Big year ahead for our cat­tle

Look back at 2018 mar­kets

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Louise Shan­non

THE prom­ise of more rain­fall and a ris­ing con­fi­dence in the cat­tle mar­ket across Queens­land and NSW is bol­ster­ing faith in im­proved con­di­tions for 2019.

Brad McI­nally, who is an auc­tion­eer and runs Monto Cat­tle and Coun­try with his wife Donna, said the cur­rent mar­ket was “solid with­out boom­ing”.

“But cer­tainly we went through a dry pe­riod there and things got tough.”

He said it had been hard to sell “plain” types of cat­tle, but the mar­ket had held firm for bet­ter qual­ity cat­tle and types that met the mar­ket spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Mr McI­nally said he felt pos­i­tive about the new year.

“Hope­fully we do get a bit of rain, but I think the mar­ket will stay firm and I think it will stay pos­i­tive for a few years.

“The pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing all the time and peo­ple have got to eat.

“We’re com­ing to­wards the wet sea­son and peo­ple in the west have missed out on much of the rain, but hope­fully they’re get­ting a bit now and they’ll con­tinue to get some more.”

He said that lo­cally crops had been planted and hay was grow­ing “whereas two months ago there was noth­ing”.

Re­cent dry con­di­tions in sur­round­ing ar­eas had af­fected the lo­cal mar­ket and Rob By­grave, who owns Topx North Bur­nett with his wife Tr­ish, said it had been so dry that it had been “a bit re­stricted as to where you sell your cat­tle to”.

He said he was look­ing for­ward to fur­ther rain which would im­prove con­di­tions as well as the po­ten­tial to send cat­tle into a bet­ter mar­ket area.

“If every­body gets good rain then the mar­kets will re­align again.

“It’ll set the year up pretty well and peo­ple will be able to re­stock and go back to their nor­mal grow­ing pat­terns.”

Mr By­grave said that, around March this year, cat­tle were be­ing off­loaded from north­ern NSW.

“Our sea­son had been re­ally good but it stopped af­ter that and peo­ple bought the cheaper cat­tle from fur­ther away.

“We’ve man­aged the sea­sons quite well but there’s a lot of ar­eas around that re­ally need the feed.”

He said prices and mar­kets, while stable in one re­gion, were often dic­tated by the sit­u­a­tion else­where.

“Our area has been so for­tu­nate and the whole of last year we have been in a bit of a bub­ble com­pared to the south, west and other ar­eas.

❝ Cer­tainly we went through a dry pe­riod there and things got tough. — Brad McI­nally

“We’re just hop­ing that ev­ery­thing gets a bit wet this year and ev­ery­one will be in the same sit­u­a­tion.”

Stephanie Whi­taker, co-owner of Bur­nett Live­stock and Re­alty, said the mar­ket was “look­ing pretty strong” for 2019, and had im­proved com­pared to this time last year.

“We’ve had the rain in Oc­to­ber and some just a week ago as well as more fore­cast this week­end.

“I think the new year will look quite strong as long as we get the rain.”

She said the flow-on ef­fect of the drought in NSW meant the mar­ket had suf­fered dur­ing the year with Queens­land prop­er­ties sourc­ing cheaper cat­tle from NSW sell­ers.

“Just be­cause there’s rain lo­cally doesn’t mean the mar­ket’s go­ing to lift. We’ve had a cold, dry win­ter this year so peo­ple were find­ing it tough to get things grow­ing again and were wait­ing for that rain in Oc­to­ber.

“For 2019, I think it’s shap­ing up to be strong again and I think de­mand will be there, es­pe­cially if we con­tinue to get good falls of rain.

“It would be great if all those drought de­clared ar­eas were lifted – that would be won­der­ful be­cause de­mand for cat­tle would go through the roof.

“Now is the time when cat­tle start to put on weight and get that shine about them.

“If we get a de­cent wet over Christ­mas and new year then the mar­ket will open up strong again in Jan­uary.”

Mrs Whi­taker said she was ex­pect­ing a suc­cess­ful sale at the An­nual All Breeds Steer Sale on Fe­bru­ary 14.

PHOTO: FELIC­ITY RIP­PER

BIG HOPES FOR 2019: Biggen­den Saleyards owner Stephanie Whi­taker gave an up­date on the $3.7 mil­lion saleyards re­de­vel­op­ment at the North Bur­nett Agri­cul­tural Net­work Meet­ing in Novem­ber 2018.

Good re­sults at the Eidsvold cat­tle sale.

MOOVING FOR­WARD: Ven­dors at Monto, Biggen­den and Eidsvold look for­ward to a big 2019. PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

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