Rural Supplies
22 February 2019

PGG Wrightson Wool | February Wool Report

The Country's Jamie Mackay talks with PGG Wrightson's GM for Wool Grant Edwards about the boost in the wool market, biosecurity, and the potential for a farmers levy.

The past week saw a strengthening within the market as wool increased to 10 to 20 cents across the board, and lamb wool is up as much as 30 cents.

Mackay mentions that "the perception among farmers is that the wool market is bit of a dog and has been poor this year."

However the wet weather has not helped, the elements having contributed to discolouration and lowering the quality of the wool.

Edwards agrees and notes that the colour readings on their cross breed wools usually sits at a 2 to a 31/2 in colour, but due to the humid conditions have raised this to a 3 to a 5, with some wool escalating further than that.

Despite the impact of the elements, the lamb's wool market is still strong and demand is still there for apparel and blankets.

This has helped pushed the market with fine lamb's wool of 30 and a half micron and finer pulling in prices up to $4-$5 a kilogram.

The Australian wool market took a jump in the past week, potentially due to the foot and mouth outbreak in South Africa resulting in China banning all imports from there.

New Zealand should benefit from this moving forward.

It is unsure how long the ban will last, and highlights biosecurity within the wool market and how quickly markets can react.

Mackay enquires about the recent Wool Summit and debate around if farmers should return to paying a wool levy.

Edwards highlights if the summit could come up with a robust business plan it could benefit farmers and growers through to manufactures, and indicates a positive future for those who are invested into the wool industry.

22 February 2019 Community

Ahuwhenua Trophy 2019 Finalists Announced

The finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori sheep and beef farm were announced at Parliament on 21 February 2019 by the Minister of Agriculture, Hon Damien O’Connor.

2019 Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists

  • Whangara Farms, situated 35 km north of Gisborne
  • Te Awahohonu Forest Trust – Gwavas Station, at Tikokino 50 km west of Hastings
  • Kiriroa Station – Eugene & Pania King, at Motu, 70 km north west of Gisborne

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for excellence in Māori farming and was inaugurated in 1933 by the renowned Māori Leader, Sir Apirana Ngata and the Governor General at the time, Lord Bledisloe. The objective was and still is to encourage Māori farmers to improve their land and their overall farming position as kaitiaki. On a three year rotational basis, the Trophy is competed for by Māori farmers in the sheep and beef, horticulture and dairy sectors.

The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, Kingi Smiler says the high calibre of this year’s finalists shows the strength of the Māori agribusiness sector. He says selecting the three finalists from an impressive field of entrants was no easy task.

“This competition is prestigious and people actively seek to enter this event to showcase the quality of their farming enterprises. What makes Māori sheep and beef farms so special is that in most cases they are in remote hill country areas which in itself makes farming operations challenging throughout the year, but especially in times of adverse events. The resilience and innovation shown by these people is an example to all New Zealanders that hard work coupled with clear strategic objectives and excellent farm management can produce some outstanding outcomes,” he says.
Kingi Smiler says that over the years the Māori agribusiness sector has grown exponentially, not only in sheep and beef, but also in dairy and horticulture. He says Māori are rapidly moving into the value-add space and to increase returns from their assets.

“We are seeing better governance in trusts and incorporations and they in turn are employing top managers to run their businesses. At the same time young people are coming back to work on the land which is great. Māori are making the economic impact we always knew they could,” he says

Field days will held at the farms during April. These are open to the public and provide an opportunity for the finalists to showcase their properties. It is also part of the judging process. Media, along with members of the public are most welcome to attend.

Field day schedule
Thursday 4 April – Whangara Farms
Thursday 11 April – Te Awahohonu Forest Trust, Gwavas Station
Thursday 18 April – Kiriroa Station, Eugene & Pania King

Ahuwhenua Trophy


18 February 2019

PGG Wrightson Livestock Roundup - February 15 2019

Mark Leishman talks to PGW Livestock GM, Peter Moore in the latest Livestock Update.  This week’s interview focuses on the dry weather and how it’s affecting livestock trading, MBovis Management and Health & Safety in the rural industry.


Dry weather affects livestock trading

There’s been a slight change in livestock trading patterns because of dry weather across large parts of the country, with reduced feed available, farmers are letting go of their stock, causing a drop in price with supply outstripping demand. 


MBovis Management

We’re now seeing good progress with farmers getting their heads around how to manage MBovis, along with understanding the risks, which is good for the industry.


