Lack of rain made 2017 a challenging year in Central West

Stan Wallace updates news from around the traps.

The big winter rainfall in 2016 has seen cattle and sheep do well through most of 2017; living on herbages and burr. However this feed has come to an end and producers are now faced with difficult management decisions; to sell, to feed, to go on the road or to agistment. Some areas had good rain in November with Stonehenge through to Morella having a good start. North east of Morella received up to 125mm, or 5 inches in the old scale, in a storm in December and an area west of Corfield had good rain two weeks ago.

It is common knowledge in the Central and North West that cattle numbers are down in most areas and there is optimism that with a good wet, the cattle market will remain strong. Some northern transport companies are saying that 2017 was their quietest year yet in carting cattle. Live export is integral to the Australian cattle industry as are our southern markets with the heavy feeder market being a great outlet for many cattle in our area.

The sheep market has been very strong all year and wool is setting new highs. Exclusion fencing will increase production significantly but it is the price of wool that will have the biggest impact in convincing producers to return to the sheep and wool industry. Recently a client sold part of their wool clip through Landmark for $2720 per bale.

Brian Perrett, Beaudesert, advised me of the sad news of the passing of his brother, John Edmund Perrett, 85 years, on January 13 with his three daughters by his side. John was a partner with Brian in Perrett’s Meats, Beaudesert. His funeral will be held on Monday January 22 at 1pm at Caloundra Catholic Church.

​Beef producers are encouraged to enter the Royal Queensland Show's Paddock to Palate competition, which closes this Friday, January 19. 

For further information, contact competition and event coordinator Andrew O'Hara on 07 3253 3900 or

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