Successful Frankton Livestock Saleyard Restart with live on-line auctions


Physical distancing at the Frankton Saleyards due to COVID-19 restrictions.

After weeks of silence, the Frankton sale yards were bustling with yards of stock up for auction on Wednesday. The sale marks the restart of NZ Farmers Livestock auctions and saw a hybrid of in-yard bidding, along with on-line bidding.

The Frankton sale is the first of four across the country within the next week. Stratford ran very well the next day with a complete clearance. Morrinsville, and Te Kuiti restart next week with Rongotea the week after. Normal saleyard and other advertised yard and on-farm sales continue from there – full details are available on

Bill Sweeney, NZ Farmers Livestock General Manager, said both the Frankton and Stratford sales were very successful with both in-yard and on-line bidders competing for stock in a seamless, realtime manner.

“The safety of everyone involved in livestock sales is a constant focus and we devoted a huge amount of time over several weeks ensuring COVID-19 safety for all participants. Having proven that the Level 3 COVID-19 safety arrangements we developed are keeping people safe, NZ Farmers Livestock is now working to bring this capability to other livestock saleyards, and scheduling on-farm sales using the hybrid bidding options.

“There was a very high clearance of the stock on sale at Frankton and we were pleased with prices in what has become a very uncertain market. Sale details will support wider price discovery within the industry, and this performance and level of successful sale completion reinforces the importance of saleyard and on-farm auctions for farmers, particularly when compared to the relatively poor results from the on-line only alternative platforms.”

Sweeney said “a huge team effort brought together the technical capability to support real auctions in NZ with on-line bidding capability with the protocols, arrangements and attendee behaviours to ensure a COVID-safe and successful sale.

“Over the past few weeks NZ Farmers Livestock has consulted with the industry and regulators to deliver this option for farmers, and I want to acknowledge the innovation, investment and commitment that had made this possible in such a short time. The need for a vibrant hybrid auction system has never been so critical with farmers emerging from drought and going into winter.

“It goes without saying that we couldn’t have done this without engagement with MPI who we believe also appreciated the need to improve livestock trading options for farmers across the country.

“This restart under Level 3 has come in the nick of time for a lot of dairy farmers, with many still needing to sell part or whole dairy herds before the June changeover and start of the 2020/2021 season.

“The improved buyer participation options of the program we have developed benefits vendors because, at the end of the day, best outcomes are achieved when more buyers participate,” Bill Sweeney said.

NZ Farmers Livestock is a New Zealand owned subsidiary of Allied Farmers.

For further comment: Bill Sweeney. General Manager Livestock, NZ Farmers Livestock Ltd Phone 0274 515 310