Sunday, December 3, 2023

On-farm sale tops record

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High Peak Station’s 25th on-farm lamb sale was better than last year’s record, its operations manager Hamish Guild says.
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The station, one of four in the Rakaia Gorge lamb sales run on Thursday, sold the best of its Suffolk-Perendale lambs at $141-$161, up $20 a head on last year’s record.

Genuine store lambs ranged from $115-$130 with later born lambs selling from $90-$105.    

“We did have a better top end but we also had a better spread from top to bottom which more reflected the age of the lambs.”    

Guild said the lambs had come on well with the heat over the past couple of weeks and with prices driven by the climate and markets it was a very pleasing result.

“The schedule went the other way around at the end of last year and coming into the New Year you can never be quite sure how the market settles.

“The sale today is indication the sheep industry is in a good space. At least in the short to medium term it’s a good outlook,” Guild said.

Hazlett Livestock auctioneer Ed Marfell said the prices across all four stations reflected the well-bred high country lambs well-known for their high-end genetics and their shifting ability.

“This is the 25th sale run and we have repeat buyers who know what they are getting and people will pay for what they know will finish well.

“We have seen a tremendous line-up of undrafted hill country lambs. There’s been a huge crowd following and good buyer numbers.

“The prices paid show the confidence in these lambs and in the sheep industry in general,” Marfell said.

While the schedule has dropped it is still high for this time of the year.

“Yes, the China reaction has had an impact but it’s not the only market. 

“We have got to stay positive, that’s the game we are in.”

Pushed by the continuing strong demand for store lambs buyers bid up briskly with the 15,600 lambs sold across the four stations all destined for Canterbury cropping farms. 

“The simple reality is we have water on the plains, crops are coming off and it suits cropping farmers – it works for everyone.”

Value will always be relevant to stock quality and the climate at the time and while bidding fetched some record prices the market indicators are driving confidence for everyone.

“Adding to that these properties have earned their reputation year in, year out,” Marfell said.

At Snowdon Station the top prices ranged from $152 to $184, up from the $147-$167 of last year, while the genuine store lines sold from $125-$147, ewe lambs $138-$$180 and later born lambs $100-$118.       

Paying $161, $141 and $122 for the top three pens of Suffolk-Perendale lambs at the High Peak sale made Milly Adams just a little bit excited.

Farming with her father Andrew at Greendale in central Canterbury the sheep farmer said she knew what she was after.

“Dad has been buying here for a long time. We know the lambs and we know they do well for us,” Adams said.

Mt Oakden and Peak Hill Stations also sold lambs.

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