Supreme confidence in the agricultural sector is reflected in extraordinary prices paid for flock rams of all breeds and herd bulls this spring selling season.
Demand for breeding stock might be explained by the mantra - 'Don't get between a cockie and paddock of green grass' - but is 'green-grass fever' enough to account for the determined bidding seen during on-property sales.
There is no doubt livestock producers of all persuasions are well financed coming into the second year of very good seasons and terrific commodity prices.
And with money in their pockets and with the prospects of another record winter crop harvest, the committed livestock producers are prepared to plough their gains into better genetics to create even greater productivity for the future.
Ensuring the longevity of their breeding goals might be one reason for the keenness of producers, and while one studmaster, in conversation, thought there might be some peer pressure behind the lift in prices, perhaps the focus by studs on commensurately lifting the productive potential of their sale rams or bulls might be a more serious underlying reason.
I am seeing the measurement of an animal's genetic potential is certainly driving the demand for the better indexing sires at those studs which have moved in that direction.
Buyers at those studs still concentrate on the physical traits of the ram or bull before they commit hard earned cash, and at those studs which put constitution and structure ahead of raw figures, long-term clients have also lifted their budgets when seeking replacement sires.
So, how do you value replacement sires in the current market? Well, it will all depend on the individual and their cash flow.
And ultimately, if the buyer is satisfied in his or her mind, in the paddock, the yards or on the auction floor, who is in a position to doubt the wisdom of paying good money for superior genetics.
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