Carrfields News – Livestock June 2019

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Apologies for the sound issues, please refer to report for any missed details.

Carrfields News – Livestock June 2019

Farmers are all settled into the new season and up to this point weather and grass growth has been very kind.

Dairy herd and heifer sales

The dairy herd selling season went extremely well- farmers were able to reach expected livestock condition scores and provide the required grass requirements for new farms and Carrfields have said that this would have been the smoothest forward selling season yet.

The top range cows sold at values between $1,800- $2,000 .00 especially if contracts were completed in Early summer – the market values dropped significantly towards late April and May to values between $1,100 – $1,400.00. What seemed to be a surplus of dairy cattle for sale during May all have found destinations and currently there is an increase in demand for good recorded, well grown dairy cows and replacement heifers.

Autumn calving cow market this season was very weak. The expansion into winter milking was significantly less than the previous two years- hence some unsold cows went direct to slaughter in April as this market was comparable in values.

Many clearing sale auctions (18 on farm dispersal auctions) had some disappointing results especially if the cows were not in great condition or the index recording was below average- many such herds averaged $1,000 – 1,200.00. Although at those auctions the top 20% of herds sold more than $2000.00. The best herds at auctioned in April averaged $1,850.00.

I can envisage a strong demand in the early spring for good dairy cattle. Many farmers have indicated restricted funding as Rural Banking is requiring stronger cash flows and greater reduction of debt – hence the purchase of cows to replace numbers was delayed until new season production payments arrive.

Probably noticed for the first time in many years several farms closing as dairy units.

Live export

Generally, a lot of discussions being circulated that the live export trade from New Zealand may be cancelled – currently business as usual.

The Live export market has an influence on the value of New Zealand domestic dairy cattle market for what farmers receive for their young progeny they have bred and reared.  Currently several exporters tagging and purchasing ID Yearling dairy heifer for delivery July, August, September. The values ranging from $1,100- $1,200 depending on delivery.

Speculation that Live Export is being discussed to end the export of live animals from NZ. I have found over many years the live export operation to be well organized and there is no doubt when exporters are in the market farmers receive a greater value for their heifers than the local market could provide.

Demand is strong to secure export heifers, an opportunity for good cash flow is to consider selling to export your lower end indexed animals at strong values. Your local Carrfields agent will be able to advise you on the requirements and details.

Service Bull Requirements

The marketing for dairy service bulls is being currently being organized. Farmers and Service Bull suppliers last year bought and sold during a very volatile time with Mycoplasma Bovis threat. All farmers need to be credited for the way they carried on their business complying during these cautious times with requirements being implied in the process of mating their herds and heifers. The same caution will apply this season as eradication of Mycoplasma Bovis is the goal. A real benefit of MPI having a policy of eradication of Mycoplasma Bovis, has been greater awareness by farmers for the need to comply with NAIT transfer requirements.

Service bulls this season will probably sustain similar values to last bull selling season.

Carrfields Livestock have a very competitive service Bull Plan, you can sign up the contract, purchase and take delivery of bulls, complete their mating cycle, call your Carrfields agent to resell for you. The payment required will be the difference between the purchase price and sell price plus a $60.00 per head administration charge. Your local agent will be able to assist you in this process.

Dairy Beef Market for feeder calves

The autumn born market has remained strong all winter – W/head bulls and heifers selling from $150 – $400 for the top bulls.

The dry summer delayed the expected growth weights for store bull farmers hence they are being slaughtered later but I expect the similar demand and market values to last season’s calf sales.

Although many dairy beef calf rearers are still contemplating values, I cannot see any reason for the market to drastically change. No doubt the early calves sold in July early August will be at a premium.

The dairy cow market has shown a huge development with many farmers aiming to have herds completely A2A2 confirmed cows. Their requirements has created a demand for A2A2 identified cows as much as $100- $200 per head over non identified cows.

If you have no intention of changing your milk supply to only based on A2A2 cows I suggest you complete a bulk milk test to find what % of A2 milk is in your herd. If significant, consider the option of identifying individual A2A2 cows within your herd and market them- still strong demand. You could well achieve $300 per head profit comparing replacing them with non A2A2 cows.

I wish all farmers a strong financial year and remember for buying and selling all classes of livestock Carrfields Livestock have your needs covered.

Trevor Hancock
National Dairy Manager