EXPERTS believe all but 30 per cent of the state’s total breeding stock has been sold off.
The dwindling numbers are being attributed to the state’s ongoing drought conditions, which have forced producers to sell their stock.
Boggabri stock agent Guy Gallen said he was not surprised to see the number of breeding stock so low.
“The amount of breeders we have seen sold at Gunnedah over the last two years has been staggering,” Mr Gallen said.
“It would not surprise me at all if the state’s breeding stock was down to the last 30 per cent.
“If anything I think it goes to show how much of an impact this drought has had over a prolonged period of time.”
Tambar Springs farmer James Bishop said he believed the number of breeding stock in the North West may be even lower.
“It is very difficult to get an accurate number of how many head of stock there is in the state at any given time,” Mr Bishop said.
“To be honest I think the number of breeding stock remaining in the North West may be as low as 15 or 20 per cent.
“That’s why I think it is pivotal for the government to act and help farmers limit the amount of breeding stock they have to sell, lord knows how hard it is to build your herd back up again if you sell.”
Mr Gallen said the number of quality breeding stock up for sale did provide local buyers with “great opportunity”.
“I suppose the flip side of having a lot of quality breeders up for sale is that anyone that is in a position to buy will really benefit from current prices,” he said.
“It is a great time to refresh your stock.”