New Zealand’s first ever fully online bull semen sale attracted intense Trans-Tasman interest and achieved a record price recently.
PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager Callum Stewart organised the sale, on 7 September, through New Zealand’s virtual saleyard, bidr®. He says it showed the level of demand for premium quality beef genetics.
“We offered 554 straws of semen, both Hereford and Angus, from several of the country’s foremost beef studs, who put up packages from some of their best bulls. Turnover across the sale was $41,000, with the top price of $420 paid for a straw from Braveheart of Stern, one of the premier bulls of Stern Angus, inland South Canterbury, purchased by an Australian buyer. This is a record for a straw of Angus semen sold in New Zealand.
“As the inaugural sale of its kind, we were looking to the market to gauge demand for bull semen online, receiving an emphatic positive answer. We know commercial farmers and breeders are increasingly motivated to enhance the quality of their stock, using artificial insemination to add value and advance herd genetics. Doing that with the convenience and competition of an online auction is an easy way to access suitable genetic material. This sale demonstrated that online semen sales are a viable option.
“Purchasers are making the decision: they want improved genetics, and are willing to pay, making commercial decisions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to their businesses. In future this will become an elite sale, with even higher quality on offer,” he said.
Stern Angus stud principal James Fraser was delighted with the auction.
“Braveheart has had an outstanding career. He was born in 2007 and bred sons to $95,000 and just this year a son sold at $72,000. His genetics are sought after in Australia and New Zealand. We previously sold full sibling embryos in Australia for AU$2000 each. The Braveheart bloodline is threaded through much of our herd to this day. A small quantity of his semen remains available for the market,” he said.
At the online auction, 78 registered bidders placed 299 bids, with demand for the Angus lots slightly ahead of the Hereford semen.
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