Rural Supplies
19 April 2021

Property report: Lifestyle market boom

PGG Wrightson's General Manager for Rural Real Estate Peter Newbold joins The Country's Jamie Mackay to take a look at the rural property market this month.

Lifestyle sections have overtaken rural sales as they have increased from approximately 6 billion to 9 billion dollars, Mackay said.

Newbold confirmed this and said he thought it would continue to increase over the next few years.

People were looking to invest their money as Covid-19 continued to place restrictions around travel, Mackay said. He asked if these people would look at investing in the rural market.

Newbold said he was seeing more first time and new investors.

"Dairy has been doldrums yet it has near record returns at the moment, there is continued interest in horticulture, and sheep and beef keep chugging along," Mackay said.

Click the play button for the full interview.

Livestock Market Update: Velvet selling season draws to a close
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: Velvet selling season draws to a close

Industry buoyant as prevailing trends head towards the positive

This season’s velvet sales conclude in mid-April.

Average prices achieved by deer farmers for velvet this year are around $105 per kilogram net, compared to $128 per kilogram last season. Despite that reduction the industry is generally buoyant, with most trends going in the right direction, including production, which is increasing at a rate of 10 per cent per annum. Farmers are producing better velvet throughout the age groups, with both an increase in the weight produced, and an improvement in quality.

Grading guidelines will be subject to review over the coming months, enabling better descriptions and images for buyers and sellers. More multi-pointed heads are now in the system as spikers, or yearlings, and adults, which are producing much thicker velvet. Some producers perceive these animals having more actively growing velvet around the antler tips as an advantage. However, for the end user or processor, that translates to greater difficulty in manufacturing a product suitable for consumption with less true tip area, and possibly a compromise in the resulting quality.

Seasonal histories, tracking the performance of the velvet produced by individual clients, will be sent out during May. Over the coming months, growers will also receive more information about implementing the VelTrak tagging system, which uses a UHF chip enabling velvet to be rapidly tracked up or down the supply chain, confirming provenance, validating the integrity of New Zealand’s production systems, and further entrenching the strong reputation our velvet has established in Korea and China.

Tony Cochrane, PGG Wrightson National Velvet Manager
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: Go-Stock adding value on farm

Bideford, Wairarapa farmer Dion Kilmister uses Go-Stock to accelerate business growth

Go-Stock is a PGG Wrightson initiative that has put 1.2 million lambs and 200,000 cattle on farms throughout New Zealand over the past five years.

PGG Wrightson buys the stock and retains ownership, meaning no initial cash outlay for farmers. Farmers then graze and grow the stock before deciding, in conjunction with us, when and where PGG Wrightson will sell them. PGG Wrightson pays any resulting positive trading margin to the farmer, less our fees and selling costs.

Go Stock operates for sheep, cattle, and was recently extended to deer.

Dion Kilmister of Bideford, Wairarapa, has used Go-Stock to accelerate growth and add value to his business:

“On our home farm we run around 10,000 stock units, breeding and finishing beef, though have branched out to more farms around the lower North Island, and have 27,000 stock units overall.

“You need to have more than one tool in your toolbox: you can’t fix a fence just with a fence strainer. Go-Stock really adds value to our business, and has come into play with quite a proportion of our stock. It really works in those times when cash flow is pinched.

“Cattle is a big outlay. Buying 200 or 300 cattle at a time is a lot of money to come up with, sometimes at inconvenient times of the year. Go-Stock works really well. We work on a buyer price margin, then trade back out to the PGG Wrightson scheme. We have used the programme for lambs as well. At our peak on the home farm we have had 700 cattle and around 3000 lambs on Go-Stock.

“We bought a dairy farm two years ago and used all our equity to buy the land. We were able to take on 600 Go-Stock cattle to stock that farm, and have just done another deal on a neighbouring farm that we will use Go-Stock for as well.

“It’s been a real positive for our business: a big part of our growth. I highly recommend it.”

For more information about Go-Stock click here,

or to speak to your local PGG Wrightson livestock representative click here.

Livestock Market Update: South Island bidr Staff Profiles
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: New South Island staff join bidr team

Growth continues with further expansion for New Zealand’s virtual saleyard

In line with its growth since it began operating in May 2019, bidr® recently appointed two additional team members.

Bianca Murch has joined as Upper South Island Territory Manager, extending her eight-year career in the rural servicing industry, which includes a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) from Lincoln University. Bianca is based in Darfield.

Sam Murphy, the company’s new Lower South Island Territory Manager, grew up on a South Canterbury family sheep and beef farm, graduated from Otago University after studying Media, Communications, and Music, and has worked in the shearing industry for much of the last 10 years. Sam is based in Dunedin.

Click here to meet the bidr team.

