Rural Supplies
15 October 2021

PGG Wrightson Livestock Report: Dairy Industry on the Rise

Listen now. The Country’s Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson’s National Dairy Sales Manager, Jamie Cunninghame, to talk about New Zealand’s livestock market.

Mackay jokes that Fielding-Manawatu is the farming capital of New Zealand. Cunninghame agrees as he is based there.

Spring is in full force in the greater Manawatu region. Cunninghame notes that feed is growing well but the wet weather continues to be of concern.

Mackay questions the nationwide demand around milking cows, and if there will be a ‘Dairy Boom’ coming.  Cunninghame answers that there are a lot of enquiries happening at the moment, and there have been a large number of clearing sales coming from Taranaki and the greater Waikato region.

These sales have been ranging from the early $2000 to the early $3000, and there have been issues with supply and demand, particularly through late autumn and winter.

The Dairy-Beef sales have started in Waikato despite being in Level 3 lockdown. Cunninghame adds that despite the levels, sales are going ahead on the auction platform Bidr.

Mackay asks what “Defer a Bull” is. Cunninghame explains that it is a service provided by PGG which assists farmers in their need for bull livestock.

14 October 2021

The drive to win a national shearing circuit

A vehicle up for grabs in New Zealand’s top all-breeds shearing competition could be clocking-up the kilometres big-time if early-season form is maintained through to its final at the 2022 Golden Shears.

Heading the PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Shearing Circuit leaderboard is Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford, with maximum points from the first two rounds as 23 shearers chase the ultimate prize, including a year’s lease of a four-wheel-drive Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 24 points, from the Open heats at the New Zealand Merino Shears at Alexandra on October 2 and the Waimate Shears last Saturday, he’s already secured enough for a place in the five-round series’ top 12, who will shear in the semi-finals on March 5, after a place in the six-man final a few hours later.

Leading the series through the opening rounds is not an uncommon position for the Southlander, but despite having shorn in 17 of the circuit’s 49 finals dating back to millennium year 2000, he has won the title just once – in 2014.

He was runner-up in 2019 and 2020, and third in 2001, 2012, 2015 and 2017, and has been the master performer on the merino finewool, with five wins in the Alexandra event, and the crossbred longwool with 10 wins at Waimate.

The series continues with the corriedale round at the Canterbury Shears in Christchurch on November 12, the lambshear at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton on February 5 and the second-shear of the Pahiatua Shears on February.

All five types will be shorn in what will be the 50th  final of a series founded as the McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown in 1972-1973.

Stratford is one of three former winners in the 2021-2022 series and in the current top 12.

Fellow Invercargill shearer Leon Samuels, who won last season’s held in Te Kuiti after the cancellation of the Golden Shears, climbed to third place with second-best points in Waimate, before winning the show’s final, and 2019 winner Paerata Abraham, of Masterton, is in 10th place.

The series final has been the South Island’s most successful of the shearing events at the Golden Shears, with 23 wins since Colin Gibson, of Oamaru, won in 1977.

It was the first of five consecutive southern triumphs, being followed by South Canterbury shearers Adrian Cox and Kevin Walsh winning in 1978 and 1979 respectively, the great Brian “Snow” Quinn, of Alexandra, in 1980, and Cox’s second win in 1981.

Steve Dodds, of Riversdale, won in 1985, Edsel Forde, of Orepuki won three times consecutively in 1989-1990, Central Otago shearer Dion Morrell won in 1997, and Forde’s brother, Darin Forde, won four times, in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2004.

Rakaia shearer Tony Coster won five times, becoming the first Hyundai Santa Fe prize-winner during his 2009-2011 reign and winning again in 2015 and 2016, while Marlborough shearer Angus Moore won in 2012 and 2020.

The most wins remains the nine by Te Kuiti shearer David Fagan between 1986 and 2008.

