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Livestock auctions on a positive trajectory: highest bull sold for half a million

Livestock auctions serve a vital role in helping livestock farmers to buy and sell animals. Farmers also get a chance to connect, network and know of others in the same industry. Livestock auctions are normally comprised of selling a mixture of animals such as; goats, sheep, beef and dairy cattle.

Auctions have the advantage of bringing more buyers to a specific event, resulting in better prices and a competitive environment with secure payments. Although the country have been battling the past recurring drought, the livestock sector has been showing some positive attributes which has led to an upward trajectory towards the number of livestock auctions since 2020.

According to Paul Klein; AGRA general manager for Agra Auctions, the numbers of livestock auctions are increasing due to better farming conditions and good prices. A trend that they have been observing since 2020. AGRA is a major player in the auction/livestock market, having their own livestock auction pens but also utilising the use of private auction facilities at farms, farmers associations and community kraals.

With a total number of 30 auction pens, AGRA is known to conduct livestock auctions in the following regions: //Karas, Hardap, Khomas, Omaheke, Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Kunene. Every region is known to consist of a specific farming mix and thus contributes accordingly.                                                                                                      Paul has highlighted that the number of livestock auctions normally vary from year to year, depending on farming and climatic cycles. The bigger auctions normally take place in Grootfontein, Gobabis and Otjiwarongo.

Over the past two years, prices have remained reasonably high due to good demand. As of 2022; the average price for tollies was N$ 38.68 /Kg, Heifers N$ 38.07 /Kg, Sheep N$ 1 285 /head and goat N$ 1 298 /head.

Stud animals have also been attracting competitive prices. As of 2022, the highest price for a bull on auction at AGRA was recorded to be a Bonsmara breed that was bought for half a million (N$ 500 000). Some of their highest earning bulls were also sold for good prices such as; Simbra N$ 240 000, Limousin N$ 190 000, Simentaler N$ 180 000, Charolais and Brahman N$ 170 000 and a Boran that was sold for N$ 130 000.

As with small-stock, the highest goat ram was recorded to have been sold for N$ 350 000. Boer goat ewe & lamb have also been recorded to have been sold for N$ 80 000.

Paul has revealed that the commercial and stud auctions offer the best balance between supply and demand and they have seen an increase in numbers, as well as unit price over the medium term since 2019. Farmers also have been increasingly attending auctions and there is a growing trend of this due to improved farming conditions and good market prices