AS the new year begins we face new challenges and expectations as locations are presently holding and preparing for their annual weaner cattle sales across SA and Vic, with cattle showing excellent growth and weight due to good winter and spring feed.
Weekly saleyard auctions started again last week, with prices opening up similar to pre-Christmas.
We have been pleased with recent results with our weaner cattle sales as they have met or exceeded expectations with many cattle staying locally, as interstate support has been limited due to prolonged dry weather conditions.
These sales will continue for the next month as numbers will then ease back traditionally and the cows will produce again.
Lamb prices continue to surprise with supply still short in the new year, as many lambs have been shorn and turned out.
In our region many producers struggled to get weight into their sucker lambs as the cold winter months took effect.
With many woolly lambs shorn in October to December and backgrounded, it will be interesting to see how these numbers will come back in across the next few months.
With the finance markets stable and supply limited at present we have seen many processor grids offering rates up into the high $6 a kilogram range.
The sheep industry certainly has plenty of confidence as we have witnessed this season to date record breeding ewe sales, for both Merinos and first-crosses, high mutton prices and increased wool prices.
Leading into February will once again kick off the bull field days and on-property bull auctions as we get to look at this years’ group of bulls on offer.
With cattle prices holding firm you would expect bull prices to be similar to last year.
It was a great shock last week to learn of the terrible fire that transpired at Thomas Foods International at their Murray Bridge plant and we all hope as days pass things can settle down and the industry can move forward.
As agents and producers, we need to be patient around this process and work with alternative arrangements at the present time.
Preperations for the 2018 Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association dinner and National Young Auctioneers Compeitition are well underway.
Mark in your diary Thursday March 22 for the dinner and Friday March 23 for the competition.
Further details will be announced on the ALPA facebook and website shortly and this years competition will be fiercely contested with SA being represented by Elders Jamestown’s Jack Coleman and Elders Burra’s Conor Lamond.
Vic will be represented by Landmark Wangaratta’s Murray Bennett and Elders Euroa’s Joe Allen.