Genetic loss could impact cattle industry
UNCERTAIN days lie ahead for the cattle industry in the region, with the drought decimating producers.
Laidley cattle auctioneer David Stariha has never seen conditions as bad and as widespread as this, and warned there was only one solution.
“Until we get good widespread rain, nothing is going to change – it is only going to get worse for these people,” Mr Stariha said.
But, even if the region receives drought breaking rain in the new year, the effects of the drought won’t disappear overnight.
“It’s not just in the shortterm, in the long-term because they’ve sold off their breeders they don’t have that income,” he said.
“It’s going to be very challenging for a lot of people.
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen next year, a lot of people have got rid of all their cattle because it’s just got to the stage where they can’t sustain it anymore.
“Everyone’s in the same boat.
“No one knows what’s going to happen, because a lot of people haven’t been in this situation before.”
Another hurdle for the industry will be the loss of quality genetics, with many selling off their breeding stock which could have been built up over decades.
“It’s going to be difficult because, when we get rain, everyone is going to be trying to restock and there’s not going to be the cattle there for them to buy numbers wise,” he said.
“And also the price to restock is going to be very inflated because everyone is trying to stock at the same time with limited numbers of cattle.”
With such tougher times ahead, it was hard to stay positive – and seeing the devastation first-hand made it tougher.
“I just feel sorry for so many people,” he said.