Placings and points in the 2021-2022 PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Shearing Circuit after two rounds:

  • 1 - Nathan Stratford (Invercargill), 24pts.
  • 2 - Ethan Pankhurst (Masterton), 20pts
  • 3 - Leon Samuels (Invercargill), 16pts.
  • 4 - David Gordon (Masterton), 13pts.
  • 5 - Troy Pyper (Cheviot), 12pts.
  • 6 equal: Casey Bailey (Riverton), Alex Smith(Rakai), 10pts.
  • 8 equal: Brett Roberts (Mataura), Hugh De Lacy(Parnassus), 9pts.
  • 10 - Paerata Abraham (Masterton), 8pts.
  • 11 - Ringakaha Paewai (Gore), 7pts.
  • 12 equal: Lionel Taumata (Gore), Jack Fagan(Te Kuiti), 6pts..
  • 14 - Jimmy Samuels (Marton), 5pts.
  • 15 equal: Aaron Haynes (Palmerston North), Matene Mason(Masterton), 4pts.
  • 17- Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna), 3pts.
  • 18 equal: Duncan Higgins (Blenheim), Paul Hodges (Geraldine), Willy McSkimming (Oamaru), James Ruki (Te Kuiti), Phil Wedd (Silverrdale), 2pts.
  • 23 - Beau Guelfi (Gisborne), 1pt.        .
9 October 2021

It ain't easy to beat a southern man!

The mighty southern men of shearing stepped-up yet again to take the first three placings in the New Zealand Spring Shears Open crossbred fullwool shearing championship final in Waimate on Saturday.

The six-man final over 16 sheep each was won by Invercargill shearer Leon Samuels, beating surprise runner-up Casey Bailey, of Riverton, by less than seven-tenths of a point, with almost a point back to third placegetter, Invercargill shearer and 10-times event winner Nathan Stratford, who a week earlier in Alexandra won the season-opening New Zealand Merino Shears Open title for a fifth time.  Waikaka shearer Braydon Clifford added to the success by winning the Senior final, while on the opening day of the championships on Friday former Invercargill shearer Troy Pyper, now based in North Canterbury, successfully defended the New Zealand Winter-comb title on Merinos.

It wasn’t just the blokes flying the flag for the south. Former Golden Shears Senior woolhandling champion Amber Poihipi, of Ohai, also in Southland, claimed a double triumph with wins in Spring Shears and South Island Woolhandling Circuit Senior finals on Friday, confirming she will graduate to Open class by next season.  

It was Pyper who made the pace in Saturday’s Spring Shears Open shearing final, in which he was the only shearer to average under a minute a sheep and finished in 15min 39.15sec.
Samuels was next 35 seconds later but was able to pull-back the time-points deficit with the best points for the board job, and third-best in the pens.

It was his first win in the event in which he was third in both 2019 and 2020, and maintained the form which produced wins in both national all-breeds circuit finals in Te Kuiti last April.  It was a disaster first South Island final for Gisborne shearer Tama Nia.  Nia who was making good progress midway through the showdown when a sheep kicked the handpiece into his face, causing a cut requiring several stitches and forcing his withdrawal from the race.

The heats on Saturday constituted the second round of the new season’s PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Shearing Circuit in which both Stratford and Samuels are near certain finals qualifiers after just two of the five qualifying rounds.  Fairlie’s Tony Dobbs won the Open Bladeshearing title, returning to the stage where he last year reached the unprecedented milestone of 100 bladeshearing winslast year he completed a century of wins.  There was a big upset in the Senior winter-comb final on Friday, with winner Russell Ratima, from Aria in the central North Island, and Alex Clapham, from Yorkshire, England, having almost no competition history in New Zealand between them.  Ratima had failed to make it past the Senior heats in Alexandra the previous weekend but won on Friday by a wide margin of more than 12pts.  He and Clapham graduated from the bottom half of the 12 semi-final qualifiers at Waimate and were the last two into the six-man final amid the exit of Alexandra winner Scott Cameron, who had been the top qualifier in the heats.

