Farmers lap up every drop of rain

THERE was plenty of mud at the Tamworth Regional Livestock Exchange yesterday – but no one was complaining.

The weekly fat cattle sale started off under gentle rain but there was no need for raincoats under the fully covered complex which has seen little rain since opening in June last year. 

By the time the sheep started selling at 1pm, the rain had cleared, but there were still high hopes for further falls.

Some farmers, like Don Campbell of Tamworth, were merely looking with a view to sell cattle next week if the market had any strength. 

Others, like Matthew Laird of the property Templetouy, had dragged out his moth-eaten Drizabone and said he thought prices were up about 40-50c/kg on previous sales, although others were more conservative in their estimates. 

Mr Laird said that he had had 25mm at his Duri property since Sunday – “just in time for the upcoming weaner sales”. 

Ted Mansfield from Bellevue, Walcha, said he was very happy with the prices his calves sold for.

He said he’d had 27mm of rain on Friday and it was raining when he left home yesterday.

His sheep “were like little grasshoppers”, eating the green pick as fast as it came out of the ground.

Chris Young from Limbri described the rain as beautiful, adding that he’s had plenty, but needs more. 

For others like Phil Hodges, of Treborane, Barraba, the rain has been a relief but may be too late: although he had managed to hold on to most of his stock he would soon have to start considering selling.

MLA reported that steady rain encouraged restocker and feeder buyers to push suitable cattle for their orders to dearer levels while sheep were down slightly.

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