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The biggest beef sale of the year

The biggest volume of cattle for the year went under the hammer in front of a 100-strong crowd at the Masterton Saleyards yesterday.

More than 2000 steers and bulls were listed, including about 1700 for PGG Wrightson and 488 for Carrfields.

PGG Wrightson’s top price for steers sold for $1410, and the low was estimated at $750, while its top price for bulls was $1410, and the low price was $1100.

Carrfields highest price for the top cut steers was $1210, while the second cut made $1230 with a low of $680, and its top price for bulls was $1150, and the low was $855.

Carrfields regional livestock manager Chris McBride said he had been concerned about the sale because no locals could accommodate the stock due to Wairarapa’s severe dry conditions and so the chances of stock staying in the area were remote.

But he there was relief when buyers outside the region purchased all the stock in the yards.

“Without them, we would have been in a little bit of trouble,” he said.

“The better calves may not have been as heavy as other years, but they sold as good, if not a little bit better.

“Overall, vendors were happy their calves have gone to good homes.”

PGG Wrightson sheep and beef representative Andrew Jennings said buying power from outside the region to support the sale was relied on due to the lack of local buyers.

He said buyers came from as far north as Gisborne, Waikato, King Country, and Hawke’s Bay and about 80 per cent of cattle were sold to those districts, with 20 per cent going to Manawatū.

“Good heavy weighted cattle sold extremely well,” he said.

“We saw a softening for a price per kilo through the middle of the sale.

“On the whole, as agents, we are pleased for our clients; we have had a complete clearance of cattle.”

Jennings said PGG achieved realistic prices under the current market, and it was impressive that the farmer’s stock was in “really good order” despite extremely dry conditions in Wairarapa.

A fire alarm went off during the auction, he said, and most of the crowd emptied out into the parking lot, with some farmers taking the opportunity for a casual smoke while the fire brigade came in to turn it off.

There is a smaller auction at the saleyards today, with 300 weaner heifers listed by Carrfields and about 500 for PGG Wrightson.

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