In New Zealand about two years ago and living in Roxburgh, Clapham confirmed it had been his first competition downunder and described it as part of “living the dream out here in New Zealand.” 
Masterton’s Matene Mason won the Open Novice shearing final, for Open-class shearers who have otherwise not won an Open title, North Canterbury shearer 2020-2021 No-1 ranked junior Reuben King won his first Intermediate shear title, and the Junior final was won by Jack Pringle, of Balclutha.

Joel Henare, of Gisborne, added the Open woolhandling title to that he won at Alexandra a week earlier, while Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, won the South Island Open woolhandling circuit final.
Maraea Iwikau, of Taumarunui, won the Spring Shears Junior woolhandling title, and the junior circuit fibal was won by Emma Martin, of Gore. 

It was a busy two days, with 150 competitors and 18 events decided in the conditions of the Covid-19 Delta Alert.

9 October 2021

Results from the Waimate Spring Shears

Waimate Shears’ New Zealand Spring Shearing and Woolhandling Championships at Waimate on Saturday on October 8-9, 2021

Open final (16 sheep): Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 16min 15.1sec, 56.3175pts, 1; Casey Bailey (Riverton) 16min 48.94sec, 57.0095pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 17min 12.6sec, 58.005pts, 3; Troy Pyper (Invercargill) 15min 39.15sec, 58.395pts, 4; Hugh De Lacy (Parnassus) 16min 20.5sec, 66.2125pts, 5; Tama Niania (Gisborne) 6.


Open Novice (10 sheep): Matene Mason (Masterton) 11min 55.04sec, 40.252pts, 1; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 12min 17.57sec, 41.0785pts, 2; David Gordon (Masterton) 10min 14.42sec, 41.521pts, 3; Jimmy Samuels (Marton) 9min 25.03sec, 42.6515pts, 4; Corey Smith (Waimate) 11min 37.09sec, 48.5545pts, 5; Alex Smith (Rakaia) 14min 56.19sec, 48.9095pts, 6.


Senior final (8 sheep): Braydon Clifford (Waikaka) 10min 37.09sec, 38.2295pts, 1; Taare Edwards (Ashburton) 12min 3.72sec, 42.436pts, 2; Tyson Crown (Mataura) 11min 47.62sec, 43.131pts, 3; Josef Winders (Rotorua) 10min 36.27sec, 43.8135pts, 4; Chris Malcolm (Winton) 11min 24.32sec, 44.716pts, 5; Jason White (Waimate) 12min 28.43sec, 46.1715pts, 6.


Intermediate final (5 sheep): Reuben King (Rangiora) 9min 12.71sec, 36.6355pts, 1; Blake Crooks (Timaru) 9min 4.97sec, 37.4485pts, 2; Chase Rattray (Ashburton) 9min 39.66sec, 40.783pts, 3; Jordan White (Balclutha) 9min 7.73sec, 43.7865pts, 4; James Wilson (Winton) 8min 20.26sec, 44.413pts, 5; Tes Paewai (Wales) 9min 39.19sec, 47.3595pts, 6.


Junior final (3 sheep): Jack Pringle (Balclutha) 6min 41.97sec, 26.4318pts, 1; Josh Devane (Taihape) 6min 38.78sec, 26.6057pts, 2; Lachie Crafar (Rangiwahia) 8min 0.16sec, 31.31453pts, 3; Mark Calder (Balclutha) 6min 37.5sec, 32.5417pts, 4; Emma Martin (Gore) 8min 38.67sec, 39.6002pts, 5; Tyrell Rakete-Miller (Invercargill) 6min 25.25sec, 49.2625pts, 6.


Novice (1 sheep): Molly Clayton (Waimate) 4min 17.85sec, 23.879pts, 1; Jess-Rose Toa (Ashburton) 5min 17.7sec, 39.885pts, 2; Dre Roberts (Mataura) 4min 3.62sec, 41.181pts, 3; Toni Ditmer (Rangiora) 5min 20.06sec, 57.003pts, 4; Shorty (Gisborne) 3min 27.34sec, 80.367pts, 5.


