THE region’s recent dry spell has forced cattle farmers to make tough calls about their stock and has seen numbers at Gunnedah’s weekly cattle sale remain steady.
More than 3000 head of cattle went under the hammer at this week’s auction with usual buyers in attendance.
Gunnedah stock agent Guy Gallen told The Namoi Valley Independent the quality of the cattle at recent sales had still been strong despite the dry conditions.
“From the guys I have spoken to and from what I’ve seen, I would say most are getting through this drought ok,” Mr Gallen said.
“I think most farmers around here are very well organised and are dealing with this prolonged dry spell a lot better than in the past.
“You can see that’s the case by looking at the cattle that have come to the Gunnedah sale in recent weeks, they have still been in pretty strong condition.”
Mr Gallen said a lot of farmers have “chosen to hang in there” through the drought.
“Well most guys have already made the decision to either sell early or feed through,” he said.
“That’s where the better organisation comes into play, in the past farmers might not have been as well prepared for a prolonged dry period but at the moment those who have chosen to hang in there are doing ok.
“I think the reason for them hanging in there is because they are good at feeding through and they know if there is a break in the weather and we do get some rain they will benefit.
“If the cattle maintain their quality, then the farmers know their price will dramatically improve if their is a break.”
North West Local Land Services hosted a drought information session at the Saleyard Canteen during the sale and were on hand to answer any questions producers had regarding available resources.
“It is great that those guys are around to give farmers information,” Mr Gallen said.
“I’d say most guys know what’s out there but it’s good that they can pose any questions they do have somewhere as it’s not always easy for their agent to give them an answer.”
As for the current market climate, Mr Gallen said he expected cattle prices to maintain over the coming weeks.
“I think we have probably reached the bottom point of the prices to be honest,” he said.
“To me it seems like if what you are sending still has a bit of weight to it, it should continue to bring you a price and send you home fairly happy.”
For more information about services provided by North West Local Land Services visit northwest.lls.nsw.gov.au