WHAT a difference a year makes.
If we rewind to Easter last year, our circumstances were vastly different. Easter is a time of great significance to our Christian community, yet church services had to join the ever-growing list of gatherings banned as the COVID-19 threat grew.
Catch-ups with extended family were also largely off the table, while those who use the four-day break for a mini-holiday were also left reeling as we were told to stay home and avoid regional travel. Only the Easter Bunny was permitted to make his way from house to house, and town to town.
This year, the outlook for Easter is much more positive, with many local tourism operators tipping it to be one of their busiest periods ever. Throw in school holidays and the Anzac Day long weekend in a few weeks' time and April is gearing up to be a cracking month for the tourism sector and the countless country businesses that reap the benefits of having increased visitor numbers in our regions.
Related reading: Regional visitor numbers to rise throughout April
Of course, we can never afford to become too comfortable, as we've all seen how quickly things can change. We only have to look at the lockdown in Brisbane to be reminded that COVID-19 will be lingering over our heads for some time yet.
But for the time being, we are fortunate to have such an incredible backyard to explore here in SA, and it's wonderful to see confidence return to the tourism sector.
Speaking of confidence, there's no shortage of it in the beef cattle sector at the moment, with producers reaping the benefits.
At the moment, whenever cattle are put up for auction - be it bulls or steers, cows or heifers - incredible prices seem to follow, for both stud and commercial cattle.
Related reading: Dairy sector joins hunt for tourists
The most recent evidence of this came at Stoney Point's stage one dispersal sale at Naracoorte last week - SA's first Angus dispersal sale in eight years.
The sale topped at an incredible $46,000 for 4.5-year-old embryo transfer donor cow Stoney Point Yankee Queen M173, smashing the previous state Angus female record by a country mile. But this wasn't just a one-off strong price, with other females knocked down at $41,000, $30,000 and $26,000 at the two-day sale.
How long the cattle market can stay at such lofty heights is unknown, but so far, 2021 has been a great time to be in the cattle game.
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