Hard work now paying dividends

Reaping the rewards of hard work

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Marie Barnes, Micathel Boer Goat Stud, Cudal, NSW, believes the benefits being seen in the market are the fruits of 20 years hard work by the industry.

Marie Barnes, Micathel Boer Goat Stud, Cudal, NSW, believes the benefits being seen in the market are the fruits of 20 years hard work by the industry.

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Boer goat producers are enjoying a solid export market after more than 20 years of hard toil

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Fresh from claiming yet another Best Doe In Show at the prestigious Sydney Royal Easter Show, Boer goat producer Marie Barnes of Micathel Stud, Cudal, went straight back to work.

Within a couple of days of her victory, Ms Barnes filled a 106 goat export order to Asia, the area where she does the majority of her international business.

While it was a hectic time for her, Ms Barnes couldn't be happier as she sees the continued growing of the Boer goat export market as the rewards for 20 years of hard work by the industry.

"It has taken a while, but we are seeing some real positives in both the domestic and export markets," Ms Barnes said.

"This has only come about through some hard work by producers who are offering consistency and integrity in their product and industry bodies like the Boer Goat Breeders Association of Australia.

"Work has gone into breeders knowing the market better, and producing quality product.

"This work has grown the trust export countries have in our product, strengthening the price and regularity of orders.

"Buyers are also appreciating a better managed system."

Ms Barnes runs the successful Micathel Boer Goat Stud on her 106 hectare property Bonsmara in the NSW's Central West.

She also runs Eldervale Poll Shorthorns cattle stud, which is where the property gets its name as Bonsmara is a South African cattle breed containing short horns.

Ms Barnes has 200 breeding does and as part of her program, joins them in groups of 20 to 25 with a buck for each group.

This allows her to create the most consistent lines of progeny.

As Micathel is a closed stud, this also allows Ms Barnes to regulate in-breeding.

Micathel Boer Goats and the Shorthorn stud only make up part of Ms Barnes' operation.

The experienced breeder also consults for overseas enterprises which she supplies to.

"I consult on breeding programs for clients, as well as help set up nutrition management systems, protocols and also assist with troubleshooting issues in existing facilities," she said.

"Before COVID-19, I would travel to Asia to help set up new facilities as well as help established ones maximise their breeding results.

"Through a client in the UK, I also supply embryos and semen into Europe.

"Since COVID I still consult, just virtually.

"It is a very rewarding part of my business.

"I enjoyed going over and seeing the daughters and granddaughters of my does providing progeny for a successful operation."

Angus McPherson of Cluny Livestock Exports, Gympie, agrees that the export market has become strong through diligence, but said that COVID-19 has made it more difficult to fill orders.

Cluny Livestock Exports has been operating for 13 years with zero animal fatalities in that time.

"Boer goat operations are enjoying a very good market at the moment," Mr McPherson said.

"The problem is getting planes to some countries.

"just before COVID, I had 10 contracts to Nepal.

"But since the pandemic, no planes have gone to Nepal so it has been impossible to fill them.

"Lanes to the Philippines and Malaysia are open with contracts being filled in both countries.

"Often we are using passenger planes with no passengers on them, just goats.

"There are a number of countries which want goats but we just can't get them there."

Mr McPherson said that while the market was very good now, stronger than expected domestic prices may make it difficult for overseas buyers.

"Domestic prices are very strong as operations look to re-stock and others also look to expand," he said.

"Six years ago Boer goats were $400 each.

"Today they are going for between $1200 and $1500 each.

"These high prices may put off some overseas buyers.

"Consistent rain in many areas has created abundant feed which has been stored or made into silage.

"Many operations across areas of QLD are already carrying 18 months of feed and solid rain events look like producing another strong season.

"This has given producers the confidence to re-stock.

"There are also going to be some big farms here.

"Some farms have the potential to carry 20,000 goats with one able to carry 100,000.

"This is not only great news for supply, but is also very exciting for breeders like Ms Barnes who sell their bucks and does."

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