THE Millicent saleyards was thrown a lifeline earlier this year to turn about its plummeting cattle numbers and after a sale-day switch, plus bolstered support from the community, its popularity among producers has significantly improved.
The final market was supposed to be held on June 30, but it was granted a 12-month extension by the Wattle Range Council.
So, after throughput at the facility in the 2019-20 financial year increased by 25 per cent, the council's chief executive officer Ben Gower said it was a "good decision" to give the facility a chance to resurrect its falling numbers.
"In the past financial year, we had 10,256 head of cattle come through - up 2000 head on the previous year," he said.
"Most importantly, there has been a 35pc increase in yarding during the quieter, winter months."
Nutrien Ag Solutions livestock agent Anthony Driessen, Millicent, said increased buyer support and sky-rocketing cattle prices had driven the saleyard's upswing in popularity.
"Since changing the sale to Wednesday afternoon, it has been beneficial for buyers coming up to Millicent from Mount Gambier because they do not have to travel back and forth across the border for sales on different days," he said.
"There has been a concerted effort from livestock agents and local producers to keep the market thriving - sellers are not bypassing it anymore because of cancelled markets either, so that's helped to keep numbers up."
But saleyard manager Andrew Robinson said the sale day would need to revert back to Thursday in late September/October.
"If Mount Gambier yard up to 2000 cattle and 10,000 to 20,000 lambs, we will not be able to hold a sale on the same day," he said.
"We will keep pushing for a Wednesday market until numbers rise again."
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