This spring’s yearling bull sale season began in early September, progressing through the country from the top of the North Island, scheduled to finish with late October sales in Southland.
PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager Callum Stewart says general uncertainty makes the market difficult to predict.
“Many of the fundamentals for red meat are positive. Values close to where they were at the equivalent sales last year would leave all parties happy.
“We have slightly more bulls on offer this year. Breeders are emphasising affordability and quality. Of the predominantly Hereford and Angus bulls on offer, purpose-built breeding programmes favour low birth weights and rapid growth. Purchasers look for easier calving and young stock that will mature fast, providing the opportunity to sell progeny early.
“Vendors are realistic. Uncertainty has made the market volatile this year. Breeding is focused on added value: providing beef product into the industry, using good genetics to offer dairy farmers an alternative to producing bobby calves,” he said.
PGG Wrightson Livestock Genetics Representative for the Upper North Island Cam Heggie said the initial sales showed farmers are receptive to what the breeding programmes are producing.
“At the first sales in Northland, we achieved full clearances of the yearling bulls, with prices up $200 compared to last year. Our vendors are delighted. They are pursuing low birthweight programmes, and have proven they can breed bulls to do that job. Farmers recognise that and come forward on sale day to buy their yearlings,” he said.
Selected sales are combining on-site auction activity with bidr®, opening the auctions to a nationwide gallery of purchasers. Callum Stewart says the number of people using bidr® to watch or participate in the sales is growing, and the platform has strong potential around genetics.
To view current and upcoming yearling bull sales check out our Yearling Bull Sales page.