South Island adult store cattle prices have come back in the past few weeks, and PGG Wrightson area manager Joe Higgins has pointed the finger at the rapidly drying conditions and the significant number of dairy-beef cattle on the market.“It has got very dry, very quickly in most areas and 70-80% of the cattle at auction are dairy-based and some not well-bred,” Higgins said.
“This type of cattle are the first people want out the gate when it gets dry, but are the last that buyers want in their gates, so the equation is not balanced.”
The influx of dairy-beef and dairy cattle can be traced back to a large volume of calves that were reared in the last 2-3 years that stayed in the South Island, rather than selling across the strait to the North Island. This was largely due to M bovis and drought, and has meant there has been a significant increase in this type of cattle available. It is expected that rain will make a difference to the market but, in the meantime, sellers are having to meet a deflated market to shift cattle off-farm.