Livestock Market Update: NZ Herefords National Seed Stock Sale
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: Two-year old Hereford bulls in spotlight at National Seed Stock Sale

Bulls to sell via a Helmsman auction, livestreamed on bidr® and onsite in Palmerston North

This year’s NZ Herefords National Seed Stock Sale, on Tuesday 11 May at the Orlando Country Club, Palmerston North, will be the highlight of a two-day event including an education day, breed dinner and AGM, all leading up to a champagne breakfast incorporating the 2021 sale.

After the 2020 sale was cancelled due to COVID and the lockdown, 12 months later confidence is back, particularly with bidr® gaining traction and giving livestock auctions much greater reach into a nationwide online gallery of buyers. With the new emphasis on technology, this event is set to showcase and celebrate Herefords like never before.

The sale will be run under a Helmsman format. Simultaneously broadcasting from the venue on the bidr® platform, where the sale proceedings and the Helmsman auction board will be livestreamed.

As a Helmsman auction, online bidding will not be available, though anyone not present at the sale will be able to contact a representative of the PGG Wrightson genetics team at the Orlando Country Club and have them place a ‘on behalf’ bid.

Up to 24 lots will be offered at the sale, which will comprise some of New Zealand’s finest two-year old Hereford bulls, chosen by a competitive process comparing key genetic characteristics. Those selected for inclusion in the sale will be announced at the champagne breakfast, and available to view by video. Trophies will be presented to the vendor of the Champion bull and the High Selling bull. Vendors of the three top priced bulls will receive automatic entry for a bull at next year’s sale.

Registration for the sale opens on Monday 3 May.

Click here to view the sale on bidr®

Please contact for more information:
Jan Turner
021 362 060

or speak with your local PGG Wrightson Genetics Representative.

Livestock Market Update: Sam Wright Staff Profile
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: Sam Wright - The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Proving livestock is in the blood, like any good pedigree

Sam Wright grew up with livestock. His father Dave was and still is a livestock agent, based in Feilding, so as a lad Sam was regularly either at the saleyards or taking phone messages when Dave was out and clients called.

“Being brought up in and around it, I was always interested, always enjoyed livestock, and talking to people. It’s in the blood, like any good pedigree. Callum Stewart’s father trained my dad. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” he says.

After attending Lincoln University, he worked on a large intensive farm out of Bulls for a year, before joining PGG Wrightson in 2010 in Feilding. Following jobs in Rotorua and Waikato, he moved to Hawke’s Bay in 2019.

“Building relationships is huge in our role. Looking after clients and doing the best possible job for them. You ask yourself: ‘What can I do to improve their business?’” he says.

Sam recognises the importance of doing your homework, which flows through into conducting auctions, a part of the business he embraced from the start.

“Although not all the young guys coming through are auctioneers, having begun my career in Feilding, which has such great saleyards, providing such a good opportunity to learn, I really wanted to give it a go. I didn’t have to wait long. My introduction was at a prime sale one day. I was thrown the book, and told ‘Here you go, start selling.’ I didn’t have time to get nervous.

“To be a good auctioneer requires preparation. You have to do the rounds of the stock at least a couple of times. I think through everything I need to say during the auction, and write it out so it rolls off the tongue. Understanding the stock you are selling, studying pedigrees and bloodlines: if you properly know that, the auction takes care of itself. You need all that sorted first, then you go with the flow and respond to the gallery. Like anything else, the more you do it the more comfortable you become with it,” he says.

Sam’s biggest auction so far is the 2020 Te Mania bull sale.

“It was great to go to the South Island, outside my own patch. I was offered the opportunity to split the auction with John McKone. We sold 150 bulls, averaging around $10,000 per animal. It is a big day, well attended and with a high quality catalogue. For the stud it is the highlight of the calendar, so you are really focused on doing the best you can by them. It is an honour to be part of such an important day.

“I also took several of my own clients down to the sale. Combining the commercial side of the business with the genetics can be really useful from their perspective,” he says.

Sam enjoys the balance of commercial livestock and genetics.

“I like the variety of work. No two years are the same with livestock, and while there are definitely challenging aspects from time to time, for example droughts, when you can achieve a good result for your farmers it is a really rewarding job.”

Sam Wright, Sheep & Beef Representative, Hawke’s Bay

Livestock Market Update: High interest and strong enquires with upcoming clearing sales
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: High interest and strong enquires with upcoming clearing sales

Positive signals for very successful results as confidence builds and demand for quality stock outruns supply

Dairy farmers have rediscovered their confidence in recent months, with the increased payout and the current feed situation both having a positive impact.

Dairy herd sales were buoyant through March, with vendors achieving some excellent results selling good quality herds on forward contracts. Market enthusiasm was high, responding to the quality stock offered, particularly in lines of in-calf cows and in-calf heifers, which the market may find difficult to match supply and demand through the coming months.

