Monday, February 26, 2024

Quality the focus of stag sale season

Neal Wallace
Clearance rates high with three animals selling for $100,000 or more.
Anna Brock holds the velvet from a three-year-old breeding stag sold by her family for $100,000 last week.
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Buyers were discerning but prepared to pay for quality animals in the just-completed annual stag sale season.

Three animals sold for $100,000 or more and clearance rates were high.

PGG Wrightson deer genetics manager Graham Kinsman described the sales as remarkable despite low sheep and beef prices and subdued farmer confidence.

“The gallery was made up of experienced buyers who understood what the studs are doing.

“They were after quality.”

Another feature of the sales was the level of interest in Wapiti as farmers look to use bulls as a terminal sire and to take advantage of at least one processor offering contracts for Wapiti venison.

The highlights were two stags sold by Brock Deer from Gore, which made $114,000 and $100,000.

Rural Livestock deer genetics agent Adam Whaanga said the Brock offering of velvet sires was the best he has ever seen.

“Their lineup this year was exceptional. The whole catalogue was top quality, which was reflected in buyers chasing the last lot with similar vigour to those at the start.”

He said that quality reflected 35 years of pursuing genetic gain, which has created an incredible hind herd.

The Brock family also benefited from venison and velvet prices that have stayed relatively high compared to other livestock, while demand for trophy stags is still strong.

Whaanga said the sale strength showed stag buyers are determined to continue improving their herd genetics.

Brock Deer sold all 30 stags offered for an average for $21,500 with a three-year-old trophy stag earning the top price of $114,000 and a velveting stag for $100,000.

The trophy stag was bought by Stu Henderson from Piopio and the breeding sire by James Hudson (Timaru) and Jack Preston (Winton).

Brock Deer also sold 30 hinds with two making $12,500. The hind average was $2450.

Foveran Deer Park, Hakataramea Valley, sold a six-year-old sire for $100,000. It averaged $6500 for the 50 stags sold, which were aged three-years and older.

In their last sale, David and Lynley Stevens of the Netherdale stud, Balfour, sold 23 of the 26 stags offered, with a top price of $80,000 and an average of $13,800.

Deer Genetics NZ also had a strong sale, selling all 14 offered with a top price of $52,000 with a $22,800 average price. The same vendor sold 16 hinds with a top price of $13,500 and an average of $3300.

Peel Forest, Geraldine, had two sales.

At its December auction it sold all 50 offered with a top price of $23,000 and a sale average of $7430. This month’s sale achieved a top price of $35,000 and an average of $12,340 for 21 stags.

Kinsman said Altrive Deer’s AI programme was impacted due to covid, which was reflected in this year’s offering.

Despite that, the Gore vendors sold all 24 offered with a top price of $46,000 and a respectable average of $15,900.

The top price achieved by Black Forest, Outram, was $20,500, with the six stags sold averaging $5700.

Rothesay Deer, Methven, sold five stags with a top price of $19,000 and a sale average of $7800.

Forest Road Farm, Tikokino, sold all 24 offered, its top price was $17,500 and sale average was $7812. 

Tikana Wapiti, Central Southland, topped the Wapiti bull offering with a sire selling for $15,000. It sold 16 bulls for an average of $8300.

Raincliff Station, Pleasant Point, had the second top Wapiti price of $12,000, selling all 24 offered at an average price of $5395, and Clachanburn Elk, Maniototo, had a top price of $10,000, selling 60 of 62 offered for a $4181 average.

This story has been updated to correctly state Stu Henderson comes from Piopio, not Gisborne.

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