More farmers feeling the pinch

By Rodney Woods

Shepparton Regional Saleyards had a significant jump in cattle numbers last week due to the tough seasonal conditions.

The sale yarded 2070 cattle, 675 more than the previous week’s sale.

The numbers were made up of mostly export cattle, with about two-thirds of the yarded cattle being cows.

Elders Shepparton livestock agent Andrew Kyle said the growth in yarding had been a continual trend for months now.

‘‘It was not only dairy cows but there were more beef cattle as well,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s been going on for four or five months now and we are getting to the stage where people are running out of options.

‘‘It’s a tough period. A lot of people have sold water and more and more paddocks are being left un-irrigated.

‘‘It’s not just average farmers struggling, but the good farmers as well.’’

Mr Kyle said the tough conditions were having an effect on quality, which also dropped the prices.

‘‘Cows are starting to struggle with a lack of hay,’’ he said.

‘‘Prices ranged from $1.40 to $1.70 per kilogram last week (February 19) but this week (February 26) they dropped off by about 10 cents per kilogram.’’