MANAGEMENT at numerous saleyards across NSW have advised those attending cattle and sheep markets to keep in mind a few common sense considerations before leaving home.
These include considering whether your attendance at the sale is absolutely necessary and staying home if you are feeling unwell or if you have been overseas in the past 14 days.
A few simple hygiene practices have also been requested, such as cleaning hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub; covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow, and maintaining a safe social distance from other people where possible.
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AAM Investment Group, as manager and operator of the Regional Livestock Exchange network of selling facilities, has advised viewing areas, using large digital screens, will also be established to reduce crowding in saleyard laneways and walkways.
In addition, the company will extend its online platform for remote sale-day participation, StockLive, across all sites and sales.
The Inverell, Carcoar, Singleton, Tamworth and Wodonga saleyards all fit under the RLX unbrella.
Big cattle yardings on the coast
COASTAL saleyards have experienced an influx of cattle in recent weeks and producers have been cashing in on the better prices.
The yarding swelled to just under 2500 at Kempsey sale last Thursday.
Kempsey Stock and Land agents reported this was one of the largest yardings ever seen at Kempsey saleyards.
Feedlot orders from Queensland, the Hunter and northern NSW, plus backgrounders and processors, kept up the pace in what ended up being a firm to dearer market.
Some of the highlights included Angus weaner steers tipping the scales at less than 200 kilograms topping at 520c/kg, while Angus heifers, 152kg, topped at 484c/kg.
Agents said a large line of well-presented feeder cattle attracted keen bidding, with heavy feeders over 400kg making up to 420c/kg, and similar weight heifers selling to 396.2c/kg.
Nutrien's clearing sale roster pause
FARM services company Nutrien Ag Solutions has decided to cancel clearing sales it was planning to run across Australia.
The decision, in response to COVID-19 health concerns in public places, was effective from the close of business on Tuesday.
The company said it would review the decision in two weeks' time and consider any changing circumstances.
"We have made this decision to ensure we comply with the federal government's moves to ban non-essential gatherings over 500 people," a company statement said.
"We know this will be disruptive to our customers, but we must make decisions that are in the best interests of the health of our employees, our customers and the general public.
"We also have a duty to reconsider non-essential gatherings like clearing sales in order to limit the possibility for transmission of the coronavirus."
Taking no chances at Blayney Show
AMID all the talk of protection and precautionary measures this week due to COVID-19, it was good to see the students of Lithgow High School were taking no chances in the sheep and cattle shed at Blayney Show on the weekend.
One of their special show sheep was not only wearing a wide-brimmed hat, it was sporting a pair of dark sunglasses as it waited patiently for its time in the show ring.
The look was so arresting that passers-by were getting in each other's road as they tried to take a photo on their phone, jostling for position as they attempted to capture the scene.
It was almost - but not quite - as busy and chaotic as the toilet paper aisle at your local supermarket during the past month.