Hereford breeders have reclaimed market share against other beef breeds after a good bull-selling season, says PGG Wrightson genetics manager Bruce Orr.
Orr travels the length of New Zealand attending sales for all breeds. He has that noticed commercial farmers are moving back to using registered hereford bulls.
"Last year we started to see, and this year it has been confirmed, that some commercial buyers who have been buying black (angus) bulls have actually switched to buying herefords," he says.
Registered hereford breeders have reported similar, if not better clearances and in many cases better averages than other breeds.
Orr said a client bought 11 hereford bulls in the last two weeks. The client also planned to buy more in coming weeks.
Market prices had been strong with a lift in clearance rates and the average prices improving at better sales.
"Generally speaking hereford breeders have had a strong season - it's been a very good season," said Orr. "There have been clearances in most cases and overall it's been very pleasing for herefords."
He said there were a few reasons for the swing back to the breed.
Production and performance gains of about 10 per cent allowed farmers to cash in on hybrid vigour when using a registered hereford bull over angus cows.
"The resulting progeny are always keenly sought after," Orr said.
The top price so far for the bull-selling season was for the hereford bull Okawa Major 2008, bred by David and Rosemary Morrow at Mt Somers which was sold for $55,000 to Kokonga Herefords, near Tuakau in the Waikato region.
The Morrows sold another bull for $44,000 to Orari Gorge Herefords and their average price was $8054.
Other highlights included Maungahina Herefords, Masterton, with a top price of $20,000 and average of $6446, Koanui Polled Herefords from Havelock North $16,000 and $6650, Waikaka Herefords from Gore $15,000 and $4894, Monymusk Herefords, Te Anau $11,500 $7068 and Matariki Herefords, Kaikoura $11,000 and $7097.
At the national show and sale for New Zealand herefords at AgInnovation, the breed took out Champion of Champions honours and top price honours for all breeds at $40,000 paid for Hereford sire Okahu Sonny Bill.
- The Press