DRY weather is affecting everybody in the Central West forcing stock onto the markets in particular AuctionsPlus last week where more than 70,000 lambs and 25,000 sheep were offered.
Dubbo lamb and sheep sale as I write this column have drawn for 12,216 lambs and 13,940 sheep for Monday's sale, sheep numbers are increasing each week the drier the paddocks become.
At last week's market at Dubbo there were 14,100 lambs and 16,200 sheep penned with lambs being dearer except for heavies which were firm to $2 cheaper topping at $267. The top suckers reached $259.
Wagga, however, is having a much better season with 41,000 lambs and 21,000 sheep penned last Thursday with the top heavies quoted at $12 cheaper selling for $270 and the new season lambs also fell $12 topping at $269, even though it was a very good quality yarding.
Moving to cattle markets, store numbers are becoming harder to find due to a large number of unfinished cattle selling in prime markets.
The only store market to quote came from CTLX Carcoar where 1465 head were penned.
Weaner cattle were in the majority with 715 steers yarded being $30 to $40 dearer and averaging $695 or 266 cents a kilogram. Weaner heifers gained $80 and averaged $510 or 221c/kg.
Pregnancy-tested-in-calf cows were limited in numbers selling from $700 to $950 and 138 cows with calves ranged from $820 to $1500 for a pen of Angus/Limousins on their first calving.
AuctionsPlus offered 2353 head last Friday of which 1850 were cows and calves, 282 were heifers and 200 were cows. The top sale of cows and calves came from Holbrook selling for $1920, they were 58 first calf Poll Hereford heifers, 2.5 to 2.7 years of age with an average weight of 507kg.
In the prime market Dubbo yarded 4050, while Wagga penned 4700 head.
Dubbo market principally was dearer for the better finished cattle however, heavy steers and bullocks fell 10c/kg with the remaining categories being firm to dearer with feeder heifers improving 10c/kg and grown heifers gaining 8c/kg.
Wagga on the other hand quoted a cheaper market with processor young cattle slipping back 30c/kg or more. Heavy steers and bullocks numbers declined with well finished steers meeting stronger demand and selling from 278c/kg to 324c/kg. Bullocks were limited and averaged 309c/kg, grown heifers made from 220c/kg to 326c/kg.
The volatile nature of the wool market continued last week with the market retreating on the first day giving back all of the previous week's gain. A total of 30,189 bales were sold with the passed in and withdrawal rate sitting on 25pc.
With no rain forecast for the next week farmers are wondering about their harvesting prospects with a lot of crops being either eaten off or cut for hay.
May Huey think of the Central West very soon.
- Geoff Plasto is a director of Plasto and Company, Wellington, and a member of ALPA.