Women (2 sheep): Sarah Hewson (Blenheim) 3min 46.97sec, 17.3485pts, 1; Tes Paewai (Wales) 3min 52.59sec, 19.1295pts, 2; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 4min 1.78sec, 21.089pts, 3; Emily Te Kapa (Scotland) 4min 18.79sec, 24.9395pts, 4; Jills Angus Burney (Masterton) 3min 37.41sec, 25.8705pts, 5; Emma Martin (Gore) 6min 26sec, 53.55pts, 6.   

Open blades (4 sheep): Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 13min 52.65sec, 51.6325pts, 1; Phil Oldfield (Geraldine) 15min 54.94sec, 57.747pts, 2; Noel Handley (Rangiora) 12min 5.6sec, 58.28pts, 3; Allan

Butcher (Waimate) 17min 55.45sec, 69.5225pts, 4; Jordan White (Balclutha) 18min 31.94sec, 82.597pts, 5.


Intermediate blades (2 sheep): Aku Waihape (Pleasant Point) 8min 45.31sec, 43.7655pts, 1; Wendy Parsons (-) 8min 57.13sec, 51.3565pts, 2; Shaun Burgess (Rakaia) 12min 19.67sec, 58.4835pts, 3; Evelyn McGregor-Koch (Glenorchy) 11min 34.93sec, 63.2465pts, 4; Jills Angus Burney (Masterton) 14min 27.01sec, 64.8505pts, 5; Ruby Stone (Waimate) 12min 6.65sec, 71.3325pts, 6.


Women’s Invitation Blades: Wendy Parsons (-) 4min 19.37sec, 33.9685pts, 1; Jills Angus Burney (Masterton) 8min 13.75sec, 54.6875pts, 2; Evelyn McGregor-Koch (Glenorchy) 5min 44.13sec, 71.2065pts, 3; Ruby Stone (Waimate) 5min 5.55sec, 72.2775pts, 4.  


New Zealand Winter Comb Shearing Championships: 

Open final (10 sheep): Troy Pyper (Cheviot) 19min 13.78sec, 75.589pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 21min 19.11sec, 76.6555pts, 2; Stacey Te Huia (Alexandra) 19min 42sec, 80.5pts, 3; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 20min 55.34sec, 85.867pts, 4; Jocky O’Neill (Alexandra) 21min 21.39sec, 91.7695pts, 5; Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 21min 17.87sec, 97.0935pts, 6.


Senior final (5 sheep): Russell Ratima (Aria) 12min 54.21sec, 67.1105pts, 1; Alex Clapham (Yorkshire, England) 15min 15.77sec, 79.7885pts, 2; Hohepa Te Rata-Taituha (Taumarunui) 11min 55.49sec, 85.5745pts, 3; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 16min 34.57sec, 87.9285pts, 4; Taare Edwards (Ashburton) 14min 26.46sec, 90.323pts, 5; Tyson Crown (Mataura) 15min 22.31sec, 107.3155pts, 6.




Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 92.70pts, 1; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 124.14pts, 2; Tia Potae (Milton) 126.07pts, 3; Cheri Peterson (Milton) 146.412pts, 4.


Senior final: Amber Poihipi (Ohai) 98.57pts, 1; Heaven Little (Alexandra) 113.764pts, 2; Charlotte Stuart (Omarama) 125.3pts, 3; Destiny Paikea (Heriot) 147.66pts, 4.   


Junior final: Maraea Iwikau (Taumarunui) 95.99pts, 1; Tatuana Keefe (Raupunga) 117.06pts, 2; Lea Brabant (Germany) 132.69pts, 3; Jess-Rose Toa (Ashburton) 143.19pts, 4.


South Island Woolhandling Circuit:

Open final: Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 40.314pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 67.218pts, 2; Cany Hiri (Mataura) 72.988pts, 3; Kelly McDonald (Lake Hawea) 88.828pts, 4.


Senior final: Amber Poihipi (Ohai) 60.402pts, 1; Sarah Davis (Rerewhakaaitu) 62.494pts, 2; Heaven Little (Alexandra) 80.034pts, 3.


