Pundits are predicting the good times will continue to roll down on the farm as sheep and beef producers in particular enjoy an unprecedented spell of high prices.

Independent livestock operator and commentator David Cotton said the store market was particularly buoyant despite the massive numbers being offered at the Feilding saleyards for the past three weeks on end.

"They've yarded big numbers for three weeks in a row now (20,000, 30,000 and 20,000) and these are record numbers in recent years," Cotton said.

"And on top of this there have been a huge number for store lambs sold privately, so it's surprising the price has remained strong. We are in our third straight season of enjoying good prices and it looks as if they are set to continue over the winter months with an $8/kg plus schedule highly likely to finish off the season.


"I personally believe the good times are set to role over the next 12 months and beyond. I can't recall when we've had it so good for such a long spell."

Cotton said while it always came down to supply and demand the ample feed supplies and rapidly declining risk of facial eczema were helping to drive the boom.

"It always comes down to supply and demand, so with the far lower numbers of sheep in New Zealand, China returning to the market, especially being our mutton, and a very kind climate, things are buzzing along. There is plenty of feed around and a lot of guys have high octane crops in the ground allowing them to finish big numbers o lambs quickly.

"And thankfully facial eczema spore counts in the region are beginning to fall. They rocketed to over 200,000 last month, especially in Waverley and Fordell, but these cooler temperatures have been a blessing. On my farm at Kai Iwi the count has dropped back to 10,000 and 20,000 from those dangerous six figure levels. There does appear to be reports of large numbers with clinic signs," Cotton said.

Meanwhile, older cattle prices are nudging higher for ox, cow and bulls.
Cotton said prices had fallen by $150-$200 a head less than last year at the early weaner sales in March, although last season was strong.

"Prices are down on last year but it was a royaler last season. That said weaner breeders are still enjoying good prices for wellbred stock - life's pretty good down on the farm at the moment," Cotton said.