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22 November 2021

Elite Winton herd offered as New Zealand's first online dairy herd sale

Online livestock sales, which have gained plenty of traction under Covid, look set to go to a new level next month, with an elite Southland Friesian herd set to become the biggest single livestock offering sold so far online.

PGG Wrightson Southern South Island Dairy Livestock Manager Mark Cuttance is overseeing New Zealand's first online dairy herd sale. Winton farmers Simon and Liz Harnett's cow herd, which Mark Cuttance says ranks in Southland's top two per cent, is offered for sale by bidr on December 9th. 

"This is the first time PGG Wrightson has sold a dairy herd online.

"Usually, when you sell a herd, prospective buyers are the people you already know. Marketing their herd by online livestock platform bidr gives the Harnett's access to dairy farmers throughout the country, dramatically extending the range of potential purchasers. 

"This is an excellent herd, particularly well suited to this groundbreaking selling format," says Mark. 

PGG Wrightson Southland Dairy Representative Roddy Bridson has worked with Simon and Liz Harnett for several years. 

"You'd go a long way to find better operators than the Harnett's, which is evident in their herd. These cows are great looking animals, with good capacity, grown to their potential, ranking high on productivity with low inputs. 

"Genetics is a key part of Liz and Simon's farming philosophy. Dairying has been their life and passion, which this herd demonstrates perfectly," says Roddy.

Jamie Cunninghame, PGG Wrightson National Dairy Livestock Manager, says Covid and uncertainty around lockdown levels have resulted in more online sales. 

"More people are doing more business online generally, and farmers are also finding the benefits of bidr, New Zealand's virtual sale yard, more quickly than they otherwise would if Covid hadn't occurred. Under Covid, if the lockdown alert levels change, an online sale can still proceed with minimal disruption. Online sales will not replace on farm or sale yard auctions, though they are a new option that has great advantages for some sales, particularly those with potential to attract buyers nationwide," says Jamie.

Scheduled for auction on Thursday, December 9th at 1 pm, with approximately 360 two to eight-year-old cows offered from a total of 440 in milk. 

For more information or to register for the Simon and Liz Harnett auction, see:


Download sale details here >> 

Related Articles

No-show show week & Livestock prices on the increase.

17 November 2021

The Livestock Report.

Listen now. The Country's Rowena Duncum is joined by PGG Wrightson's Canterbury Livestock manager, Grant Nordstrom, to talk about New Zealand's livestock market and the "no-show Show week" in Canterbury.

The livestock selling season kicked off with the first on-farm lamb sale.

Nordstrom said it was a successful day, with Romney lambs on-selling for NZD$100-190.

It was the best price for lambs that Nordstrom had seen in 16 years.

Duncum asked about near-record export prices for New Zealand livestock and if this was in relation to the impact of recent droughts.

Nordstrom confirmed this and added it had been reflected throughout all of PGG Wrightson's sale yards.

The cost of in-milk cows had drastically increased, as they were more becoming more difficult to find.

Nordstrom said dairy prices were at an all-time high and farmers were holding onto stock as long as they could.

Meanwhile, the rural real estate market had kicked into gear, meaning dairy properties were in demand again - and farmers were anticipating a great grass season for their livestock, with wet weather on the way in Canterbury.

Listen: Rural Property Market at its Peak

22 November 2021

The Country’s Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson’s General Manager for Rural Real Estate, Peter Newbold, to take a look rural property this month. 

Newbold talks about how the selling is strong and the value is good in the rural property market with great prices in all sectors. The last rural property peak was around 2013-14.

The dairy property market has recently seen reluctant interest; however, the recent property boom has increased attention, particularly by the government sector. Newbold adds that the dairy properties are having their best season in a long time with people wanting to invest in the $10 million+ sector. 
Sheep and beef properties continue to be prosperous, particular with continued interest from buyers and investors in metro areas. 

Horticulture properties continue to be a kingpin in the market. Mackay notes the immense values that some of these properties are going for when they eventuate onto the market. Newbold adds that there are a number of quality orchards that help the market to move forward positively. 

Newbold anticipates a surge of Aucklanders wanting to relocate into the rural sector once they are allowed to leave their lockdown in December.



Click here to view property

For the first time in four generations, 'Lake Station' is being offered for genuine sale and consists of 1009ha (2500 acres) in three titles.

Fronting onto the Buller River and with the magnificent St Arnaud Range as a backdrop Lake Station is a truly remarkable grazing property.

Ram sale season showing red meat's strength

24 November 2021

Selections focus on FE, worms, marbling and progeny performance

This year's annual ram sale season is underway, showing the current strength of the red meat sector. 


Clients are focused on genetics resilient or resistant to facial eczema and worms. Eating quality is a critical factor in most purchaser decisions, with marbling increasingly sought after. As always, the performance of progeny is a key criterion sought for in the rams offered for sale.


Some new breeds featured strongly in the early sales as purchasers look to try out innovative genetics. Grassendale Terminal, featuring Beltex-Suffolk cross rams, were among the first sales of the season in Masterton, clearing 78 lots at an average of $1642 and a top prize of $2600. In Frankton, Nikau Coopworth's sale, with stock strong on facial eczema resistance and performance, sold 94 rams averaging $2286. 


New Zealand's virtual sale yard bidr® continues to gain traction at the sales, particularly for those parts of the country in stricter lockdown. In the sale for Waimai Romney, in Te Akau, 14 per cent of the 120 lot offering sold via bidr®. Overall the Waimai sale averaged $2825 per ram and scored a top prize of $8700.


Meanwhile, Charblack terminal rams posted a total clearance of the 39 lots offered at an average of $1343.


Alongside the auctions, those buying and selling privately are witnessing similar trends and prices. Most farmers realise that a ram is a highly significant investment. With progeny potentially remaining part of a flock for seven years, the comparatively cheap up-front investment in a ram can put tens or hundreds of thousands on the bottom line for farmers in the medium and long term.


The ram sale season will run through until mid-December in the North Island, while South Island ram sales will continue until mid-February.

Callum Stewart, PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager 

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