H&Safety culture in Rural NZ

With five on farm fatalities so far this year, we need to work hard to change attitudes to improve the Health & Safety culture in the rural industry.

Livestock Update February 2019
8 February 2019

Livestock Market Update February 2019

Sheep & Beef

Most of the South Island has plenty of feed, which has helped drive store stock pricing, especially lamb sales.

Store lamb prices have been at a historic high as buyers compete for lambs.

Red and Wapiti stags  have been keenly sort after at  recent sales which has resulted in record prices. This due to high venison and velvet prices over the last couple of years.

All classes of cattle have been selling well both on farm and through auction. Lifts in the bull schedule over the last two weeks has seen a renewed interest in manufacturing beef.



Since Christmas we are finally seeing increased enquiry and sales in the dairy market. Confidence is building with positive increases in the GDT and in some regions limited real estate activity.

In general herds are ranging in price from $1500 to $1900 with a handful of exceptional herds realising in excess of $2000. As normal there is a disconnect between listing price and sale price – this is expected to correct itself as the season progresses. Remember that traditionally the better herds sell first, so if you are in the market to purchase – act now.

Northern areas have commenced pregnancy testing with early results similar to previous seasons. It will be interesting to see what effect the decision by some farmers to use less or in some cases no tail up bulls has on empty rates.

Most areas are reporting better than average feed conditions, but the recent and forecast increase in temperatures may negatively impact this.



The end of 2018 saw the North Island team in the depths of ram selling season. The favourable season and a strong early lamb and mutton schedule reflected in confidence of ram buyers reinvesting in premium genetics for this year’s lamb drop and going forward. Maternal rams with a genetic tolerance to facial eczema demanded a premium in areas where commercial farmers are on board with recognising these sires as a tool to future proofing their breeding flocks. Further south the season continues, with record prices spread evenly throughout the breeds. With national ewe numbers down 12.45% since 2012, the positive ram sales demonstrate that our commercial farmers are now demanding more performance and production from their selections to make every mating count. Those stud breeders optimising their systems with the use of technology and tools previously unavailable, are being rewarded for their extra vigilance and long may this continue.

Before long we will be back to bull buying and all it entails, but until then, if you require any advice or assistance with your breeding operation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local PGG Wrightson Genetics Specialist.


To sign up to regular Livestock updates join our Agonline mailing list here >

1 February 2019

February Rural Real Estate Report with Peter Newbold and Jamie Mackay

The Country's Jamie Mackay and our General Manager Peter Newbold talk through their monthly overview of the rural real estate market.

Read more about the report on The Country.

Rural Diary
1 February 2019 External Supplier

Creating a high-quality silage

Due to losses that occur during the fermentation process, silage as a rule does not maintain the same amount of dry matter and nutrients as fresh crops or pasture. However, using a quality silage inoculant can keep those losses to a minimum, helping make the most of the valuable feed source that is silage when livestock need it most.

Fermentation speed is the key factor in determining just how much dry matter, nutrients and feed energy is lost in the silage stack, and is influenced by the type and number of fermentation bacteria present.

When a silage stack is sealed, anaerobic bacteria multiply and convert sugars to acid, which preserves the silage. Although all crops have a range of bacteria present already, they differ in how efficiently they convert sugar to acid, which can slow down the fermentation process. The best silage is produced when high levels of lactic acid-producing bacteria are present.

Silage inoculants remove the ambiguity of what bacteria is present in the stack. They are applied to the crop at harvest time and provide optimal strains of lactic acid-producing bacteria in ideal numbers to efficiently ferment the pasture or crop.

A high-quality silage has greater dry matter recovery (less shrinkage, spoilage and run-off), palatability (higher feed energy levels) and increased animal performance (more milk or meat per tonne of silage fed).

Pioneer offers five tested and proven products to help improve the silage quality of a variety of crops, with three of these suitable for use on maize:

  • Pioneer brand 1174: An inoculant suitable for all types of silage including pasture, cereal and lucerne silage. Helps improve fermentation, retain nutrient content and enhance digestibility.
  • Pioneer brand 11C33: Helps keep maize silage cooler for longer, enabling it to be fed out up to a day in advance.
  • Pioneer brand 1132: Produces top quality maize silage for high-producing dairy cows and specialised beef production.

Pioneer’s Appli-Pro applicator technology means the inoculant is distributed evenly throughout the silage, so you don’t worry about too much or too little inoculant being applied, or what bacteria levels are truly present in the stack or bale.

For more information on inoculants, contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative.

Supplied by Pioneer Brand Products

External Supplier

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