Weaner auctions set high hopes against background of low volumes
Agra is pulling out all stops to ensure that more weaners come under the hammer this year following last year’s collapse of the weaner market. The main incentive for farmers is the annual weaner competition for which Agra convinced seven other companies to come on board as sponsors to make the competition exceedingly attractive.
Herman Lintvelt, Regional Manager for Agra Auctions Central, described the 2016 weaner season as one of the toughest to date. “The farmers were in the middle of a crippling drought and at the beginning of July 2016 the export regulations to South Africa were made stricter, making it almost impossible to export livestock to South Africa. [Only] 5977 cattle were sold at all weaner auctions in 2016 compared to 14,572 in 2015, which is 60% less” he said.
Starting on 14 July and running up to 12 September, eighteen weaner auctions have been scheduled for the upcoming marketing season. This year, auctions will also be held at Graal and Aranos.
To participate in the weaner competitions, producers need to put together lots of twelve weaners, either tollies or heifers, with an ideal weight per animal of 220 to 260 kg. Multiple competition entries are allowed. The judges will place great importance on fertility, growth ability, the capacity to produce meat and farming practices like branding, dehorning and uniform weight as the key criteria.
Winners will be announced in three categories, i.e. feedlot potential, veld potential and heifers with breeding potential. The judging at all the competitions will be done by Dawid Krause and Christo Van Zyl of Feedmaster to ensure continuity and credibility.
Agra’s Chief Executive, Arnold Klein, expressed his appreciation to all the sponsors at the launch on Tuesday.
The co-sponsors are Marsh Namibia, Indongo Toyota, Henco Engineering, Bayer, MSD , Agribank and Powerbat Namibia. All sponsorships together amount to more than N$400,000. This will be used as prize money for the category winners and for the grand champion.
In the picture, Agra’s Executive Committee joined the sponsors of this year’s weaner competion at the official launch on Tuesday at the Agra Ring at the Windhoek Showgrounds. The Agra CEO, Arnold Klein is seated in the middle.