WHILE the COVID-19 pandemic may be casting doubt on many business sectors, recent rain has provided new found confidence for livestock producers.
Weekly cattle and sheep sales are now closed to non-essential personnel, but prices across the board have remained steady in the cattle market.
Gunnedah stock agent Guy Gallen said the recent rainfall was "a God send".
"I think a lot of people will have really benefited from that rain, which ranged from one to two inches in some places," Mr Gallen said.
"For guys who recently planted feed oats, to those who are hoping to plant a winter crop in the coming weeks, everyone will have got something out of it.
"I think most people who were looking to restock will have already done so, but I think now there will be greater emphasis on local buyers to add to their stock, due to the additional feed, or for those who have waited to restock."
Mr Gallen said the coronavirus pandemic had caused the cattle export market to fall away, which would provide greater opportunity for local buyers to enter the market.
"In the past few weeks, the price of cattle has made it a little difficult for some people to re-enter the market and restock," he said.
"Now the export market has taken a hit, which we expected it would, some of the local farmers will be well placed to restock and add even more stock.
"I think people have got a lot of confidence in the agriculture sector and while the nation's herd numbers might be at near record lows, I think that confidence is well founded."
Tamworth stock agent Mitchell Swain said the lamb and sheep market would also benefit from the recent rain.
"The market is still pretty strong, but has come back a little bit in recent weeks," Mr Swain said.
"I think that is due to the export market coming back a little bit due to the pandemic.
"However, while that side of things has come back a little bit, the local side of things is still looking pretty handy."
Mr Swain said he was confident the agriculture industry would remain strong for the foreseeable future.
"Touch wood, we are looking at a decent start to the season so far," he said.
"We've seen a strong demand both locally and abroad in the past few months, especially for lambs, despite our herd numbers being way down across the country.
"I think people can remain confident in the agriculture sector for good reason and hopefully if we can get a bit more rain in the next four weeks, we will be in a good position across the board."