Holding stock pays off

Holding onto stock pays off during COVID-19 restrictions | Markets Murmurs

Beef
Agent Chris Paterson with vendors Jillian and Trevor Foley, Dallyn, Armidale, who sold their top pen of steers for 426 cents a kilogram ($1603 a head) and their top heifers for 436c/kg ($1347/hd) during the Tamworth prime sale on Monday. Photo: Michelle Mawhinney

Agent Chris Paterson with vendors Jillian and Trevor Foley, Dallyn, Armidale, who sold their top pen of steers for 426 cents a kilogram ($1603 a head) and their top heifers for 436c/kg ($1347/hd) during the Tamworth prime sale on Monday. Photo: Michelle Mawhinney

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As NSW COVID-19 restrictions ease vendors have enjoyed being able to see their livestock sold at saleyards once again.

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THE urge to see their own cattle sold at auction paid off for two Armidale graziers during the Tamworth prime cattle sale on Monday.

Up until recently, COVID-19 restrictions at NSW saleyards meant vendors were not allowed to stay in the saleyards during the sale.

As restrictions ease, some vendors have once again enjoyed the ability to see the auction action at the yards, including graziers and livestock carriers Jillian and Trevor Foley, Dallyn, Armidale.

They sold Angus and Angus-cross vealers in a market Meat and Livestock Australia quoted dearer than last week.

The Foleys said their August- and October-drop calves would normally be sold in May, but COVID-19 restrictions meant they held onto them until they could see them sold.

The calves were straight off the cows which were fed pellets, hay and Anipro during the drought.

Ironically, while much of the Foleys' livestock transport business involves transporting stock to Armidale, it also means that selling there is logistically difficult.

That's because transporting clients' cattle is the priority and it leaves little time to truck and sell their own to Armidale on sale day.

The Foleys decided to sell through Tamworth Regional Livestock Exchange after an inspection last year.

Meanwhile, Victorian vendors have yet to have the opportunity to see their cattle sold as some saleyards continue to impose the stricter restrictions.

The resurgence of cases of COVID-19 in Victoria has also meant management of the border saleyards at Northern Victorian Livestock Exchange near Wodonga has had to enforce original restrictions for all sales until further notice.

The decision was made in conjunction with operating agents on Monday.

This means only those essential to the sale process can attend the sale (operating agents, pre-approved buyers, transporters and RLX staff), mandatory visual buyer identification and verification must be displayed and all those in attendance must continue to sign in on arrival.

At the same time, the NSW Government is helping businesses return to normal trade through the launch of a new suite of resources to guide NSW rural businesses as they manage the risk of COVID-19.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson launched the resources at a farm in Hoskinstown last week.

"Now that the COVID restrictions are easing it's time to get NSW's regional economy back up and running," Mr Barilaro said.

Mr Anderson said these new materials have been specifically created for businesses without a shopfront, to ensure everyone across the state has access to industry specific, practical guidance to prevent the spread of the virus.

"The materials available include practical, inexpensive guidance to keep your workers safe during this time," he said.

"Common misconceptions for agricultural workers are that you can't ride in a car with others or that you can't hire seasonal workers anymore. That's simply not true so long as you have the right measures in place."

Some of the measures agricultural businesses and farms can take include: avoiding close contact in vehicles and lowering windows for ventilation; ensuring drivers assisting with loading stock minimise contact with surfaces; communication over phone or radio rather than in person where possible, and contactless delivery through electronic paperwork rather than signature on delivery.

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