Twenty-year low for yardings at Bendigo sheep and lamb sale

By Rodney Woods

The lowest yarding in at least 20 years was recorded at the Bendigo sheep and lamb sale on July 13.

The total yarding was 2634, made up of 2210 lambs and just 424 sheep.

Overall, the total yarding dropped by 7966 compared to the July 6 sale.

Bendigo Livestock Exchange livestock manager Andrew McCulloch described the reason for the low numbers as a "perfect storm".

“We've got COVID-19 going on and a Melbourne processor has shut down,” he said.

“Export markets have dropped to zero, everyone is full of stock and not needing to purchase to process.

“Given there is no real demand and the price has come off quite a bit, and adding to that the drought has kind of broken and there's feed around, producers are being able to hold on to stock.

“It's not just Bendigo, but the whole saleyards sector and I assume direct sales would be well down as well.”

Elders Bendigo livestock manager Nigel Starrick said it was normal for low numbers at this time of year but admitted Bendigo's yarding number was "very low".

“We're at the time of year that numbers decline,” he said.

“A lot of the lambs are out of the system and suckers aren't far away.

“We're in the in-between stage where most have got rid of their lambs and there's plenty on the ground.

“We've seen it (low numbers) everywhere ... but certainly Bendigo was very low on Monday (July 13).”

Despite the quiet period, Bendigo's McKean McGregor Livestock director Alex Collins was hopeful the drop in numbers would be short-lived.

“Some of the yardings (at other sales) have rebounded later in the week so hopefully Bendigo will be back to more normal numbers next week (July 20).''