Lamb yardings stumble

NSW lamb yardings stumble

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Steve Grantham and the Elders team selling new season lambs at the weekly Corowa prime lamb sale on Monday. Photo: Corowa Associated Stock Agents

Steve Grantham and the Elders team selling new season lambs at the weekly Corowa prime lamb sale on Monday. Photo: Corowa Associated Stock Agents

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The trade lamb indicator dipped another 23 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) to settle at 684c/kg.

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LAMB prices have continued to weaken in the past week across NSW even on the back of reduced yardings at saleyards.

The trade lamb indicator dipped another 23 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) to settle at 684c/kg.

That's now about 140c/kg cheaper than this time last year.

Heavy lambs traditionally destined for our export markets lost 12c/kg to average 625c/kg. When compared with this time last year, the heavy lamb market was about 190c/kg lower.

Over-the-hooks rates also took a tumble in recent weeks, although continue to average higher than the saleyards for lambs hitting all the right specifications.

The 18kg to 24kg lambs sold direct to processors were at a flat rate of 700c/kg, according to Meat and Livestock Australia's weekly OTH report.

OTH prices recorded a range of 700c/kg to 750c/kg the week before, indicating processors are winding back their offers as new season lambs hit the market in some districts.

From a supply perspective, MLA reported there were 76,699 lambs sold via NSW saleyards last week, which was back from 101,742 head the week before. The supply slip is even more significant when compared with yardings a month ago.

In the last week of July, the NSW lamb yardings sat at 108,561 head.

Soft underfoot at the Singleton sale

A MAJOR investment in improved animal welfare and livestock performance has been underway at Singleton's Hunter Regional Livestock Exchange with the recent installation of soft flooring.

Steve Davidge, the site manager at HRLX, said the flooring improvement and modifications to selling pens had been a top priority since Regional Livestock Exchange took over the facility.

"Animal welfare is always a priority here at HRLX and we saw the addition of soft flooring as a critical inclusion," Mr Davidge said.

More than 220 undercover selling pens are now completely covered with a thick layer of woodchip over the concrete floor.

Woodchip flooring creates a more relaxing environment.

At other RLX sites which have had this flooring for some time, animals are more likely to "camp" on the floor prior to sale.

It can also improve feed consumption and overall cattle presentation.

This can have a significant impact on liveweight shrinkage by reducing weight loss by two to three per cent during the curfew period, which, as well as being better for cattle, can increase profits for vendors.

"The livestock have become much calmer when handled and drafted," Mr Davidge said.

"The soft flooring also assists in the reduction of noise, which has a positive impact on livestock and provides a better environment for the people working in and around the facility.

"It does take more thought and time to maintain the woodchip flooring - but the benefits are truly worth it."

Further upgrades to the site will commence in the coming months as part of RLX's site development program.

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