2 Feb 2009

Online livestock auction system set up

1:36 pm on 2 February 2009

Rural service firm, PGG Wrightson has set up an online system to allow farmers to buy and sell livestock nationwide.

Dairy farmers will be the first to trade herds on the Agonline service. Sheep, beef, deer and other commercial stock farmers will be able to trade later this year.

Each listing will include independent information from the Livestock Improvement Company about the animal's performance and breed.

The company is confident the online auction system will not attract the criticism as that levelled at the service owned by dairy giant Fonterra, which has been accused of driving prices down.

PGG Wrightson dairy livestock manager Paul Edwards said the new service is in fact likely to drive prices up.

He said it will make the animals available to a wider range of buyers, and vendors will be in control of the sale as they will list stock with an undisclosed reserve.

The company's general manager of customer services Mike Skilling said the growing access of cheaper broadband into the regions is likely to mean the service will be "revenue positive" in a year to 18 months.