AS THE drought continues to bite there’s been a notable increase in the number of cows and young females being offered at prime sales right across NSW.
Inverell prime sale numbers soared to a new high with 3889 cattle offered on Tuesday, while at Armidale supply increased to 3100 head last Thursday which was its highest level in five years.
At Carcoar the yarding hit 2830 head and at Dubbo the offering was just shy of 6000 cattle.
The supply was back a tad at Gunnedah on Tuesday, however at 3185 head that’s still a sizable yarding dominated by mostly female cattle.
It was reported the large supply has taken its toll on the market at Gunnedah, with both processors and restockers saturated for numbers as the offload continues.
The Land’s Cow Indicator settled at 164 cents a kilogram this week.
That’s about 24c/kg cheaper than last week, while it’s 36c/kg lower than this time last year.
Even in the south of the state at Wagga Wagga prime sale last Thursday the hot, dry weather was forcing farmers to sell. The yarding ended up at 4500 cattle and including in this were about 1500 cows, some of which were pregnancy tested in calf.
The price situation for cows sold direct to processors is no better than the saleyards with many processors having plenty of stock to fill their requirements already on hand.
On average NSW cows sold over-the-hooks this week returned 12c/kg (carcase weight) less than the week before.
There’s a big price range too - most quotes were from 334c/kg to 403c/kg.
The big cow sell off is also expected to hit hard the estimates of the size of the national herd.
Large numbers of vealer and yearling heifers recorded in Meat and Livestock Australia’s saleyard reports each week are heading to slaughter, which in a normal season might have returned to the paddock.
In many cases the number of young females being sold outnumbers the supply of young prime steers.
MLA have estimated the national herd to fall to 26.2 million head in 2019, however I suspect we could be looking at even bigger falls before the year is out.
Only time will tell as we all wait for rain.
Dubbo agents offer a helping hand
THE devastating floods in north Queensland seem to have faded from the national media’s spotlight, but the farmers and businesses doing it tough have not been forgotten by the rural community in NSW.
There are plenty of fundraisers being held to help out - too numerous to list here, however it’s worth mentioning that many stock and station agents are holing special sales of donated stock to raise funds.
Dubbo agent Tom Pollard from Peter Milling and Company, in conjunction with the Dubbo Stock and Station Agents have organised a charity auction of saleable donated cattle to be sold at the Dubbo prime sale on March 14.
The money raised will go towards the North Queensland Farmers Flood Drive.
Tom said there has already been some very generous donations of cattle from Central West graziers to be sold at the sale.
- If you want to donate cattle for this sale contact Tom Pollard, Peter Milling and Company, on 0499 823 544