It might not rain grass, but if the prime and store cattle markets of the past week are anything to go by, it has certainly rained confidence.
Agents are quoting increases of anything up to $200 a head - a significant jump on what has otherwise been a lacklustre run.
The National Livestock Reporting Service has also reported increases of 60 to 90 cents a kilogram for some prime market categories at centres such as Tamworth, including for lightweight steers destined for restocker and feeder markets.
Cows, meanwhile, lifted from 190c/kg to 212c/kg.
Ray White Dorrigo agent Tim Bayliss was among those active at last Friday's store sale.
He had clients on the Dorrigo Plateau who received 100 to 200 millimetres of rain and were responding accordingly to opportunities in the market, as well as to the revatlised pastures. This included demand totalling two b-doubles worth of cattle, but is yet to fill this order.
Among those seeking cattle was Chris Gibbins, Avondale, Dorrigo (also on our cover) who bought 10 Angus steers, weighing 200 kilograms that went under the hammer for $610 a head.
"We've had 120mm in three weeks and it's just kicked on," Mr Gibbins said.
Four weeks earlier, he purchased 86 steers, average weight of 320kg, for $580/hd.
"The same steers would have sold for over $800/hd this week easily," he said.
Mr Gibbins, who is currently running 100 breeders and 350 steers, said he could take another 100 steers due to the feed availability.
Meanwhile, on the Clarence, which has been in acute drought, grazier Trevor Wingfield, The Gorge, said last week's thunderstorms painted the family's mountain country "like Kosciuszko", with the run-off filling dams to their brim.
Now, the urgency to feed more than 100 head of trade cattle, purchased at the depths of the market crash, has been alleviated, and all the focus is on future profit.
While the generational family enterprise of 130 years is the definition of resilience, this rain event did come at a cost - with hail flailing their mango orchard already in the heaviest fruit set seen in several years. Beans and cucumbers in their garden took a flogging, too.
But within two days, kikuyu and paspalum was already rebounding.
Ben Emms, Elders Emms Mooney, Bathurst, said there was also good demand again for restocker cattle across the Central Tablelands.
"That was certainly evident on Friday [at Carcoar] - there was plenty of interest for store cattle to put back out," he said.
The Carcoar sale was reported to have lifted by $120 to $150 for steers and typically $120 to $160 for heifers, with heavier heifers sold for as much as $200 dearer.
Robbie Bloch, AWN Squires, Inverell, said Tuesday's market at Inverell was also "a totally different outlook from three weeks ago".
"We had people lining up to buy yesterday," Mr Bloch said.
"Our market was 20 to 30 cents dearer this week, and cattle were a $1/kg dearer than three weeks ago. It's a very different market outlook," he said.
"But we need general rain to properly cement that positivity."
Rodney McDonald, Bowe and Lidbury, Maitland, had a similar tale.
"Our market was 20 to 50 cents better than a couple of weeks ago. At least the job is going the right way," Mr McDonald said.
"People who have been holding on are now starting to contact us and autumn weaners will be starting to hit the market soon."
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