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24 November 2021

North Island rebounding from slow, chilly start to spring

Cattle, yearlings, weaners and lambs all selling well 

By early November, the North Island's slow, chilly start to spring had ended, temperatures were rising, and the grass was growing fast. Particularly gratifying: Hawke's Bay, in drought for the past three years, received plenty of rain at an ideal time, with the moisture appearing to have soaked in, setting up perfect ideal conditions. 


North Island cattle and yearling markets have responded well. Although a few sales have dropped slightly on comparative needs, in most instances, we are close to record prices through the saleyards, statistics that optimistic red meat schedules fully justify.


Demand for dairy beef weaners is solid, particularly for beef cross heifers and steers. At the same time, results for Friesian bulls have initially been mixed across most regions, though they should rise as spring grass growth accelerates. 


New-season lambs are starting to come to the market. Given the circa $9.50 per kilogram schedule, prices align with expectations, noting that many lambs around most regions are looking for a good dose of sun to bring on the bloom they would typically display at this point of the season.


Some covid frustration is creeping in, with those operating in lockdown level three suffering most. These conditions pose challenges for agents, saleyard staff and especially for purchasers, with some obstacles in travel to locations. Where at all possible, in those locked down areas, we are attempting to live-stream significant sales, with the uptake and results through bidr® playing a substantial part. 


Matt Langtry, PGG Wrightson North Island Livestock Manager

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Positive signs for a healthy season of dairy herd forward sales

24 November 2021

Farmers considering offering herds for purchase need to start preparing now

Listings for forwarding sales of dairy herds for settlement on 1 May and 1 June 2022 are starting to come onto the market. Any farmer considering selling a herd should contact their livestock representative now. 


Early planning is essential. An optimal marketing plan will help secure maximum value. Herds with both autumn and spring calving cows and heifers generally come forward at this time of year. 


While it is too soon to predict how values will trend, early sales have been encouraging. A powerful Global Dairy Trade sends positive market messages throughout the sector, which we are hopeful will flow into the dairy stock market and enable vendors to capitalise.


In those circumstances, the key to optimising value is to talk to your livestock representative early, discuss the sales process in detail, and plan accordingly. When you use PGG Wrightson to sell your dairy herd on a forward contract, we will make sure we leave no stone unturned to create the best market possible. 


For more information check

Jamie Cunninghame, PGG Wrightson National Dairy Livestock Manager 


Go-Stock provides cashflow solution for young South Canterbury farming couple

24 November 2021

Efficient and easy to use option leaves clients free to find better uses for their capital. 


PGG Wrightson offers an easy solution for on-farm cashflow: Go-Stock. Since 2016 Go-Stock has put 1.55 million lambs and 240,000 cattle onto New Zealand farms.


For farmers operating under Go-Stock, PGG Wrightson buys the stock and retains ownership. Go-Stock farmers, therefore, save on spending cash upfront, leaving them free to find other uses for their capital. 


Under a Go-Stock agreement, and with our guidance, the farmer decides when to take the stock to market. PGG Wrightson then sells them, with any resulting positive trading margin belonging to the farmer, fewer fees and selling costs.


Rob Holt and Steph Macfarlane lease four properties totalling 1100 hectares at Silver Hill, Albury, South Canterbury, where they run approximately 9000 stock units, including breeding, finishing and store stock.


Steph explains how Go-Stock benefits their business.


"We use it to trade all our lambs and cattle. About 30 per cent of our income is from finishing, which is where we use Go-Stock to manage cash flow.


"Go-Stock is efficient and really easy to use. It helps us to make sure our money goes towards our capital livestock. Being young farmers leasing property, our capital stock is our biggest focus and our most important priority. Go-Stock is such an easy process to set up and be part of.


"We would recommend Go-Stock to anyone else starting in the industry," she says.


Go-Stock is an option for sheep, cattle and deer, while a Go-Stock Dairy offer is coming soon.

For more information about Go-Stock, speak to your PGG Wrightson livestock representative here.

Simon Eddington: Practicing what he preaches

24 November 2021

Finishing a few head of stock keeps Simon in tune with what's happening for his clients 


Simon Eddington is PGG Wrightson livestock genetics representative for the Upper South Island. Taking his work home and trying to practice what he preaches, Simon has lived for the past 20 years on a 13-hectare lifestyle block just south of Ashburton.


"On my own account, I finish a few cattle, lamb a few ewes, and buy-in lambs. It keeps me in tune with what's happening. When I drive around, see the paddocks growing, go up to my client's driveways, having that hands-on experience of what they are doing is a reality check that helps me better understand what other farmers go through," he says. 


Growing up in Gore, Simon has called several parts of the South Island home, generally north of the Waitaki. Gaining his Dip Ag at Lincoln before farming in Marlborough on a property owned by his father and uncle, going to work for Pynes in St Andrews, Timaru in 1992, doing a stint for the company in Culverden, then working as a drafter, lamb marketer and in various other roles for a couple of different meat processors for about 20 years. He returned to PGG Wrightson to start his current position in April 2018. 


"In many cases in whichever job I have had, I had dealt with the same people throughout my career, though mostly they are different generations now to when I started," he says.


Simon regards the livestock genetics role as helping farmers be the best they can be.


"As a rep, you need to understand your clients' breeding programmes. Whether bulls or rams, our role is to help clients improve: know what they are trying to achieve and help them go for it. Genetics is the final bit that makes the difference, though it is the biggest change they can make. 


"Genetics is a long term game, not something you can achieve overnight. A decision you might make today can impact your whole breeding programme over several years, with progeny potentially remaining part of a flock or herd longer than the life of just that ram or bull. With all the long term value the right genetics can bring, that investment is comparatively cheap, potentially paying farmers back tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the future," he says.


Simon values support from the other PGG Wrightson genetics reps elsewhere in the country.


"We work in a team environment, which I enjoy. Other colleagues are only a phone call away, and PGG Wrightson's commercial livestock reps are important for what we do. I rely on them to give me leads, which ultimately also improves their business," he says. 


While red meat processing schedules are undeniably good news for farmers at present, Simon says that carries challenges. 


"Prices are extremely good. There is a real demand for protein out there, and exporting the good side of what New Zealand does, our clean and green brand helps sell our product.


"However, ewes going out of the system because farmers are commanding such excellent prices does create a risk of compromising genetics. Prices at that level make it difficult to resist the temptation to quit stock. Everyone is even more motivated to raise lambing percentages. To keep that up, we need to provide the rams capable of servicing that need. With such exceptional money available at the moment, it has moved that pressure up another level.


"Canterbury is a big trading area. These are cropping farmers who buy in lambs to finish. At some stage, with all that stock going through, someone needs to retain enough ewes to keep these trading areas going: we need enough stock for trading and finishing, which comes from breeding. We need farmers to breed more replacements, which is where store lambs and finishing lambs come from. We see it with cattle as well, with such high demand from the meat companies. 


"It's a problem across agriculture, though in truth it is a highly desirable problem to have, based on such excellent market conditions," he says.

Simon Eddington, Genetic Specialist

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