Cat­tle prices good for ev­ery­one, or are they?

Central and North Burnett Times - - THE FENCE POST - Kate Dar­vall kate.dar­vall@south­bur­nett­times.com.au

Bill St­ef­fensen They’re spread­ing the money around...

FOL­LOW­ING years in the dog house, Bill St­ef­fensen says the cat­tle mar­ket isn’t tak­ing any­thing for granted.

The Coolabunia agent said the prices, which reached 356c/kg at the re­cent weaner sale, helped the en­tire in­dus­try, even buy­ers nav­i­gat­ing the high prices.

“Af­ter 12 months of rea­son­able prices, pro­duc­ers out there are do­ing re­pairs, main­te­nance and buy­ing new equip­ment,” he said.

“They’re spread­ing the money around, it’s help­ing ab­so­lutely ev­ery­one.”

While it is ar­gued high prices hurt those re­stock­ing, Mr St­ef­fensen said this was not the case.

“Those peo­ple re­stock­ing will do it piece by piece. If prices level out where they are at the mo­ment, it would be won­der­ful for ev­ery­one,” he said.

Mr St­ef­fensen said the low prices of past years were still firmly in mind, and pro­duc­ers de­served this re­turn on their in­vest­ment.

“A cou­ple of years ago is still very, very fresh in ev­ery­one’s mind,” he said.

“One un­for­tu­nate client sent cat­tle and didn’t get a cheque for a thou­sand dol­lars, but the same cat­tle got 500 and 600 this year.

“I think it’s great the prices are as good as they are.”

While Mr St­ef­fensen said the prices “helped the en­tire in­dus­try”, oth­ers dis­agreed.

In a state­ment re­leased by Mem­ber for Mount Isa Rob Kat­ter, he said the record cat­tle prices only ben­e­fited a “small num­ber of farm­ers across the state with cat­tle left”.

He said the prices were likely to leave many de-stocked gra­ziers out of pocket.

“The high prices might be good for some, but this is a huge hur­dle for a large ma­jor­ity of prop­erty own­ers look­ing to re­stock,” Mr Kat­ter said.

Mr Kat­ter said pro­duc­ers with good num­bers in the yards were in good stead, but said many were still find­ing their feet af­ter drought years. He said it was those peo­ple the high prices hurt most.

“The more costly the cat­tle, the more ex­pen­sive it is go­ing to be for some of our drought stricken farm­ers to get back on their feet,” he said.

PHOTO: KATE DAR­VALL

COOLABUNIA SA­LE­YARD: Auc­tion­eer Bill St­ef­fensen says weather is the big­gest hur­dle for cat­tle farm­ers in the colder months.

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