NSW studs frantic over on-property sale capabilities

NSW studs frantic over on-property sales future

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NSW's lockdown creating panic about bull, ram sales

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UPDATED MIDDAY:

NSW Health Minister Mr Brad Hazzard has signed an exemption to permit auctions for food supply, livestock, fibre or crops to go ahead in locked down NSW.

The statement says a person can participate in an outdoor public gathering for the purpose of such an auction, and an auction house in regional NSW can open the event to members of the public for such a purpose.

More to come following the Agriculture Minister's 1PM address.

Earlier

NSW SEEDSTOCK producers are furious no lockdown exemption for on-property bull and ram sales is in the pipeline, saying their one big payday of the year is now under serious threat.

They argue on-property sales in the bush would be very low risk, given most are outdoors, are attended only by those coming from rural areas and social distancing would not be difficult.

With the entire of NSW now in lockdown, physical bull and ram sales have been banned because they fall into the category of a gathering of more than two people.

This is despite the fact agriculture is deemed an essential service.

NSW government officials, including Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, have urged studs to go online.

SEE: What the lockdown means for ag

Marc Greening, from family-owned whiteface and Angus seedstock business Injemira Beef Genetics near Wagga Wagga, said that directive was 'embarrassing' on the part of the government given the fact connectivity was so poor, and in places non-existent, in the bush.

"In any case, people purchasing bulls and rams that are going to have a big genetic impact on their herds and flocks want to eyeball the animal," Mr Greening said.

"There is no question income will be significantly reduced for studs. This year's sales were critical for many. Demand is very strong, the market is strong and this year was the 'get out' clause for many of these businesses coming out of drought.

"We are part of the food chain so why aren't we receiving exemptions?"

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Mr Greening said seedstock producers condemned in the strongest possible terms the agriculture minister and his office for not being prepared for a situation that had been on the cards for a long time by having an exemption policy formed and already through the system.

"To convey moving our stud sales online is a simple thing is not only inaccurate in terms of online connectivity ability in the bush but shows how out of touch they are with how this industry operates," he said.

Nutrien Ag Solutions stud stock specialist Rick Power said the potential move will create an uproar.

"In the next seven to 10 days there is Millah Murrah, Hazeldean, and Rennylea - that's some serious players," Mr Power said.

"That's an estimated $6 million in those three alone.

"Bulls are different to Merinos and Poll Dorsets and Border Leicesters are different again. Merinos are probably the scariest one because everyone has a different opinion of what sort of wool they want.

"But every enterprise is different."

The Agriculture Minister was contacted for comment and is now expected to release more details about stud sales just after lunch.

More to come at 1pm following the NSW Agriculture Minister's media conference.

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The story NSW studs frantic over on-property sale capabilities first appeared on Farm Online.

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