Analyst Intel

4 December 2020

ACROSS THE RAILS | Feed levels allow for lamb retention

By Suz Bremner

Good feed levels in South Canterbury allowed farmers to retain lighter lambs rather than offer them up at their on-farm sales.

PGG Wrightson agent Rod Sands reported that several vendors at the Beautiful Valley on-farm sales drafted off the lighter lambs, saying “they took out anything around 23-24kg and below, and these will be sold later in the season.”

That was echoed by Hazlett general manager Ed Marfell for DJ & AM Irving’s on-farm sale at Albury.

“Feed levels have allowed retention of the smaller lambs which the vendor had no interest in selling yet, preferring to put more weight on them and sell later,” Marfell said. That meant that pricing was consistent at these sales and generally started around the $75 mark. 

Eskvale Station featured some of the best lambs offered in North Canterbury, Peter Walsh and Associates agent Alby Orchard reported. 

“The lambs were exceptional, and they were a credit to the Finney Family and their shepherd Gary Stevens,” Orchard said. 

“The spring in North Canterbury has been late and feed was very short through September and October, however Ben Finney has done an outstanding job bringing these lambs up for his sale in such forward condition.”

Southland buyers have been a force to be reckoned with at most on-farm sales outside of their region, but they are now able to find lambs closer to home, as the first Southland sale was held by A & P Carran at Otautau, and more will follow in the coming week. PGG Wrightson agent Willie Swale reported that the Carran’s had a full clearance for their first on-farm sale at this time of year, and all lambs stayed in Southland. 

Also joining the on-farm party was the North Island as Anerley Station in Masterton, held their fourth annual on-farm sale. 

CR Nelson Ltd’s Craig Nelson says this sale has always faced extreme weather elements in its four years running and this year was no different. 

“Heavy rain could have impacted the sale, but we managed to sell all lines undercover, which was appreciated by all,” he said. 

A widespread buying bench featured Taupo, Dannevirke and local, which included regular buyers but also some new faces to the sale. 


North Island 

Anerley Station, Masterton: 4500 blackface mixed-sex and Romney cryptorchid lambs. Top blackface $114, top Romney cryptorchid $109. Medium $85-$95, light $73-$80.

South Island 

Eskvale Station, George and Ben Finney, Amberley: 1560 down-cross mixed-sex, 504 Romdale cryptorchid, 201 AD Romdale ewes. Top down-cross mixed-sex $142-$161, medium $91-$117. Top Romdale cryptorchid $137-$122, medium $91-$101, total lamb average $124. AD Romdale ewes $120-$157, average $142.

DJ and AM Irving, Albury: 1400 Suftex-cross mixed-sex, 1350 Coopdale wether lambs. 149 Coopdale ewe lambs, 415 AD Coopdale ewes. Suftex mixed-sex $87-$129, Coopdale wether lambs $88-$133, Coopdale ewe lambs $100. AD Coopdale ewes $119-$140, $126 average.

HJB and SJ Sheed, Beautiful Valley: 1400 Suftex-cross and Romney-cross mixed-sex, undrafted, 136 AD ewes. Top mixed-sex $118, remainder $64-$93. AD ewes $90-$116.

RJ Horn, Beautiful Valley: 950 Suftex mixed-sex and Romney cryptorchid, 200 AD Romney ewes. Prime lambs $114-$134, Suftex mixed-sex $87-$99, Romney cryptorchid $80-$92. AD Romney ewes $131-$160.

Beaufort Farming, S Pagan, Beautiful Valley: 420 Coopdale cryptorchid $79-$89, 250 Suftex mixed-sex $77-$97.

MJ and LK King, Hanging Rock: 1855 Suffolk mixed-sex and Grobulk cryptorchid lambs, 200 AD ewes. Prime lambs $122-$126, Suftex mixed-sex $77-$104, Grobulk cryptorchid $74-$104. AD ewes $125-$150.

A & P Carran, Otautau: 2500 Suftex mixed-sex and Texel cryptorchid lambs, undrafted. Top lambs $95-$106 medium $88, small $72, average $85.