IN THE grip of another dry year across the western plains it is easy to let the weather dictate your mood.
We can get so focused on feed and water issues in these times we can overlook the obvious.
Producers in the north west of the state are all too familiar with being in defensive mode and are fairly tuned up since the move into the twenty first century about dealing with drought.
It is an ugly word and no-one likes to use it because of the connotations, but it has started to appear in many conversations in the north western regions in the past few months.
We are not seeing it in the national media yet so the nation doesn’t know!
Up here… we are in a drought.
Speaking with an elder statesman of the farming community in the north of our district, he commented it could be the worst he has seen the country look in his career.
This should not stop producers normal course of action. We should be so grateful that markets are not only absorbing stock, prices are still relatively respectable.
If it hasn’t rained here, we should be thankful it has rained where fellow producers can get on with their spring and look to take advantage of the trade.
Again, our lamb producers are opting to offer their lamb crop as suckers or weaners off mum and realising in excess of $100.
In many cases these lambs have only been marked.
Many of these are making new homes in Victoria and southern NSW.
The regions cattlemen are now delving into breeding stock to alleviate pressure on feed and water.
Again they are not being given away.
Vendors are quickly realigning their values to meet the market, but if you haven’t sold for a couple of months and you set your sights too high, it will bite you.
Restockers in the fortunate areas will be discerning.
In tune with end prices, they will make their adjustments.
I think we are on a new playing field and if cautious, everyone should still enjoy the game.
Grain prices have improved dramatically in line with supply and projections.
This is great news for the farming producers but it would be prudent for the cattle traders who target trade and feeder cattle to adjust their expectations when doing budgets as feedlot margins diminish with the squeeze.
Be aware that many feedlots are at capacity because of forced supply and plan your marketing ahead.
It is pleasing to see the live trade still providing competition in the north.
This is another string to the bow of options and needs to be respected and protected.
Through this adversity we must avoid letting the weather dictate our mood.
We can’t control that. We can control our response.