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Livestock Market Update: Feeder calf sale season starts soon
8 July 2021

Livestock Market Update: Feeder calf sale season starts soon

Uncertainty around dairy beef recedes as M bovis risk becomes better understood.

This year’s feeder calf sale season starts shortly, beginning in Waikato, where significant quantities of calves are likely to go through the sales over the next two months.

With risks associated with M bovis now better understood, the uncertainty around dairy beef that has prevailed over the past two years should be less evident this year.

Rearers ready to take Friesian bull calves and beef cross bulls and heifers through the coming months or beyond will have plenty of young stock to choose from, which is a positive as the red meat industry depends on their efforts to keep the beef supply chain operating effectively.

Large yardings are also expected for sales in Taranaki and Manawatu, where two sales per week will roll through at the same complexes. Bay of Plenty and Northland sales also influence the availability of calves coming to the market.

In the South Island feeder calf sales in Canterbury, Otago and Southland will be the main focus. We also facilitate paddock sales straight from farmers’ sheds when opportunity arises.

For anyone uncertain about the business risk associated with rearing feeder calves or in doubt about feed availability, PGG Wrightson can assist to negotiate forward contracts linking rearers to farmers seeking to take on stock from 100 kilograms and beyond, either to finish them or take them to the next step. 

Contact your local livestock rep for assistance.

Jamie Cunninghame, PGG Wrightson National Dairy Livestock Manager 

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Markets for various classes of dairy livestock will be busy through the rest of winter as farmers look to take advantage of positive prospects for milk production.

Jamie Cunninghame, PGG Wrightson National Dairy Livestock Manager, said this season’s feeder calf sales are proceeding free of the negative influence of M bovis.

“Significant quantities of calves are set to go through the sales in the coming weeks. As risks associated with the disease are now better understood, the uncertainty of the past two years around dairy beef has diminished. Rearers will have plenty of calves to choose from, which is positive as the red meat industry depends on their efforts to keep the beef supply chain operating.

“For anyone rearing feeder calves and uncertain about business risk or feed availability, PGG Wrightson is on hand to negotiate forward contracts linking rearers to farmers, either to finish stock or take them to the next step,” he said.

Meanwhile demand for in-milk and close to profit cows is rising. 

“As availability of stock is short, the market is responding positively when good quality animals come forward. In-milk cow sales are scheduled through the spring. Farmers seeking to increase herds to capitalise on an encouraging dairy payout forecast should talk to their local livestock rep about where and when to buy,” said Jamie Cunninghame.

Looking ahead to next month and running through to October, the bull sale season will feature sales via hybrid bidr® and on-farm, which for many dairy farmers makes it time to apply for a PGG Wrightson Defer-A-Bull purchase agreement to finance a bull team with no upfront cost and no re-payments until the bulls are sold.

Jamie says Defer-A-Bull is a proven winner.

“Some have subscribed to Defer-A-Bull for ten years and longer. It offers an ideal opportunity to secure capital to fund annual bull purchases. Defer-A-Bull enables farmers to invest in a bull team when they need it, without putting pressure on funds at a moment in the season when cashflow can be tight,” he said.

For more information on Defer-A-Bull talk to your local PGG Wrightson representative or visit:

Livestock Report: Calf Sales Successful in Taranaki

13 August 2021
Listen now as The Country’s Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson’s Taranaki Livestock Manager and auctioneer, Andrew Gibson, to talk about New Zealand’s livestock market.

Calf sales have kicked off with the Taranaki Cattle Fair, with cattle trading going reasonably well. Gibson says that they have been going flat-tack.

Mackay queries the demand around bobby calves this season. Gibson notes that they have been trading at a realistic value at around $80-100 per calf.

Mackay visited up Taranaki way earlier in the year, and commented on the lack of sheep. Gibson adds that there aren’t that many sheep around, especially with land values.

Gibson talks about the impact of recent weather flurries and despite this, farmers are doing a great job “they are a hearty bunch and they do a good job.”

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