More relaxed sale with larger gallery than under Covid last year.
Limehills Polled Herefords in Roxburgh, Central Otago hosted one of the first events of this year’s two year old bull sales season on 1 June.
After presenting the sale last year towards the end of the Level Two Covid period, Limehills owner Gray Pannett says this year’s was a more relaxed affair with a larger gallery and a better atmosphere.
“We were more than happy with the result, with a higher clearance rate than we have ever had. While we aim to achieve the best prices possible, we also want to keep the bulls affordable for our customers, most of whom are regulars.
“Our top priced bull achieved $41,000, which is a record for us. We have a particular sire going well at present, and he was one of the offspring,” he says.
This year was the 42nd Limehills sale, and PGG Wrightson has been there all the way, albeit in the past under the Reid Farmers and then Pyne Gould Guinness brands.
“We have a long-standing working relationship and we play the long game, which also goes for our customers, including some of the big stations who take up good volumes year on year. Back when we started we were selling 20 odd bulls each year and are now at triple that level. With bidr® our reach is longer, which may in time enable our sale to grow larger still,” says Gray.
Under auctioneer John McKone, supported by commercial rep Dave Lilley and genetics rep Callum McDonald, Limehills sold 60 of 62 bulls offered at an average of $9950 per head. Aside from local Otago and Southland buyers, others came from Canterbury and the North Island, while 87 watchers and 23 registered buyers followed the sale on bidr®.
A couple of weeks after a reasonable drop of rain in most districts, winter hit the North Island in late June with a strong polar blast dropping temperatures to low single digits. Underfoot conditions became sloppy and the weather caused several road closures.
Moisture was particularly welcome in Hawke’s Bay, under pressure following an extremely dry summer and autumn. While the region has developed a pleasing green tinge, the resumption of warm conditions is necessary to facilitate additional pastoral growth through the rest of winter to help these farmers back on track.
North Island livestock sales have been strong recently, including bull sales.
East Coast bull sales in late June were particularly strong. A determined bench of stud and commercial buyers from across the country, competing online and in person, made for some solid averages. A highlight of the week was when Kaharau Angus notched up a record on-farm auction price for a bull at $106,000.
In Northland the dispersal sale of one of the original Wagyu herds attracted plenty of attention. NZ Purebred Wagyu Ltd, founded by the late Mike McCool with the first Wagyu calves born in 1992, sold 562 head of Wagyu in late June. Held at the Wellsford Saleyards under the expert supervision of Richard Healey and the Northland PGG Wrightson Livestock team, cattle sold included yearling heifers, sire bulls and steers. Purchasers from throughout the country attended, in person and online via bidr®, with significant numbers of stock heading to the South Island. Cows sold at up to $3350. A further 450 head will go to auction next autumn, which will mark the end of an era for the McCool family.
Elsewhere the schedule is driving lamb tallies through the sales, resulting in the strongest North Island lamb prices seen for some time, while the wetter underfoot conditions and strengthening schedules are resulting in tallies of heavier store cattle coming to market.