions in person before putting stock forward.
"It should have been happening for months. When you are a seller, you like to see what the prices are doing before you start selling," he said.
"If you are a buyer you like to go out and see what you are going to buy."
Mr Grimble said the sale yard acted as a social hub for farmers in the region and was pleased to catch up with friends.
"The live stock exchange aside from being a saleyard, it can be a social centre - for people that work on their own it is a good opportunity to talk to their friends and have a cup of coffee and mingle," he said.
"There's nothing better than seeing the livestock exchange in operation when you've got large numbers and competition between the buyers.
"It's worth a visit for the general public to go and admire the facility - how much stock are sold for and how significant auctions are to the broader economy."
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