BREEDERS in New Zealand have been flying the Beltex flag and welcomed two new ram lamb record prices at its second sale held at the Gallagher family’s Rangiatea property in Mid Canterbury at the start of the month.
With many returning buyers from last year’s sale plus a large amount of interest from new buyers, farmers have built up confidence in the breed thanks to its successful mating ability, high meat yield and improved carcass conformation.
Selling to Sterl Roadley, from Mautgaturoto, Northland, for the top price of NZ$22,000 and setting the new breed record in the process was a ram lamb. Sterl paid a further NZ$6800 for another ram having forked out NZ$5200 last year for a ram he has been very impressed with thanks to its easy lambing and meat to bone ratio.
Following close behind on NZ$21,000 was another ram lamb which this time sold to the Robinson family at Wyndham, Southland. These not only set new records within the Beltex breed but were also the highest prices paid for ram lambs sold in New Zealand for at least 20 years.
Notably, both these lambs were the result of embryos exported from Andrew Baillie’s Callacrag flock in Lanarkshire, a breeder who exported more than 100 embryos and 200 straws of semen last year.
From a catalogued entry of 22 pure-bred ram lambs, this section averaged approximately NZ$8,500 with the various cross-bred ram lambs also selling extremely well as Beltex x Suffolks averaged NZ$2050.
The event included the first New Zealand sale of Beltex cross two-tooth ewes and ewe lambs and Beltex New Zealand is pleased to report stock is now travelling throughout the country from Northland to Bluff in the south.