Saturday, December 9, 2023

Beef herd royalty goes under the hammer

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Tree planting on land sold to forestry begins on the day cattle sale is held.
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Property sales and leases have provided a rare opportunity for farmers to purchase Angus and South Devon royalty in the form of capital stock Angus heifers and cows from Wairoa and South Devon from Blenheim.

The 437 Angus cows and heifers from Pihanui Station on Cricklewood Road in Wairoa represented years of the late John Bayley’s Cricklewood breeding and a more genuine hill country Angus herd would be hard to find. 

They were offered due to the station being leased for forestry with tree planting starting on the same day as the sale of the cows and heifers. 

The herd made the journey down to the Stortford Lodge saleyards over the recently opened Napier-Wairoa Road. 

The cows were yarded overnight at the saleyards and drafted into age groups while the heifers were trucked out early on sale day. 

All were in-calf to mainly Turiroa and Tangihau Angus bulls, as well as some purchased from the Gisborne combined sales. 

This type of herd deserved to have a big audience at the sale and they certainly had that, with agents and farmers present from all regions of the North Island. Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa buyers dominated on the heifer pens, and all lines sold for $1790-$1850 per head. 

The wider Hawke’s Bay region was also strong on the cows, alongside one Taihape buyer. All lines sold to farm on and the top cows made $1600-$1690 and the later calving and mixed-age returned $1290-$1410.

One of the country’s best-known South Devon studs is also having a paddock dispersal sale, with 300 commercial in-calf South Devon cows and 60 R3 heifers on offer due to a farm sale. 

New Zealand Farmers Livestock agent Bill Sweeney said the herd had been owned for 15 years by South Island farmer Richard van Asch’s Burtergill Stud and are being sold as lines to suit. 

“They have decided to disperse the commercial herd completely and concentrate on other parts of their farming operation.” 

Sweeney said the cattle would suit those farmers who already have South Devon cattle and wish to increase their herd numbers, or farmers looking to diversify.

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