Dairy herd clearing and dispersal sales have been more numerous this autumn and cow values are down as much as $1000 compared with a year ago.
Top quality registered cows and those with LIC contracts are fetching high prices but the averages for most herd sales have been around $2000 compared with closer to $3000 last autumn.
A large clearing sale for Peter and Trixie Foote, near Whangārei, conducted by Link Livestock and carried on bidr, went from 10.30am to 5pm to sell 380 lots of Holstein Friesians.
Agent Grant Aitken said the average across all sales was $2000, including empties, and the top price was $5400 paid by a Northland buyer.
The Rock View Holstein Friesian dispersal sale for Gary and Karen Peters, Stratford, made a top price of $25,000 for Rock View Doorman Selice, a rising 5-year cow with excellent figures.
The sale of 110 mixed age cows, 38 in-calf heifers, 80 calves and some semen straws drew 335 watchers on bidr, of whom 119 were registered buyers, 55 made bids and 36 of those bidders were successful.
“The online platform extended the reach of the sale and cows will be going to all parts of the country,” PGG Wrightson regional manager and auctioneer Andrew Gibson said.
The sale averages were excellent for this year’s market; $3870 for the cows, including empties and all ages, and $3542 for the in-calf heifers.
Also in Taranaki, at Eltham, an in-calf dairy sale of 250 Friesian and Friesian-cross cows made a top price of $6600 and averaged around $2200.
The Wells family built up the herd over 35 years and achieved 480kg-plus per cow with a BW of 191 and PW 224.
New Zealand Farmers Livestock agent Simon Payne said more dairy clearing and dispersal sales in Taranaki this season stemmed from reasons such as the end of leases, retirements, sharemilkers getting placements, and farm sales.
Buyers are cautious for cashflow reasons and may be in the market because of higher empty rates. Cow and heifer values are as much as $1000 lower than this time last year.
Payne referred to an annual heifer auction of 102 lots which last year averaged $2800 and this year $1833.
The Sabarr Trust herd dispersal on April 17 saw 190 Holstein Friesian cows average $2000 and 50 in-calf heifers $1933, with a top price of $4200 as the vendors switched to smaller cows.
At Gordonton, central Waikato, the Dickson family dispersed an A2 herd of 159 lots and achieved a top price of $3200 and averaged around $1800.
In Northland, Lodore and Kauri Ayrshires sold 29 in-calf heifers for an average price of $2608 and a top price of $5100, along with 11 heifer calves averaging $1100 and a top price of $1600, twice.
Those averages in 2022 were $3265 and $2380 respectively.
A three-day clearing sale for Graham and Glenys Bell, Milldale Farms, Te Aroha, was conducted online only, for the sale of 280 cows, 72 in-calf heifers and 57 heifer calves, all Jersey and Jersey-cross breeding.
The top prices were $11,000 on the first day, $9800 on the second day and $6500 on the third.
Part two of the Dick and Faye Post Posterity Jersey dispersal at Tauwhare, near Hamilton, was conducted on April 26, selling 82 in-calf heifers, after a very successful sale of mixed age cows and heifers last year.
Lot 8, Posterity Rick Lynda 21-59, A2A2, contracted to CRV, and expected in calf to Puriri Magnum Striker, made the top price of $7100, sold to Nathan Williams.
The average price was $2417 for 74 lots sold.