Rainfall is welcome news for Valley cattle producers
FARRELL McCrohon Agents principal David Farrell said there's an old saying that "it doesn't rain seed", but the recent rains have brought a real return to form for the cattle market.
Last Thursday's store cattle sale at the Grafton Livestock Selling centre had more than 500 head of cattle up for sale, and according to Mr Farrell there was excellent interest for all on offer.
"We've had interest from across the area, down to Kempsey, out to Glen Innes," said Mr Farrell.
"Right across the board there was good increases in price, with some classes up nearly $200 per head on average."
And the rain couldn't have come at a better time after a worrying period for the cattle industry recently.
"There's no doubt in some parts we were in real dire straits," said Mr Farrell.
"But with the recent rains, and some continuing falls out west, there's a real confidence back in the industry, and we expect that to carry on into a positive effect in the coming months."
Ray Donovan Stock and Station Agents livestock salesman Mitch Donovan echoed Mr Farrell's outlook, and said yesterday's prime cattle sale showed a great improvement.
"Queensland has run out of fat heavy export cattle so Queensland processors are sourcing from down here," he said.
"They're still dry up there, but when they get rain they'll be looking to restock."
An extra buyer from Queensland visited the last couple of sales at South Grafton and the vibe throughout the saleyards was "a lot happier".
Prices were up about five cents on bullocks and cows, and good calves sold well too.
"It's given us all a bit of hope," Mr Donovan said.
He said the recent rain across the Valley brought good news for cattle producers, but the benefits of good feed would take time to show.
"It will take a bit more time but the rain has definitely set us up for the long run," he said.
"Fat heavy cattle are getting back up to prices which we haven't seen for nearly two years."