THE region’s drought conditions have heavily impacted saleyards across the region with many farmers having no other choice than to sell their stock.
Prices have remained steady across the board at the Gunnedah Saleyards over the last several months with sellers still seeing some reward.
However, at recent markets, young calves have been bringing low prices with some sales seeing poddies going for as little as $20 each.
Gunnedah stock agent Guy Gallen told the Namoi Valley Independent the reason for the bargain prices was largely to do with a lack of feed.
“I think everyone has so far made some tough calls in regards to what stock to sell,” Mr Gallen said.
“In some cases we are seeing young calves, even some born in the saleyards going for as little as $20.
“The reason they are there is pretty much the same reason as all of the other stock, feed is becoming harder to source and tough decisions are being made.”
Inverell stock agent Bob Jamieson said the price for poddy calves was similar in other parts of the region.
“It doesn’t surprise me to hear them going for that price in Gunnedah,” Mr Jamieson said.
“We have seen them going for that here in Inverell and I think you will see that trend continue over the coming months as the drought continues to set in.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see poddy calves get even cheaper over the coming months as the impacts of this drought continue.”
Mr Gallen said people looking to buy poddy calves should do their research before buying.
“I understand the desire of people to want to do what they can to keep these young calves going,” he said.
“In fact, just this week I bought one for a client for $20, so they are being bought.
“But, I think anyone who is thinking of doing it should be aware there is a lot of work involved.
“Looking after poddies is almost a full time job given how often they need feeding and the way they need to be fed.
“In saying that though, the effort is very similar to look after one as it is to look after 20.”