Junior final: Emma Martin (Gore) 70.294pts, 1; Charis Morrell (Alexandra) 70.85pts, 2; Brittany Kellet (Ashburton) 76.944pts, 3; Ani Mason (Prebbleton) 90.72pts, 4.   

6 October 2021

North island farmers wait for end of cold wet spring

Slow spring growth holding back optimism, while other conditions provide encouragement

Overall, spring weather across the lower North Island has been cold and wet, resulting in slower feed growth rates and pasture covers than farmers hope for. While dairy farmers had reasonable calving, many have turned to supplements to keep condition on their cows. 

Generally the store cattle market has been subdued due to some challenging weather and lower than ideal feed levels holding back enthusiasm.

Old season lambs are coming out well when taken through to finishing, exhibiting good carcass weights and pleasing margins.

Off the back of the solid milk forecast payout, the first of the season’s dairy in-milk sales are coming to the market, where they have been met by good demand and solid pricing.

Conditions therefore are reasonably positive, though would be a whole lot better with some sustained warmer weather to improve the feed situation.

Matt Langtry, PGG Wrightson North Island Livestock Manager

6 October 2021

Where have all the bladies gone

Bladeshearing veteran Tony Dobbs, pictured representing New Zealand at Waimate in 2019. Having contemplated retirement when the board was last year the scene of his 100th win he's back this week to stick with the faith amid declining numbers of shearers with clippers.

Where have all the bladies gone ?


Shearing competition organisers have been wondering where have all the bladies gone as they struggle to make up the numbers for the first bladeshearing competition of the new New Zealand season this week.

While almost 140 have entered machine shearing and woolhandling at the Waimate Shears’ New Zealand Spring championships on Friday and Saturday, the Open Blades had by Monday night attracted just the six needed for a straight final.

There’s also an Intermediate Blades event which had four entries, and championships society president Warren White was hoping for a few “latecomers” and is planning a women’s match, while entries for other events had to be closed-off because of the pandemic Level 2 limit on public attendance and also so that it was known how many sheep would need to be prepared.

Among the blades entries Tony Dobbs, of Fairlie and who had been contemplating retirement amid a “flabbergasting” standing ovation at Waimate 12 months ago as he became the first, and possibly last, blade shearer to notch-up 100 wins, including 30 at Waimate where he first competed in 1979 and where bladeshearing has been a feature every year since the Shears were first held in 1968.

He shore one more competition a few weeks later, being beaten by just 0.09pts, by New Zealand teammate and 2019 World champion Allan Oldfield, of Geraldine, in the Canterbury Shears’ Golden Blades final.

Amid a battle for his health including more than one stint in hospital, ending 30 years of farming and keeping-on with a bit of farm maintenance and some digger-driving he shore just once more in the woolshed about Christmas last year.

That was until, having accepted the challenge to compete at Waimate because he would already be there as a competition judge, he shore six merinos for a neighbour on Monday, sating later: “That’s my practice.”

But missing will be Oldfield, with whom he won the World teams title in 2019 and who in June moved to the North Island, becoming possibly the only blades shearer based in the Wellington area in more than a century.

He’s living in Lower Hutt and keeps in trim travelling over the Remutaka Hill for machine shearing with Wairarapa contractors Paerata and Cushla Abraham when needed, but is also now targeting the small lifestyle block numbers on the rural fringes of the Wellington area – some of it with the novelty of doing it with the clippers.

“Machine shearing is plenty of fitness and really just shearing a couple on the blades each day on a show style is better than commercial blade shearing as competition practice,” he said. “Most farmers don’t have an issue with me bladeshearing a few for practice,” he said.

As for the lifestyle block shearing he said: “Normally it’s easier to blade shear than run power out to the yards.”

Still with an eye on defending the World title in Scotland in 2023, Oldfield said he couldn’t at present justify travelling to the shows on the blades circuit, which are all in the South Island, but he plans to defend the Golden Blades title next month, and take in some competitions in the south in the new year.

