Two prominent Hawke’s Bay cattle-breeding businesses have put together a bull-buying and tourism combination called Bay Bulls, with its own website.
Koanui Herefords at Havelock North and Hallmark Angus at Tutira will have bull sales on consecutive days, June 15 and 16.
They have arranged hotel accommodation and bus transport for visitors, to attract buyers, facilitate travel in the cyclone-damaged districts and to cater for the curious.
Koanui Polled Hereford principal Chris Chesterman said his family will catalogue 55 bulls and expects that 50-plus will be sold on the day.
“There are two or three exceptional bulls in the line-up, and we believe that all bulls will express themselves without being overdone.
“The challenge will be achieving clearance because of the cyclone and the costs of recovery and land use changes.
“Our recommendation is that farmers who need bulls should buy what they can to get through the current season.”
Hallmark Angus principal Max Tweedie will put forward 60 bulls with both Hallmark and Waiterenui prefixes after the coming together of the two historic studs last year.
He said sires used in both studs have been complementary and the breeding programmes closely aligned.
Recovery in the Tutira district after Cyclone Gabrielle has occupied Tweedie and his team over the past three months, restoring power, fencing, tracks and water systems.
Lambs have been destocked to cope with broken fencing and to make room for the sale bulls.
A fencer and digger operator have worked on the Mokara and Pa Hill farms for six weeks.
“We are open for business, and we are very keen to have farmers come and see what has happened and how we are recovering,” he said.
The bus from the hotel in Ahuriri, Napier, will take about an hour to get to Tutira and commentary will be featured on the way.
Chesterman and Tweedie hope that South Islanders will take up the Bay Bulls package.