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NZ Farmers Livestock general manager, Bill Sweeney says the MyLivestock hybrid auction platform, which combines saleyard, farm and online auctions, was developed ahead of last year’s lockdown.
“Providing an online option for farmers to attend and bid at stock sales was a concept we’d been developing for some time. Traditionally farmers are often faced with a day’s travel to attend a sale and the demands of farming often make this very difficult. We wanted to give them options – of either attending a sale or attending any sale in New Zealand on their mobile or home computer.
“Fortuitously, it was ready to launch when the 2020 Covid lockdown was announced - for the first time farmers were able to choose whether to physically or virtually attend a stock sale.
“The ability to ‘virtually’ attend a stock sale opened the country up – farmers were suddenly able to bid at any sale around New Zealand without leaving the farm and they could confidently bid in real time knowing transport and NAIT requirements would be attended to, and the stock would duly arrive on farm. It was a whole new environment and one which farmers embraced.”
The online option didn’t replace physically attending sales however.
“Stock sales have an important social function in rural communities – especially in tough times – and so, throughout Levels 3 and 2 in 2020, we continued to have a good number of farmers attend our sales under strict Covid guidelines.”
Sweeney said the hybrid auction platform will, once again, bolster the beef and dairy industries during the current Covid restrictions.
NZ Farmers Livestock’s 2021 Spring bull sale calendar is one of the largest ever.
“We have a record number of bulls coming forward at 30 sales across the North Island – all of which will continue under Level 3 and 2.”
Around 1000 mainly yearling Jersey, Hereford and Angus bulls will go under the hammer at sales during September and October, in the main on the respective breeder’s farm.