Worrying that the craft may lose some shows, he thinks about what can be done to save them, but said: “I think we are more likely to get more competition shearers out of hobby blade shearers than commercial in the future, especially as the amount of commercial blade shearing decreases. I don’t know how much we can do otherwise to get shearers to compete.”  

Another reversing a decision not compete this year is Noel Handley, of Rangiora, who shore in World championships finals in 1996, 1998 and 2000, and who has only missed shearing at Waimate twice since 1980.

“I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing,” he said after his late decision.

The Waimate Shears is the second show of the new Shearing Sports New Zealand, following the New Zealand Merino Shears in Alexandra last Friday and Saturday, but which did not include bladeshearing.

As well as being competitor-only, other Level 2 conditions will be in place, including contact tracing, hand-sanitising, mask-wearing and social distancing.

It will be an early start on Friday with the national Winter Comb Senior and Open heats, from 7am (check-in at 6.30am), followed by Open, Senior and Junior woolhandling heats, all on merino sheep, finals, and the finals of the South Island woolhandling circuits.

A Speedshear and woolhandlers Quick Throw will be held from 6.30pm on Friday, and the Spring Shears shearing championships on crossbred longwool will be held on Saturday starting with Novice check-in and heats from 7.30am, followed by Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Open heats and the Blades events.

Doug Laing,
Media Officer
Shearing Sports New Zealand
mobile 0274-690644, home (64) 06-8436656


6 October 2021

Robbie Lash making the most of the Coast

Bringing past experience to bear in sole charge of a large territory.

Robbie Lash covers a fair amount of country: 415 kilometres from Westport in the north of his patch to Haast in the south, plus all points in between, which puts between 70,000 and 80,000 clicks on the clock of his Hyundai Santa Fe every year.

Robbie has been PGG Wrightson Livestock representative for the West Coast since February 2019: a role that includes sheep and beef plus dairy and also incorporates the genetics side of the business. Having sole charge of such a large territory, covering so many different aspects of farming has its challenges, though Robbie is right at home in a paddock or a pen of livestock, and has called the Coast home since he was ten years old.

“Mum and Dad had an Angus stud and deer breeding herd in Whataroa, and I’ve worked in farming since I left school in 1999, in various roles: farm managing, share milking, leasing a farm, some of it in Tasman, though mostly on the Coast,” he says.

Robbie has taken the good with the bad in his farming career. His tenure as a dairy farmer coincided with the prolonged period of below par Westland Dairy Company payouts, and share milking also had its ups and downs: “I made some decisions based on emotion rather than commercial financial reality, but you learn from your mistakes,” he says.

Since he started with PGG Wrightson though, it’s gone well for him and for the company: he has more than doubled turnover in the territory in the two and a half years since he took over his home patch.

He puts that growth down to local farmers appreciating dealing with a fellow Coaster.

“When I first started going down driveways, I’d get ‘Who is this guy, and where is he from?’ I’d say ‘Hang on, I’m from Whataroa,’ which was a good way to start the conversation.

“If you’ve been through tough times in farming and taken a few knock backs, when they know that, people respond well. I feel like I have a more empathetic, mature outlook on life as a result of overcoming those difficulties, which has helped win my clients’ respect. As a rep, they need you to be up front, honest, and as straight as possible.

“It’s also important to stay educated on all the information you need to provide. Being in such a large region and operating so much by myself, I have to work hard on staying in touch with others in a way that most reps elsewhere take for granted. For example seeing others at the sale yards every week isn’t an option. I need to actively make a point of staying in touch with colleagues, by networking and phone calls, to stay fully on top of what the market is doing,” says Robbie.

Loving the Coast has other drawbacks: up to ten metres per annum of rain being one of the challenges.

“One beautiful clear day makes up for all those wet days, though and at least 90 per cent of my clients are surrounded by national parks, which you can never get sick of. Whataroa and Fox Glacier are probably the two most beautiful parts of the region, or even the whole country, to live in or to farm in,” he says.

Covering a cross section of land uses, Robbie says West Coast dairy farmers have had it tough in recent years.

