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Let's Talk Farming
Ducks line up for beef industry boom
By SANDIE FINNIE
VALUE BULL: Angus bulls
averaged $7700 during six sales
Photo: DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ
shortages of beef and climatic
events that led to destocking of
some herds in New Zealand have
farmers eying a recovery for beef.
And prices generally at the
recent bull sales reflected their
optimism. National bull sales
wrapped up this month, and in the
North Island, they went off
Bruce Orr, PGG Wrightson
livestock genetics manager and
auctioneer, said bulls sold beyond
expectations , considering the
drought many of the North Island
farms had come through.
There were good clearances at
the sales. During six sales in
Gisborne over three days, 305
Angus averaged $7700, with a
turnover of $2.4 million.
It was the number of cows
slaughtered during the drought
that would have affected the
demand for bulls, Mr Orr said.
Probably the first calves from
these bulls will be in 2015, so if
farmers are finishing progeny,
they are looking at five years out.
It s painfully obvious, with the
South Island and dairying, we are
going to be short of beef.
Both Hereford and Angus were
Buyers, including a few out of
towners , were looking for bulls
not with dairy base origins.
This is because a so many cows
are not straight-bred. Kiwi cows
have a cross-bred component, so
their calves are not straight.
Will MacFarlane, of Waiterenui
Angus, said sales were
challenging for stud owners
selling in the Hawke s Bay
because of the recent drought.
Demand was down because
many commercial breeders sold
down to reduce feed demand, and
sale bulls were lighter and less
attractive due to the drought.
Those that did sell generally
sold well, though overall, the
average prices and numbers sold
were down maybe 20 per cent in
Hawke s Bay.
This is not a reflection on beef
industry sentiment, but purely a
result of the bad season.
Generally, I think the beef
industry is seen as the next boom
-- 100 years ago it was wool, then
sheep meat, currently it is dairy --
it is the last to have its day in the
sun, but without doubt the ducks
are lining up for it.
Worldwide, beef stocks are
very low and declining.
If challenging seasons
continued, beef was much kinder
to the environment, because the
animals are browsers rather than
grazers, he said.
Sheep denude pastures during
drought, leaving little for root
reserves for recovery, whereas
cattle beasts always leave
something for tomorrow.
BEEF+LAMB New Zealand and
New Zealand Young Farmers
are calling for applications for a
special agricultural scholarship.
Each year, one Young Farmer
member is offered the
opportunity to receive the Five
Nations Beef Alliance Young
Ranchers Scholarship, giving
them the chance to foot it with
other young ranchers from
Australia, Canada, Mexico and
the United States at their
It s a chance to gain valuable
international connections that
can be of benefit to New Zealand
beef farming, which is the driver
for Beef +Lamb New Zealand s
support and investment, Diane
Falconer said, on the
organisation s behalf.
The Five Nations Beef
Alliance comprises national
organisations from member
countries that represent beef
cattle producers. They meet to
develop strategies and to ensure
global beef trade increases.
They realise the benefit of
young people coming through
the beef sector, and have a
dedicated component for those
who understand and are
passionate about the industry.
This year s annual conference
is being held in Brisbane in
September, and applications
close on July 31.
There are a number of
industry and educational
scholarships on offer for young
people in the agricultural sector,
enabling them to build on their
skill base, personal development
and leadership qualities.
The aim of these scholarships
is to identify individuals who
may go on to become some of
New Zealand s key decision-
makers in the rural sector.
For more details on the
agriculture scholarships, visit:
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