Stud stock agents say a coronavirus-influenced move to conduct sales online may limit the lengths buyers will take their bids to this season.
The question of whether buyers would be more hesitant to pay big dollars for animals without pre sale inspections is on the minds of many producers forced quickly into the virtual selling world.
Elders studstock sales NSW manager Paul Jameson, Dubbo, believed good money could still be paid by studs chasing potential stud sires, but may not be seen coming from commercial buyers.
"I think we will see changes in how those sort of (high quality, stud potential) bulls or females are marketed - we need people to know they are there," Mr Jameson said.
"There is a lot of tools and resources now to get the information out there, and I think we will see a lot of pre-sale inspections, especially from stud breeders that have identified certain traits they are chasing."
"We won't see it (big prices paid) as much from commercial bull buyers."
Independent auctioneer Paul Dooley, Paul Dooley Pty Ltd, Tamworth, agreed and thought it would be difficult for bulls to make high prices unless they had been inspected before the sale.
"No doubt people will take at punt at the right rate, but as good as some videos are, people are not going to spend $30,000 to $40,000 (or more) unless they have seen the animals themselves," Mr Dooley said.
"A lot of studs will be working towards offering clients one-on-one inspections prior to sales, and how this will work will change from place to place."
With travel restrictions in place between states, a reliance on outside opinion and advice from agents or independent assessors may be on the rise.
"We definitely will see more agents being asked to inspect cattle (or sheep)," he said.
"But it is all about rapport and relationships with clients. It takes a long time to build up trust and respect, and respecting the opinion of seeing the good and the bad in animals."
Mr Jameson said the teleconference, virtual type of sales may be easier in a sense for the beef industry, but it would be interesting come Merino ram sales in the spring.
"The way around it is going to have to be scheduled field days and open days to allow limited numbers of people access to inspections prior to sale," he said.
With a few months before ram sale season starts, Nutrien Ag Solutions studstock specialist Rick Power said most sheep studs were remaining positive that by August/September all of the restrictions and regulations would be sorted.
"You will see some talking more about interfaced sales, but while it works for beef they don't work for Merino sales where people like to feel the wool," Mr Power said.
"They want to handle the wool, so they would have to inspect prior.
"If they do go online, I can't see a premium as nothing beats an open auction with the auctioneer, hype prior to the sale, people talking and comparing sheep.
"In stud sales, the better rams will have a higher reserve in an interfaced sale - but where do you start? Some may say he is a $20,000 ram, others a $5000."
It was crucial in the seedstock industry to bring consistency to footage and photos, so no one is disadvantaged by having something up that was not quite right, Mr Jameson said.
"In a multi-vendor sale, or not even a stud sale any AuctionsPlus cattle sale on a Friday, there is a stand of quality of photography or video done by anyone and everyones," he said.
"We have all learnt that in the last couple of weeks ... those done off an iPhone unfortunately just are not as good as the professional videos.
"Videographers are in a rosy patch at the moment, as we see that sector of the industry grow their workloads will be increasing."
Mr Power said that maintaining consistency in the videos, backdrops, and on-farm set ups where footage was being taken was difficult. Mr Dooley said it was harder to showcase a Merino ram in a video, unlike a bull.