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PGG Wrightson Livestock Market Updates

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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

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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.

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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

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East Coast team helps bring out local generosity at annual Cancer Society charity auction

Local farming community rallies around Cancer Society fund-raiser after Covid knocks out Daffodil Day

PGG Wrightson Regional Livestock Manager East Coast Jamie Hayward and his Gisborne-based team were right behind this year’s annual Cancer Society charity auction, which is well supported by the local farming community.

Held each year in conjunction with nationwide fundraiser Daffodil Day, the auction went ahead on 3 September despite the Cancer Society unfortunately having to cancel Daffodil Day for 2021 due to Covid-19.

Although numbers attending were down slightly, the generosity of the locals made up for that with more than $60,000 raised on the day.

Jamie says with the whole community in behind, including farmers who donate stock, carriers who provide their service free, the auctioneer team, and the event facilitator ANZ Bank; not to forget purchasers who frequently play their part too, often bidding for stock well above market value, the charity auction has become a calendar highlight for the Gisborne team.

A donation from one farmer of 50 lambs went under the hammer at $299 per head, and in all 340 sheep sold on the day.

All proceeds from the event remain in the local region for the use of the East Coast branch of the Cancer Society.

Matt Langtry, PGG Wrightson North Island Livestock Manager

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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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East Coast team helps bring out local generosity at annual Cancer Society charity auction

Local farming community rallies around Cancer Society fund-raiser after Covid knocks out Daffodil Day

PGG Wrightson Regional Livestock Manager East Coast Jamie Hayward and his Gisborne-based team were right behind this year’s annual Cancer Society charity auction, which is well supported by the local farming community.

Held each year in conjunction with nationwide fundraiser Daffodil Day, the auction went ahead on 3 September despite the Cancer Society unfortunately having to cancel Daffodil Day for 2021 due to Covid-19.

Although numbers attending were down slightly, the generosity of the locals made up for that with more than $60,000 raised on the day.

Jamie says with the whole community in behind, including farmers who donate stock, carriers who provide their service free, the auctioneer team, and the event facilitator ANZ Bank; not to forget purchasers who frequently play their part too, often bidding for stock well above market value, the charity auction has become a calendar highlight for the Gisborne team.

A donation from one farmer of 50 lambs went under the hammer at $299 per head, and in all 340 sheep sold on the day.

All proceeds from the event remain in the local region for the use of the East Coast branch of the Cancer Society.

Matt Langtry, PGG Wrightson North Island Livestock Manager

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Positive signs for velvet as deer industry commences new season

Track and trace system enhances opportunity, particularly for Chinese market

Described by many in bygone years as a by-product, velvet now provides a significant income stream, which at present is sustaining the deer industry. Growth in both onshore production and offshore consumption continues to characterise the ascent of New Zealand velvet.

Covid-related effects on logistics, higher costs, lower buyer confidence and misinformation as a consequence of restricted travel have made the past two years difficult, although good relationships and a product with high safety and brand integrity provide velvet with a degree of market resilience.

From the start of the 2021 season farms selling velvet for human consumption must register with VelTrak, which tags the product with a barcode and contains an RFID chip, enabling rapid and accurate tracking and tracing of sticks. VelTrak is designed to future proof the rapidly growing deer velvet industry.

PGG Wrightson Velvet’s investment in the three year China Velvet Coalition is making progress towards establishing relationships that could result in New Zealand velvet becoming an important health food ingredient, replicating success in the South Korean market.

With velvet harvesting under way, deer farmers can look forward to another progressive season for this important and highly valued product.

Tony Cochrane, PGG Wrightson National Velvet Manager

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Emphasis on quality at upcoming ram sales

Performance plays an increasingly important part as ram numbers rise in the face of a diminishing national ewe flock

This year’s annual ram sale season starts on 28 October in Masterton, running through until mid-December in the North Island, while South Island ram sales will continue until mid-February.

 

As the size of the nationwide ewe flock drops at the same time as we produce more rams, performance plays an increasingly important part. With the sheep market in positive heart, the outlook favourable, and good returns putting farmers in an optimistic frame of mind, expect the most sought after rams to sell particularly well this season.

 

Farmers demand more data on which to base purchasing decisions, which favours the more substantial players. A ram is a highly significant investment with progeny potentially remaining part of a flock for seven years, which means decision making and future focus are key to that choice. That said, taking into account all the long term value the right genetics can bring, the actual investment in a ram is comparatively cheap. Decisions made in the coming months will put tens or hundreds of thousands on the bottom line for farmers.

 

As the operating environment for agriculture becomes more challenging, farmers have to be smarter with their business: for many genetics is the key to that, starting with a carefully chosen ram.

Callum Stewart, PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager

 

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