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The Deer Farmer Tuesday 14th October, 2008
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Little action at velvet pools

02-11-2007 | webmaster

It's proving to be a slow start to the new velvet season.

The first South Island velvet pool of the new season, scheduled to be held on Tuesday, was cancelled because of slow recent velvet growth, and all product on offer at the North Island pool on Wednesday was passed in.

After the South Island pool was cancelled, PGG Wrightson national velvet manager Tony Cochrane sent out a comment that, "More sun [is] required in the south" to get velvet flowing there.

Cochrane tells TDF good warm weather around button drop in early October switched on the stags' velvet growing mechanisms, but since then cold and wet spring weather has slowed velvet growth. "We had frosts in Canterbury last week, and in Southland where most of it is grown there hasn't been a lot of sunlight and grass growth, so the brakes have gone on for velvet growth.

This has resulted in a slow start to the season in the south, very similar to last year. "Normally we'd be rolling in velvet now," he says.

"The quality of the velvet I've seen, though, is very high," says Cochrane. "It has a very nice colour and shape. I'd say it's going to be a good velvet season. The stags have wintered well. It was generally a good autumn and winter was not extremely cold."

Meanwhile, Tony Cochrane says people "sitting on the fence" may have been more of a factor at the North Island pool on Wednesday.

Only 850 kg of velvet was sent in for the first North Island pool of the season and there was "low interest" from buyers, who are remaining "very quiet". The result was a complete passing in of the offering.

"The comment out there is that the velvet price was slightly high at the tail-end of last season," says Cochrane. "We're trying to set a good opening price that is acceptable to both parties. Until we get volume to sell and competition from buyers, there's no point. We won't sell just for the sake of it." Cochrane says he senses farmers are not so inclined to sell straight away this year and says volatility of currency is a concern for buyers."

The second pools will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

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