Fencing a concern for farmers
WARWICK livestock producer Ben Cory has waited 20 years for a season like this one, but he acknowledges it has come at a high price.
The Southern Downs sheep and cattle producer believes local graziers are set for an excellent season in the wake of the December/January floods.
But he said before they can enjoy what market analyst’s tip will be buoyant livestock prices, there is the issue of repairing or replacing thousands of kilometres of fencing.
“Flood fencing seems to be a major concern for a lot of producers in our region,” Mr Cory said.
“However, that said, we really don’t have a lot to complain about when you compare us with places like the Lockyer Valley.
“Yet on a local level there is certainly a lot of work to be done.”
Mr Cory was hopeful the financial impact of flood repairs might be offset to a degree by a season of good pasture growth and high sheep and cattle prices.
Elder’s livestock manager George McVeigh was also optimistic, describing the short and medium term outlook for livestock as “extremely positive”.
He said simple supply and demand should see both store and fat prices hover around seasonal highs in the coming weeks.
“Restockers should keep store prices up there. A lot of people have grass and are in the market for cattle,” Mr McVeigh said.
“Longer term, the impact of the floods on pivotal cattle production areas like Rockhampton remains to be seen.”
But Mr McVeigh said the ongoing difficulty transporting fat cattle from various areas of the state could create marketing opportunities for those with meatworks access.
Yet on the local front he was aware many producers would have to tackle flood repairs before they could move forward.
Elders merchandise manager Marty Kerlin has been fielding fencing inquiries since the Condamine River first peaked after Boxing Day.
“Some people had replaced fences after the first flood only to lose it again in the second,” he said.
“So it has been a tough time.
“I am also aware of significant crop losses in our region.
“So I think the message we want to get out to producers is there is help available.”
Mr Kerlin said some of the major fencing supply companies – including Waratah and Speedrite – were now offering products at flood-sensitive prices.
“The truth is everybody wants to see the rural sector back on its feet, so there are some very genuine offers being made,” Mr Kerlin said.
“Producers need to know help is available.”
He urged landholders to investigate their options regarding government assistance as well as deals being offered by companies whose future also hinged on the rural sectors’ success.
“We depend on the rural sector too, so we are here to help.”