Ram fair sales ‘going really well’

Stock agents have reported some good results at Canterbury ram fairs this season.

Farmers continued to show a willingness to spend money on quality rams, Carrfields stud stock agent Callum Dunnett said.

"The sales have been going really well and that’s helped because we’ve got plenty of feed, farmers are feeling positive and the schedules are still looking good."

The top price paid so far was $17,000 for Blenheim farmer Christina Jordan’s Southdown ram hogget at the Canterbury A&P Association elite ram and ewe fair last month.

Rural Livestock Canterbury livestock manager Donald Cooke said the ram fair season was about three-quarters of the way through.

"The guys have been pretty selective and they’re paying good money for the top rams with reasonable characteristics.

With the ewe fairs due to be held in January and February, beginning at Hawarden on January 29, the signs were positive, Mr Cooke said.

"It’s a bit of an unknown as things can turn around very quickly as we saw with Covid and there is some uncertainty with the international markets."

Not as many ewes were expected to go on sale as last January and February, when numbers were bolstered by farm sales and leases expiring.

"If any stock is looking a bit marginal condition-wise, farmers are more likely to take the money now, by selling them to the works, rather than take the risk of waiting for the ewe fairs," Mr Cooke said.

"I think the margins will be similar, if not a little bit less."

Canterbury’s store lamb market had started off strongly this season, but had experienced "a correction" in recent weeks as Christmas approaches and farmers look to the heavens for more rain.

North Canterbury was looking "very green" for this time of year, while other areas such as Banks Peninsula were dryer than expected, he said.


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