THE region’s prolonged drought conditions have seen the weekly Armidale cattle and sheep sales become fortnightly.
The move will mean both stock buyers and sellers will only have access to the centre every two weeks sparking concerns people will take their business elsewhere.
Armidale stock agent Sam Sewell told Fairfax Media the decision to move the sale was made due to a lack of stock numbers around the region.
“We have seen the sale go from weekly to fortnightly a few times over the last couple of years,” Mr Sewell said.
“It’s not a standard decision and not one we made lightly, but unfortunately it is due to a lack of numbers at both the Armidale sheep and cattle sales in recent months.”
Mr Sewell said prolonged drought conditions in the region was the major factor in the decision.
“Unfortunately, the area hasn’t really recovered from the dry period we had from the spring of 2013 into 2014,” he said.
“That was a dry period that set everyone back a little bit and now with things as dry as they are we are really seeing the impact of it now.”
Armidale now joins other fortnightly sales Narrabri and Moree while Gunnedah, Inverell and Tamworth will remain weekly.
“It’s important to note that this is not a permanent decision, we will be back to being a weekly sale as of January 1 next year.” Mr Sewell said.
“Over the years Armidale has proven to be a very popular destination for both buyers and sellers, in fact last year I believe we actually sold more sheep than Tamworth.
“While this is purely a numbers decision, I’m confident in the future it will be as successful as it has been.”