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Deer price trends
Schedules are still stuck in their summer lows as exporters report demand from Europe is weak but this is often the case at this time of year with this traditionally autumn eaten product. However the very strong currency and tough financial times in Europe has seen many customers turning to cheaper protein options to make the budget balance and NZ venison sales have suffered.
There is some interest in venison into China but processors are frustrated only two plants are registered to export to that country restricting opportunities of providing options for some of our lower priced cuts. Sales of byproducts into that country are strong and do give added value to the returns from the animal.
Weaner sales in the south have met the market at good weights but are back in price to $4-$4.20 a kg LWT for stags and reflect the cautious venison market and competitive dairy grazing options for finishers. Real concerns are being expressed by breeders as these rates plus less for surplus females eats into returns and some are looking to alternative land uses.
Cooler weather has ignited the roar and farmers will need to ensure male animals are well fed once the rut is finished as the dry may have lowered body weights and they are vunerable to early autumn/winter cold snaps, especiaaly those lighter animals coming out of the drought. Specialist deer vets have been doing a lot of work with the effectiveness of different drench families with weaner animals and operators will need to be up to date with the latest information to ensure these freshly weaned animals are not susceptible to an intestinal worm attack.
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