Clearing sales scheduled for late April through into early June will be the focus for remaining unmet demand for dairy cattle, particularly through Waikato and the lower North Island, where key clearing sales are scheduled. Selected dairy herd clearing sales will be run as hybrid livestreamed bidr® auctions, operating online alongside the traditional auction method. Those booked in early autumn feature quality capital stock that has already created plenty of interest from potential buyers, boding for a successful series of sales leading into the 2021/22 dairy season.

Those seeking to buy at these sales, or the elite dairy genetics sales across the rest of the country, should check up-coming sales at Agonline for the latest information, and advise their local PGG Wrightson representative what they are looking for.

Click here to go to AgOnline.

Jamie Cunninghame, PGG Wrightson National Dairy Livestock Manager

Livestock Market Update: Bull sales offering excellent prospect for buyers
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: Bull sales offering excellent prospect for buyers

Breeder competition, rising quality of genetics and presence of bidr® will set the season favourably for the market

This year’s bull selling season will commence in mid-May, with the bulk of sales occurring over the following six weeks.

Competition among breeders should be a strong feature of this year’s sales. A lift is indicated in the number of bulls offered, and with the quality of the genetics rising year on year, from a commercial perspective the sales season will provide plenty of opportunity to secure excellent stock at appealing values.

Genetics are increasingly coming to the fore, potentially with answers to environmental challenges, as well as enhancing herd performance. Anyone breeding and raising beef cattle needs to understand the EBV’s work for you, and how to use estimated breeding values to improve their livestock and therefore their business.

Use of bidr® will step up another level at this year’s bull sales, widening market scope for the studs offering stock. Extending sales to parts of the country they have not previously reached, and growing the potential market should lift standards across the board, improving the genetics and productivity of the national herd.

Callum Stewart, PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager

Livestock Market Update: Confidence Evident in South Island Autumn livestock markets
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: Confidence evident in South Island Autumn livestock markets

Calf and lamb sales demonstrate positive sentiment, though lack of moisture in most districts is a growing concern

Negotiating the uncertainty of a dry Autumn and export markets that remain wary of COVID, South Island farmers are demonstrating quiet confidence, which is reflected in their recent demand for livestock.

This season’s South Island calf sales began positively. Traditional steers are selling at auction between $3.10 and $3.20 per kilogram, with heifers selling between $2.50 and $2.60.

These values are in line with vendor expectations. After last year, when the selling season was seriously affected by the lockdown, farmers had little option other than to sell privately. With freedom from lockdowns this year, being able to revert to the status quo is therefore a relief for all concerned. Now that the bulk of calf transactions is once again undertaken through auction, vendors and purchasers can be confident that the market is arriving at true, open and transparent values for their stock.

Canterbury cropping farmers are purchasing store lambs to finish through the winter, keeping that market steady. Onfarm lamb sales are generating good demand. Market signals for sheep meat are positive, providing farmers with the confidence to buy lambs.

With anxiety about the lack of moisture starting to intensify in most South Island districts, that positive mindset may be fragile and may not last without some decent rain in the next few weeks.

Shane Gerken, PGG Wrightson South Island Livestock Manager

Livestock Market Update: Weaner Fair continues 50-year family tradition
16 April 2021

Livestock Market Update: Weaner fair continues 50-year family tradition

Product pride, quality genetics and careful husbandry lead to excellent stock for an enthusiastic market

Each year since the mid 1960s the Sue family has sold their Ruapehu district raised weaners, initially at Taihape and more recently at the Feilding saleyards. Fifty years ago brothers Ken and Cyril Sue extended their focus onto the farming trade, branching out from the family market gardening business established by their father Sue Joe after he arrived in New Zealand from China in the early 1930s.

Now into the third and fourth generations working in the business, between 850 and 900 of the Sue family’s weaners will be offered for sale later this month. Gareth Williams of PGG Wrightson is the livestock representative for the family and will coordinate the annual weaner fair. He says the quality of the stock always makes for strong attendance.

“We always see good competition among buyers at the fair. They comment on the quiet nature of the cattle, which can be credited to the handling and the land they are reared on.

“Bred on seven properties located around Ohakune, the Sue cattle are Angus Herefords, out of purebred Hereford cows, by Angus bulls. Renowned for performance, the Sue steers are likely to mostly sell locally, while the weaner heifers have historically been purchased as far afield as South Auckland.

“Sadly, Ken and Cyril both died in the last few years. However, the third generation of the Sue family is picking up and building on what was developed in the past. The family continues to focus on pride in their product, good quality genetics and careful husbandry of the land, which results in excellent stock that finds an enthusiastic market at this annual family weaner fair,” he says.

Last year, due to the COVID lockdown restrictions, the fair was postponed until the country was in level two, and the saleyards could open. This year the Sue family annual weaner fair is scheduled for 11:30am on Wednesday 21 April at Feilding saleyards.

Gareth Williams, Sheep & Beef Representative, Manawatu

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