Very good prices at the start of the feeder calf sales season July 30-31 should hearten farmers.

Although there were only small yardings — a total of 80 calves over two sales — bidding was keen for well presented feeder calves.

Friesian bull calves were comparable at both the NZ Farmers Livestock Dannevirke Sale and PGG Wrightson's Mangatainoka Sale prices ranging from $165 to $215/head for the best.

PGG Wrightson's auctioneer Bjorn Andersen reaches $200/head for these Angus Cross bull calves at Mangatainoka on July 31.
PGG Wrightson's auctioneer Bjorn Andersen reaches $200/head for these Angus Cross bull calves at Mangatainoka on July 31.

Beef crosses were very popular, Angus X bulls and Hereford x bulls going for $175-$210/head and a few white faces. There were 20 good quality Angus X heifer calves which matched the bull prices ranging from $165- $195.

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Some buyers came from Central Hawke's Bay. One said she thought prices were high but she had plenty of whole milk.

Angus X heifer calves leave the NZ Farmers Livestock sale bound for Takapau, sold for $195/head.
Angus X heifer calves leave the NZ Farmers Livestock sale bound for Takapau, sold for $195/head.

Sales continue and livestock agents expect the numbers to swell as the season progresses, attracting buyers looking for larger numbers.

This week there are more sales:

Monday August 6 — NZ Farmer's Livestock Dannevirke A&P Showgrounds
Tuesday August 7 — PGG Wrightsons — Mangatainoka
Wednesday August 8 — Carrfields — Dannevirke A&P Showgrounds
Thursday August 9 — NZ Farmer's Livestock Dannevirke A&P Showgrounds.
This pattern will continue over the next two months.

These Burmeister bull calves sold well for $190/head at the PGG Wrightson's first feeder calf sale at Mangatainoka.
These Burmeister bull calves sold well for $190/head at the PGG Wrightson's first feeder calf sale at Mangatainoka.