Elite dairy herd features in first on-farm clearing sale with live online bidding


Elite herd of high indexed crossbred dairy cows go under the hammer

The country’s first on-farm clearing sale with live online bidding will see an elite herd of high indexed crossbred dairy cows go under the hammer.

The sale will take place on the farm of Shaun and Kelly Bicknell at 169 Horomanga Road, Galatea on Tuesday 12 May 2020.

Bill Sweeney, General Manager of NZ Farmers Livestock, said his company is privileged to represent the Bicknell family in the sale of a herd whose genetics go back more than 60 years.

The sale of the Bicknell herd was originally set down for the end of March but, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, had to be deferred to 12 May.

“The farm has been sold so the entire herd of 240 cows, 57 two year old heifers and 70 yearling heifers will go under the hammer. The average BW and PW for the herd is 150 and 210 respectively with some cows as high as BW 268 and PW 550. All cows are due to calve from mid-July, with a number carrying contract matings,” Bill Sweeney said.

The once-a-day herd has consistently produced 400kg ms/cow on a System 2-3.

Shaun Bicknell said the sale of the herd marks the end of an era for the Bicknell family. “Originally we planned to sell the herd in milk at the end of March, but COVID-19 put paid to that. It’s been a stressful time with the farm change-over date fast approaching and we’re really appreciative – and relieved - that NZ Farmers Livestock were able to deliver the online platform to enable the clearing sale to take place on 12 May.

“There’ll be a few tears when these cows go under the hammer and not just from the kids,” Shaun Bicknell said.

Bill Sweeney said NZ Farmers Livestock’s unique live online bidding platform means that farmers across New Zealand will be able to virtually attend and bid at the clearing sale.

“Developed to provide a real-time auction experience under COVID-19 Alert Levels, bidders who cannot physically attend the farm will be treated to a real-time experience online. We will have a number of cameras positioned around the sale ring so farmers can see the cows moving around giving them the same visual experience they would have if they were sitting ring-side. Bidding is easy and in real-time.”

“NZ Farmers Livestock is delighted that the first onfarm clearing sale with online bidding features such an elite herd,” Bill Sweeney said. “We are receiving a record level of enquiry from farmers around the country and anticipate a high level of interest in the herd and replacement stock.”

Due to Covid-19 restrictions NZ Farmers Livestock will only grant physical access to those farmers/buyers intending to bid/purchase at the clearing sale. Viewers or members of the public will not be admitted. Buyers will need to pick up a buyer number upon entry.

Bill Sweeney said farmers wanting to bid onliine are encouraged to register on MyLivestock where they will find a comprehensive overview of the herd. “We are also encouraging bidders to take the opportunity to attend some of the virtual saleyard auctions which NZ Farmers Livestock will be carrying out over the next week.

“This will give them insight to what’s involved and a degree of comfort when it comes to the clearing sale which commences at noon on 12 May,” Bill Sweeney said.

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