THE annual Big Country bull sale in Queensland’s Charters Towers has been postponed for a fortnight due to monsoonal rain inundating the region.
The sale, which was scheduled to take place in the gold city on Monday, February 4 and Tuesday, February 5 has been pushed back by two weeks and will instead take place over two days from Monday, February 18.
Geaney's Real Estate and Livestock agents Jim Geaney said the decision to postpone the sale had not been made lightly, but was in the best interests of vendors, buyers and the cattle.
“There were a number of things that were taken into consideration,
“Certainly the existing weather and the forecast weather has caused some road closures.
“There would have been some difficulty in getting the bulls in and not all vendors would have made it, and secondly, there is the issue of getting the buyers in and them getting their bulls home.
“In light of that the other factor is animal welfare issues with the yards here, the prolonged forecast is for the rain to continue and we wouldn’t want them standing in the rain for days.”
Mr Geaney said the sale had been postponed previously on occasions and it was not a decision that was made lightly.
He said holding off for two weeks would hopefully allow the district to dry out, and for green shoots to appear.
“Hopefully everyone will see some green grass growing and that will be a benefit.
“Also, the commercial price of cattle was on the downward trend because of that supply and demand issue, there had been an oversupply of cattle because of the dry conditions.
“This rain should absolutely be a confidence booster and certainly in another couple of weeks once it has dried out a bit, there is nothing better than walking away to go to cattle sale and have the back up of green grass, that green tinge is a confidence booster in in itself.”
Mr Geaney said vendors had been contacted and asked to hold off transporting their bulls before the final decision to postpone the sale was made at 9am today.
McCaffrey’s ALM auctioneer Ken McCaffrey said the rain was a wonderful reason to be forced to postpone the event.
“The sale generally attracts vendors, buyers and Sale visitors from the Northern Territory, New South Wales and all over Queensland so the decision had to be an early call in consideration of those who travel long distances to the event,” Mr McCaffrey said.
“Numerous cattle producers we have been talking to have not had these sorts of falls for many, many years.
“The soaking that much of the northern cattle country is getting now is just what the country needs.
“It’s the best good news story for a long time, worth tens of millions of dollars to the cattle industry.
“For many producers, this will bring enormous relief from the challenging and costly long period of many dry years, and we hope it is only just the start.”
A total of 365 Brahman bulls and stud heifers will be yarded at this year’s sale.