This year’s two year old bull sale season is now under way.
Callum Stewart, PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager, says that although last year’s issues around the pandemic and organising sales directly out of lockdown are history, a different set of challenges face the market this year.
“Our livestock market has softened on previous years, returning to approximately where we were two years ago. We now have more bulls on offer with a substantial increase in bull catalogue numbers, in addition to which we are selling yearling bulls into the industry.
“Commercial farmers are spreading their risk among different markets. While two year old bulls used to be the primary focus, they now have more options, and the emphasis on two year olds has reduced. Those factors will affect the market. Although average sale prices may not differ much from last year, pricing at the top end of the market, for commercial bulls that would have previously reached $15,000 to $20,000, may be down from that level,” he said.
Highlights to date include the Hingaia Angus sale, achieving a full clearance of 38 bulls, an average price of $9771 and the top bull selling for $18,000; Storth Oaks Angus selling 76 lots, averaging $7600 and a top price of $20,000; Lime Hills Herefords selling 60 bulls, for an average price of $9950, and bidding reaching $41,000 for the top lot; Cold Creek Simmental, which sold 21 bulls for an average of $6785; Kerrah Simmental, where 72 animals sold at an average of $8680 and a top price of $45,000; and Kiatoa Charolais, which sold 25 bulls averaging $6416.
Meanwhile, PGG Wrightson’s ‘What’s the Beef’ programme, the nationwide roadshow aiming to add value for commercial beef, ran throughout New Zealand during March, attracting more than 500 farmers to events at ten venues from Whangarei to Gore, as Callum Stewart explains.
“Feedback from those at the roadshow indicate farmers found it valuable.
“Our aim with ‘What’s the Beef’ is to help commercial farmers to produce good quality. By understanding genetics and the farm management systems that go with it, we want to provide the on-farm tools that farmers need to maximise and sustain profits,” he said.
Listen right now as PGG Wrightson's Lower North Island livestock manager Steve Wilkinson joins The Country's Jamie Mackay to look at the livestock selling scene.
Livestock sales in the Canterbury region have been put on hold due to recent wet weather events.
Wilkinson said it had compromised access and logistics at this stage and the team were in a holding pattern until farmers could get their head around the situation.
The Wairarapa region had seen some rain that had got them green again ahead of winter.
Wilkinson added it was great to be able to "bank a bit of feed before winter really bites."
There was a strong interest in lambs recently. Wilkinson said there had been good margins for them.
Mackay queried the success of recent beef sales internationally, and Wilkinson said he anticipated good results with their upcoming two year old beef-bull sales.
The Taranaki region had been blessed with ideal conditions resulting in ideal livestock preparations and sales.