Meat & Livestock News

Dannevirke Cattle Fair Sees Strong Results Despite Reduced Numbers


  • The Dannevirke 15-month cattle fair experienced a decrease in the number of traditional steers and heifers but saw strong buying interest and satisfactory returns.
  • The trend towards on-farm sales and favourable feed conditions contributed to the reduced yarding, with prices remaining stable compared to previous sales.

On February 15, the Dannevirke 15-month cattle fair showcased a notable reduction in the number of traditional steers and heifers, continuing a trend observed in recent years. Despite the smaller turnout, the fair witnessed strong results, buoyed by the interest of a select group of buyers from Manawatū and Hawke’s Bay.

The fair, which took place under sunny skies, a pleasant change from the overcast conditions of the previous month, attracted a keen audience of potential buyers. The auction, conducted by PGG Wrightson Livestock, featured well-presented lines of mostly Angus and Angus-Hereford steers, drawing attention from the crowd.

This year, the number of traditional steers yarded at the fair dropped to 296, down from 423 the previous year, alongside 53 15-month Angus and Angus-Hereford heifers. Factors such as the rising popularity of on-farm sales, policy changes, and abundant feed have supported this reduction in numbers.

Despite the decreased competition due to the lower number of buyers, the strength of buyer interest ensured that the asking prices were met, leading to satisfactory returns for sellers. The cattle, predominantly homebred from Pahiatua, Pongoroa, and Weber, sold in alignment with recent sales at Stortford Lodge, indicating stable market conditions.

Bjorn Anderson, a PGG Wrightson agent, expressed satisfaction with the sale’s outcomes and remained optimistic about the store cattle market’s future. However, he noted the recent hot and dry weather’s impact on grass growth, raising concerns about the potential challenges if such conditions persist.

With no scales available at the Dannevirke saleyards, buyers estimated the weight of the cattle to determine their bids. The cattle, consistently in good condition across all pens, fetched prices close to market expectations.

The heavier lines, estimated at 460-480kg, sold for approximately $3.21-$3.27/kg, slightly lower than the previous year due to reduced bidder competition. Lighter steers, estimated at 345-420kg, achieved $3.55-$3.62/kg, with most cattle selling for $1305-$1540 per head, mirroring last year’s results. The heifers, although facing tougher selling conditions, were considered good value at $1050-$1250.

This report highlights the resilience of the cattle market at Dannevirke, despite the challenges of reduced yarding and the impact of weather conditions on feed availability.