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13 August 2021

Livestock Report: Calf Sales Successful in Taranaki

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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Dairy livestock market responds to positive milk production prospects

27 July 2021

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 Market Update: Yearling bulls promise sequel to successful two-year-old bull sales season

19 August 2021

After an outstanding response to their elder brothers, younger bulls go live nationwide in September and October.

Record numbers attended this year’s two-year-old bull sales. Studs put up the genetics that breeders and commercial farmers responded to with plenty of enthusiasm. Quality animals with IMF were in demand across both islands.

In total, running from May to late June, the season recorded sale prices averaging $8,379 across all breeds and an 88 per cent clearance rate of the 3,690 lots offered.

Online purchasers and observers took the season to new levels, with bidr® livestreaming 76 sales online, attracting followers across both islands, as well as in Australia.

Next up the yearling bull season will start in September progressing through the country from the top of the North Island, scheduled for a late October finish in Southland, totalling some 56 sales across the whole series, many again hybrid and offered online by bidr®, as well as onsite.

All breeds will it be represented in the season. Assuming they continue the trends of last year, and of their older brothers, this season’s yearling bulls will start in price from around $1,500, ensuring commercial farmers and breeders easy access to a wide range of high quality genetics. 

Click here to view the Upcoming Yearling Bull Sales.

Callum Stewart, PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager 


Livestock Market Update: Confident South Island farmers drive pre-spring livestock markets

19 August 2021

Promising winter conditions and steady meat company schedules persuade sheep and beef farmers to maximise stock numbers.

Recent South Island store cattle sales have gone well with prices lifting as farmers position themselves to secure plenty of stock before the start of spring. Steady meat company schedules coupled with strong overseas markets and promising weather are helping stoke the enthusiasm.

Based on encouraging moisture levels in sub soils from abundant rain through the winter strong spring pastoral growth looks likely this year, particularly in North Canterbury and Marlborough, which farmers are seeking to make the most of when temperatures rise, hence maximising stock numbers.

Illustrating this, several Canterbury farmers joined their Otago and Southland counterparts, on 13 August for the Castlerock Spring Cattle Sale. This was the first sale of genuine store cattle for some time, and a test of the yearling market, which has been relatively soft. Over 1000 head were offered, including a strong presence from Nokomai Station, comprising Angus, Hereford, and Angus Cross steers and heifers. With the confident gallery motivated to purchase traditional well-bred cattle and make the most of the expected spring feed flush, prices for the top steers reached $1070 per head, for cattle estimated to weigh somewhere above 300 kilograms. Meanwhile the most sought after heifers fetched $600 to $800.

Similarly, after good demand for in-lamb ewes, and a rising schedule for lambs, as most districts are in or entering lambing, confidence is rising in prospects for sheep. While ideally continued good weather would fulfil farmers’ criteria for survival rates, it is a fine balance as steady rain has been useful to set up a promising spring.

As always, time, and the weather, will tell whether this confidence is borne out. 

Shane Gerken, PGG Wrightson South Island Livestock Manager


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