Busy week for auctioneer at two large scale livestock sales on farms

Hamish Guild looks on as Glen Peddie auctions his weaners.
Linda Chalmers

Hamish Guild looks on as Glen Peddie auctions his weaners.

PGG Wrightson Livestock auctioneer Glenn Peddie had a busy time last week auctioning for two large on-farm livestock sales.

Paul and Stephen Wright of Wrightco Farm offered more than 4000 lambs at their on-farm sale near Sheffield on Tuesday.

Torrential rain and muddy conditions underfoot failed to put off farmers coming from all corners of Canterbury and looking for wintering stock options.

Bad weather didn't put off the punters at the Wrightco Farm lamb sale.
Linda Chalmers

Bad weather didn't put off the punters at the Wrightco Farm lamb sale.

The lambs were in medium to forward store condition, said Peddie.

READ MORE: Lower beef and lamb sales see NZ exports slip for second year in a row 

* Wrightco Farm store lamb sale claims top price of $100 despite heavy rain

Glen Peddie directs the bidders at the Wrightco Farm lamb sale.
Linda Chalmers

Glen Peddie directs the bidders at the Wrightco Farm lamb sale.

"There was good interest as many local arable farmers were looking for stock to carry over the winter. There is plenty of feed across the region so demand for grazing stock, both sheep and cattle, continues to be strong."

Paul Wright said their second on-farm lamb sale produced another good result. The sale had a full clearance and achieved a top price of $100 per head for two pens.

"We plan to make this an annual event by offering 4000 to 5000 store lambs in autumn. We shear, drench and dip the lambs so they are ready for wintering. With so much feed around this year, the timing suits arable farmers with paddocks freed up after the harvest," Paul said.

High Peak Station weaners awaiting sale.
Linda Chalmers

High Peak Station weaners awaiting sale.

"We could see a niche market for forward-store lambs in late autumn. We have had irrigation for about six years now which allows us to get lambs earlier in the summer. We get them from where ever is the best buying."

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"I think the prices are putting a few people off but there is a lot of positivity in the market - things are looking good. There are a few contracts out there for the winter which are prompting farmers to buy," Paul said.

Peddie was auctioning again at High Peak Station on Thursday when the Guild family held the country's largest on-farm weaner deer sale. The sale achieved a top price of $500 per head for a pen of hybrid weaner stags, averaging 71.5 kilograms, which was bought by a Southland deer farmer.

The sale which offered about 900 weaners for sale (130 hybrid weaner stags, 140 hybrid weaner hinds, 350 European cross weaner stags,140 European cross weaner hinds and 130 Rakaia/English cross weaner hinds) attracted strong interest from across the South Island.

"Deer is a big focus of our farming operation," Hamish Guild said.

"We put months of work into our weaner sale and in less than 30 minutes they are all sold. High Peak has always been a store property and not a finishing property and we decided a couple of years ago that we wanted to change that. 

"Recently we completed the development of 100ha of river flats which included irrigation. This development of which 30ha is deer-fenced gives us the option of holding the stock for longer if conditions are right.

"Depending on weather and market conditions next year we may or may not hold an annual weaner sale of this scale again. Instead, we may hold onto the lighter animals and take them through to October. It's good to have the choice and it will also help us spread out the cash inflows throughout the year," Guild said.

PGG Wrightson deer agent Ron Schroeder has been working alongside the Guild family of many years.

"The deer industry has shrunk by 50 per cent over the last 10 years so farmers like the Guilds who continue to improve their operation year on year and produce high-quality animals do well in this tough industry," Schroeder said.

"I work with Hamish throughout the year to ensure he gets the best result for his weaner deer on sale day. About 10 days before the sale we spend the day drafting the weaners and preparing them for sale. Then we run the sale on the day.

"The Guilds' sale is the biggest one of its type in New Zealand. They produce high-quality deer that are bred for temperament which allows the animals to move very well and we have no problem finding buyers for them. This year's sale went well. There was a full clearance of nearly 900 weaners on offer. The weaners were sold as finishers, potential velveters and for breeding," Schroeder said.

 - Stuff

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