17 Nov 2009

Internet-based livestock trading expands

2:08 pm on 17 November 2009

Rural servicing companies are expanding their on-line trading activities for livestock, though they don't see it as a replacement for stockyards and private sales.

In the latest development, PGG Wrightson has expanded its Ag-online auction service to include sheep, beef cattle and deer.

The company set up the livestock auction website in February for dairy cattle. In the first three months turnover was more than $1 million, and the site led to another 30 sales off-line.

PGG Wrightson livestock general manager John McCombe says it expanded to site to include other livestock in response to interest from farmers.

He regards the internet-based system as an additional tool, saying stockyards and private sales will still dominate as farmers will want to see livestock in high-value transactions.

Mr McCombe says its website allows the full transaction to be completed on line. It also provides an independent assessment service through its livestock agents for animals put up for auction.

Allied Farmers started an on-line tendering system for dairy cattle 18 months ago. In that time it has contributed to more than $30 million in dairy sales.

It has also expanded the MyLiveStock site to include a listing service for selling and buying sheep and beef cattle.

Chief executive Paul Macfie says it decided on taking that approach rather than offering a full auction service.

The site is an important component of the existing agent network, he says.