“Westland Dairy’s situation is well known, and local shareholders selling the company two years ago has eased stress levels for them. Our dairy farmers are noticeably more relaxed to deal with since then, whereas before that, they were suffering. West Coast sheep and beef farmers, on the other hand, are savvy with the current market, wanting the best dollar for their stock, and the best stock for their dollar,” he says.

Outside work Robbie likes to spend his time making the most of the Coast: jet boating and hunting, while also keeping his hand in farming on his own account, with 150 breeding ewes.

6 October 2021

Yearling Bull sales season starts well

Exceptional clearances, good online engagement and premiums for particular genetics characterise early season sales

Despite some disruption and delays due to the nationwide lock down, the 2021 yearling bull sales season is progressing positively.

Covid pushed a few sales back at the start of the season, though that provided some unexpected benefits, giving those offering bulls more time to maximise presentation. As a result buyers are liking the look of what is available, driving clearance rates early in the season to approximately 99 per cent. Both dairy and beef farmers are chasing bulls with genetic traits around lower birth weight and calving ease.

New Zealand’s virtual saleyard bidr continues to excel, enabling those unable to leave restricted localities, not comfortable to attend the sales, or too busy with opportunities to watch or participate in sales. While the majority of buyers turn up on farm, the technology is gaining traction.

Among the outstanding early sales, Riverton Herefords, Fordell, Whanganui put up 102 yearling bulls, which sold at an average of $3700; Twin Oaks Angus, Te Akau offered 50 bulls, averaging $5210 and achieving a $12,000 top priced lot; Te Atarangi Angus, Dargaville offered 106 bulls for a $3630 average price; and Craigmore Polled Herefords, Ohaupo, Waikato sold 103 bulls, averaging $3178, with a $16,500 bull topping their sale.

Quality has been the key at all these sales, where the buyers are motivated to commit when a good article is on offer. However, bull numbers are growing meaning competition and quality will continue to escalate.

Callum Stewart, PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager

6 October 2021

Dairy Beef sales set for late October start

Reduced numbers and encouraging meat schedules mean prices should firm

Dairy beef sales are about to kick off, with the first North Island sale mid-October. Regular sales at all the main saleyards will progress from there, particularly in greater Waikato and Northland, where calving occurs earlier. South Island dairy beef sales will commence in mid-November. Specific dairy beef weaner sales will be held each week in Waikato and Bay of Plenty and fortnightly in Taranaki, Manawatu and Tararua.

Big calf numbers are expected at Frankton and Feilding saleyards, also Stratford and Bay of Plenty. In the South Island the main sales are at Temuka and Lorneville, which will have the critical mass to send strong signals to the rest of the market.

Based on the reduced numbers that have been reared and encouraging meat schedules, prices should be firm on last year, though it is still early to accurately predict that. 

Keep an eye on AgOnline for all the upcoming sales. If you want to gauge the overall state of dairy beef prior to either buying or selling, follow a livestreamed sale or two via bidr, which will help you better understand how the market is faring.

Jamie Cunninghame, PGG Wrightson National Dairy Livestock Manager

6 October 2021

Young auctioneer prepare for national stage

PGG Wrightson’s finest set to take on best of the rest at tenth annual Heartland Bank Young Auctioneers Competition in November

Some of PGG Wrightson’s sharpest young rural professionals will go up against the best of the rest of the country in a few weeks at the tenth annual Heartland Bank Young Auctioneers Competition, in Canterbury on 2 November.

Earlier this year the company implemented an auctioneers strategy, which helps identify and train promising auctioneers with a bright future. Several of the company’s best will have the opportunity to take on elite young auctioneers from other companies, testing their skills and showing their ability in a contest for professionals under the age of 30.

Conducting auctions is an essential part of PGG Wrightson’s identity, and has always been a key role in the rural economy. Despite the potential that online platforms like bidr offer, the livestock auction will continue to be central to our business.

We look forward to seeing how some of our most promising up and comers perform on the national stage.

Callum Stewart, PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager 
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