The new PGG Wrightson Real Estate publication the Property Collection is out now. This winter property publication highlights quality rural, lifestyle, residential and commercial properties listed for sale throughout New Zealand.
Our sales team throughout the country have been continuously busy across autumn and now leading into the spring listing period, with inquiry from prospective purchasers and action from aspiring vendors. This publication has an interesting variety of stories plus market commentary from around the country.
As you can see in this winter edition of the Property Collection, we have plenty of excellent listings awaiting your inspection and a national team of expert locals who can assist and guide you.
Read the Winter 2021 articles online using the links below or read the full publication here.
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.
This profile is part of a seven-part series from WorkSafe New Zealand sharing the health and safety approaches taken by the grand finalists of the 2021 FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition. Joseph Watts, Technical Field Rep for PGG Wrightson, will represent East Coast in the national competition.
“Industry campaigns and growing professionalism are driving awareness of health and safety among shearers,” says Joseph. Yet, he still sees plenty of room for improvement.
Joseph began his rural career as a shearer, having completed a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise degree and then played squash professionally for several years. He went on to gain a Graduate Diploma in Rural Studies from Massey University and is now a Technical Field Representative for PGG Wrightson as well as farming some beef cattle on a 30 acre site at Waipukurau, with his partner, vet Lucy Dowsett.
Even though he is no longer shearing full-time, Joseph still likes to keep his hand in, doing some shearing in his spare time and helping out mates and following shearing social media pages.
In 2018, Federated Farmers and the New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association, with support from ACC and WorkSafe, joined forces to implement the Tahi Ngātahi programme to improve safety and performance in the country’s woolsheds. Joseph says he has started to see the positive impact of the programme in the industry.
Having been a professional sportsperson, Joseph was always aware of the importance of eating well, keeping hydrated, warming up and doing stretches before physical work and taking steps to avoid sprains and strains.
Information about health, safety and wellbeing for people working in the sector, including techniques, stretching and strengthening and nutrition, is available through the Tahi Ngātahi website. Woolshed workers, farmers and shearing contractors can also sign up for online learning through the page – at tahingatahi.co.nz
“There’s good information available and I’m seeing awareness growing steadily,” says Joseph. “People are starting to view shearing as a long-term professional career, where you can operate and compete at a high level. They are starting to recognise that if they want to do it long term, they need to look after themselves.
“The industry has always tended to put the new shearers with the experienced guys, to learn good techniques from them, but people are taking that a lot more seriously. I see a lot more sheep in slings now, to avoid muscle strains, and people doing stretches at the beginning and end of the day. I tend to do some stretches and go fairly easy for the first 15 or so minutes, while my body warms up.
“I think people have always recognised that if you keep your equipment sharp, that makes shearing easier, but there has been less understanding of how using blunt equipment will affect your body in the future. There are still those who can’t be bothered to put the effort into good maintenance but there is definitely more awareness around that.
“You also see a growing number of shearers bringing their own shearing machines to sheds – to make sure equipment is in the best shape for shearing. I was helping out at a shed recently with three young shearers, all in their 20s, and they had all their own machines.”
Joseph says hygiene is another issue that is gradually improving but could still be better.
“I was what you could call a ‘tidy kid’ and always very aware about good hand-washing practices, especially before eating,” he says.
“When I started shearing, I just had to get over that because there were sheds that literally had no hand washing facilities. You have to eat, to keep your energy up and you wouldn’t want to use your water bottle to wash because there was nowhere to refill it, so I would be handling food with my hands covered with grease, wool and worse. That is getting better, but every shed should have running water, liquid soap and paper towels to dry your hands.”
Joseph also sees awareness about nutrition growing.
“It’s very demanding work. People have always been pretty good about keeping hydrated but when I was shearing, a lot of people lived on junk – literally packet chips, processed stuff and takeaways.
“But there’s a lot of industry advice about that now and shearing companies are working to educate people about eating better. Some very high performing shearers work with nutritionists – and that approach filters down. You see a lot on shearing and social media about eating well and different electrolytes and it’s really good to see those discussions.
“Again, my background means I’ve always been aware about the importance of a good diet. I tend to eat a balance of meat, vegetables and carbs. If I’m shearing, I might make extra pasta to take with me or a healthy sandwich and nuts and grains. I allow myself treats too – I take the view that if I’m eating good stuff, I can have a few lollies. I think if you have a good diet, water is sufficient but I will supplement with electrolytes sometimes.”
While shearing full-time, Joseph was fortunate to escape serious injury when he was knocked unconscious by the spinning bucket of an old wool press.
“I did notice things were starting to get better around the time I left shearing, about four years ago, largely due to awareness about the new regulations coming in,” he says. "That included replacing old machinery, like wool presses.”
The FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final will take place in the Christchurch, 1-3 July. Keep an eye on Facebook or www.worksafe.govt.nz/youngfarmer2021 for updates.
For more information: WorkSafe media phone 021 823 007.
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.
Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by the severe weather event in Canterbury and we are monitoring the situation closely to establish what support our customers and communities need and how we can assist. ‘Helping grow the country’ is our vision and is at the heart of what we do, and this is especially the case at times of challenge and adversity.
The Canterbury region and surrounding areas have experienced a significant flood event and the full impact of this may not be known until flood waters recede and assessments undertaken. That effort is getting underway as the rain has eased. In the meantime, all our stores remain open, and our staff will be contacting customers and getting on-farm where practicable and offering support. We have heard of heartening stories of neighbours and communities helping one another.
The Rural Support Trust teams are coordinating their response efforts in the rural areas and PGW will continue to liaise and assist where we are able to do so. The Trust is also available to provide support and advice and details can be found at www.rural-support.org.nz.
Both the Temuka and Canterbury Park livestock saleyards will remain closed this week as assessment of the roading infrastructure in the area is assessed. As conditions allow, we hope that the calendared sales will recommence again soon and we will update the situation on our website.
Road and bridge closures have caused disruption to transport routes and damaged roads cause hazards for drivers, so please be cautious when driving. For our part, PGW will also be assessing the impacts that road closures will have on logistics and our supply chain. We are also in the process of assessing the immediate needs of our farmer customers as they look to address flood damage and implications for livestock etc.
PGW is committed to supporting our customers through this challenging period of damage assessment and the recovery phase. We continue to monitor the situation and we will work with customers to respond to any challenges that may emerge.
Further information on support available and information is available through the following:
The Country's Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson's General Manager for Rural Real Estate Peter Newbold to take a look at the rural property market this month.
Mackay said business was up over 70 per cent year on year, with a lot of renewed activity and interest in the rural sector.
Newbold agreed, adding that it was incredible for everyone in the industry.
Buying syndicates were making a comeback, especially in the higher value properties of 10 million or more.
Mackay raised the issue of the dairy industry and how banks had recently lifted their next season forecast which may encourage punters into the market.
Recent droughts along the East Coast had impacted the appearance of properties, particularly sheep and beef farms.
This influenced the timing of property sales, and some sales may be brought forward depending on the weather, Newbold said.
Mackay said the lifestyle block market was slowing. Newbold agreed, saying there weren't as many listings and that value had recently reached a plateau.
However, traditionally, the market slowed down leading into winter, Newbold said.