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Season shapes up

CONSISTENT rain and warm temperatures in South Gippsland have kept the grass growing throughout December, helping cattle prices to remain firm.
Elders Korumburra stock agent Alex Dixon said so far December has been the best month for grass growth across the region.
“It keeps raining every few days and the grass just keeps growing,” he said.
Mr Dixon said pasture growth was one of several factors affecting the cattle market at the moment.
“There isn’t as much pressure to off-load cattle. Farmers can take advantage of the grass and keep them on for a few more weeks and put a few more kilos on them,” he said.
“There is a little bit of caution from re-stockers at the moment. Fat cattle prices and meat value for all cattle has slipped dramatically over the last couple of weeks.
“Finishers aren’t getting as much for their prime stock, so there is more caution from the re-stockers because they can’t give as much if they are not getting as much.”
Around 1500 cattle were yarded at the last store sale in Koonwarra, comprising of around 100 steers, 400 heifers and 70 cows and calves.
“The numbers are certainly down on the previous two sales, which averaged around 2100 cattle. So we are 400 to 500 less,” Mr Dixon said.
“The yarding for this sale was normal for South Gippsland, with a few well bred weaner cattle and cross breeds as well.”
Bass farmer Mark Stoney said the market was looking positive for the future.
“The weekly inch or two of rain has promoted good pasture growth in the area. I reckon it is the best season ever in South Gippsland,” he said.
Mr Dixon is predicting a lift in meat prices in the new year, particularly if interstate buyers head south.
“In the whole south east of Australia, South Gippsland is probably the best at the moment in terms of grass and pasture growth,” he said.
“If the fat cattle market lifts in the new year, it will lift the value for the re-stockers and meat value.”
Mr Dixon said caution was still needed, as a week of hot, dry weather could really change things.
“I predict it will stay pretty green in most parts of South Gippsland and we will see the majority of hay cut in January,” he said.
“The majority of hay usually gets cut before Christmas but it is just too wet and the grass is still growing. It is not ready to be cut yet.
“Everyone should get a fairly good cut of hay too.”

Selling well: stock agent Alex Dixon and Glen Richards from Glen Alvie at the store sale in Koonwarra last Thursday. Mr Richards had a pen of weaners in the sale.

Selling well: stock agent Alex Dixon and Glen Richards from Glen Alvie at the store sale in Koonwarra last Thursday. Mr Richards had a pen of weaners in the sale.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=9497

Posted by on Dec 24 2013. Filed under Featured, Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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