It's been a cracking southern autumn bull season with buyers chasing quality bulls across all breeds.
Over the majority of Otago and Southland sales, a total of 633 bulls were sold for an average of $7580, with Angus averaging $7993, Hereford $9218, Charolais $6840, Simmental $6816 and other breeds at $8596.
PGG Wrightson genetics specialist Callum McDonald characterised the season as a positive one, with consistent results across the board.
''There was really positive interest and a positive bidding mood, particularly for good bulls. In many cases and across certain breeders, sales certainly exceeded expectations.''
Good Hereford bulls in particular were in high demand, and established top breeders were the big winners.
Locharburn Herefords' top seller went for $37,000 to Gordon and Loraine Shearing of Pourakino Down Herefords near Otautau, while Gray and Robyn Pannett of Limehills Polled Herefords in Millers Flat celebrated their 40th annual sale by clearing 51 of 53 listed bulls, achieving their highest average sale price to date of $10,333, helped by a top price of $34,000 paid by the Chesterman family from Koanui Polled Herefords in Havelock North.
''There is a lot of ongoing support for the Pannetts' breeding programme particularly from commercial buyers, so it's always a lively event,'' McDonald said.
The biggest sale of the season was the 19th annual bull sale at Fossil Creek Angus stud, held at Ngapara on June 13.
Sixty-one bulls sold for an average of $9847, and the four highest priced bulls sold to commercial buyers for $16,000 apiece.
Jane Smith of Fossil Creek Angus was pleased with the positive vibe at the sale and the interest from a strong gallery of buyers from around the South Island.
''Astute beef farmers are doing their homework before they come to the sale. They know exactly the type of genetics they want and there is a lot of positivity out there.''
That positivity extended to 100 per cent clearances at a wide number of sales, including the Beresford Simmental (Owaka) sale which sold 20 bulls for an average of $7888 with a top price of $11,000; Nethertown Angus with 25 bulls for an average price of $7150; Delmont Angus, with 26 bulls at an average price of $7750; Foulden Hill Herefords selling nine for an average of $5444; Penvose Angus (Wedderburn), selling 30 bulls at an average of $8600 and a top price of $14,000; Glendhu Shorthorns which sold 11 at an average of $6200; Pikoburn Angus, selling 20 at an average of $8000; and Bluestone Santa Gertrudis which sold four for an average of $7000.
Smith said the positive sales reinforced the importance of ensuring the continuation of thriving farming communities with a diverse range of farming types around the country, rather than a ''monoculture of offshore-owned pine trees''.
''We are proud of the bulls that we are producing and it is incredibly satisfying to see the production and profitability that these farmers are pumping back into the economy.''