Entries have officially closed for the Sydney Royal Show cattle competitions and while numbers are down, organisers couldn't be happier given the circumstances.
Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Speckle Park and Simmental/Fleckvieh will boast the biggest entry numbers when judging begins in April.
Almost 50 per cent of beef exhibitors have entered this year's Royal based on an average attendance with 78 per cent in the dairy section.
Sydney Royal cattle committee chair Greg Watson said like 2020, this year would not be a normal year due to COVID-19, so this was a strong result.
"Exhibitors faced many barriers leading into the 2021 Sydney Royal Cattle Show, including uncertainty around the show, border restrictions, and limited preparation time to get stock ready, not to mention the ongoing impact of the drought, bush fires and COVID-19, which has taken a toll," he said.
"As we've seen with so many other agricultural competitions, it is a challenge to plan events under COVID-19 safety guidelines, so from a logistics perspective, the reduction in entries this year will also allow for increased physical distancing on the cattle lawns and in on-site accommodation, ensuring we can deliver a strong, successfully and safe competition.
"I look forward to welcoming our beef and dairy cattle exhibitors to Sydney in April and working with our cattle exhibitors to bring the Sydney Royal back to full capacity when the RAS celebrates its bicentennial year in 2022."
The uncertainty around COVID-19 and restrictions between states has meant no Queensland or Western Australian cattle will be present. School exhibits have also been impacted.
With Beef 21 just a few weeks after the Sydney event some exhibitors in the north are understood to have opted not to risk a potential border closure that could impact their Rockhampton plans.
The Beef 21 stud cattle committee is said to have reported comparable entry numbers to 2018.
The Land contacted Beef 21 for comment.
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