Dry start to new year as Callide Valley swelters

Stan Wallace updates news from around the traps.

Ranald Spann, Elders Biloela, reported that weather conditions in the Callide and Dawson Valleys have been up and down during the past few months with unseasonal rain during early October.

This caused issues with chickpea harvesting, but allowed farmers to plant mungbeans and sorghum. Cattle producers also revelled in the October rains which resulted in an early body of feed ready for summer. The rain allowed graziers to hold on to, and fatten cattle, instead of the usual dry conditions leading to selling cattle early to the store or feeder market. Consequently, a reduced number of cattle have been seen coming through the saleyards. Mid-December saw the meatworks close for their Christmas break with meatworks money holding firm. Early 2018 has seen processors reopen with shortening prices.

Ranald said the first sale of the year held at the Biloela Saleyards last week saw a good yarding of 500 head of quality cattle. Feeder steers sold to 280c/kg and feeder heifers to 275c, while better quality weaner steers made up to 380c to top the sale and quality weaner heifers made up to 330c. The whole yarding of 500 head averaged 297c setting a positive outlook for sales to come.

With rain now absent since the first week of January and several hot spells since, the Callide Valley is starting to dry out again. If conditions remain dry we expect store sale yardings to continue to be on the rise as pastures begin to dry right off and graziers look to spell country. Hay production is in full swing with the hot, drier and windy conditions which sees an abundance of hay available in the Callide Valley.

Our good friend John Quodling, late of Noosaville and formerly of Longreach passed away last week aged 80 years. John was a well known figure in the west and our sympathy goes to his wife Catherine and children David, Melinda, Nick and extended families. John’s funeral will take place this Saturday February 3 at the Sunshine Beach Anglican Church, Bicentennial Drive at 10am.

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