Record prices for dairy cows

HARD SELL NEEDED: Fonterra wants to limit the risk of too many dairy farmers leaving Fonterra at the same time and creating a run on the balance sheet.
Southland Times
HARD SELL NEEDED: Fonterra wants to limit the risk of too many dairy farmers leaving Fonterra at the same time and creating a run on the balance sheet.

Dairy cow breeders were left dumfounded by record prices that materialised on the back of the dairy boom at a Christchurch auction this week.

A catalogue of 33 pedigree friesian holstein cows, heifers or calves made a gross total of more than $270,000 and averaged a new high of $8270 at the Canterbury Collection Sale, run by the Canterbury-Westland branch of the New Zealand Holstein Friesian Association.

The top-priced cow of $21,000 attracted multiple bidding with the Eade family winning out in the end. Alister and Bridget Sher-riff of Temuka were the sellers.

Sale organiser Duncan Pipe said the sale was almost certainly a national record for an auction of pedigree dairy cattle.

A pedigree cow last sold for $21,000 many years ago and the sale of the 10 lots for more than $10,000 was unheard of, he said.

"The boom of the dairy industry and the quality of the cattle has resulted in these top prices. I do not think there has ever been such a good catalogue for friesian holsteins put together before from the top cow families and top-producing cows."

Tai Tapu breeder Dean Geddes sold five lots to gross $66,500 as the top vendor.

The all-New Zealand bidding attracted phone bids from the North Island and the underbidder for the top-priced cow was a northern farmer.

Several lots went to Wairarapa including a Geddes calf for $16,500.

A red and white calf sold for $6000 to Ashburton farmers David and Marie Stewart.

Pipe said it was possible that the high prices might not be seen again for some time.

"It has gone better than we ever expected. The lowest price was $3000."

The top-priced in-calf heifer made $15,000, the top-priced yearling heifer $20,000 and six embryos from Victoria, Australia $1900 each.

Last year cow lots averaged $3600 with a top price of $13,200 for a $150,000 total.

 

The Press