[12 October/ New Zealand Herald]

Livestock markets have reached a traditionally slow period, allowing farmers to reflect on the season and the future. The store cattle market is stable with low numbers helping to keep store values high, while the sheep market goes through seasonal slowdown period. Over this period, farmers are attempting to get new crops or grass around the wet weather. As ground temperatures increase, the grass is growing. Independent Whanganui Livestock Commentator David Cotton said confidence in the sheep and beef industry is returning as beef is stable. Mr Cotton added interest rates remain low and the mutton market is over $4.30 per kilogramme, compared to $2.85 in the comparative period last year. Mr Cotton noted there were good lamb contracts on offer with set price or minimum price being offered for spring lambs. Mr Cotton commented on the busy farming real estate market this spring, as some good farms are entering the market.