Season uncertainty in north Queensland

More rain need in north Queensland

Beef
Holding pattern: Many cattle producers are waiting to see what weather eventuates before planning their first round of aerial mustering. Picture: Three Rivers Helicopters.

Holding pattern: Many cattle producers are waiting to see what weather eventuates before planning their first round of aerial mustering. Picture: Three Rivers Helicopters.

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Northern beef producers are keeping a close eye on a monsoon trough expected to strengthen across the north by Wednesday.

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Northern beef producers are keeping a close eye on a monsoon trough that was expected to strengthen across the north by Wednesday, and further develop on Thursday.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts the trough will bring a high to very high chance of showers and thunderstorms about the Peninsula and northern parts of the Gulf Country, Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders and North Tropical Coast districts.

According to Charters Towers livestock agent Matthew Geaney, Geaney's Real Estate, Livestock and Property, a lot of his clients have received rain but are definitely looking for more.

"A big part of the problem is even where the rain has fallen, the moisture has not penetrated and the country is very dry. Overall the rainfalls have been very mixed," Mr Geaney said.

He said one of the positives at the moment is the rising cattle market where demand is outstripping supply.

"Some producers who have received rain will now hold cattle over the next couple of months to freshen them up to sell with better condition," Mr Geaney said.

"Prior to the recent rain, producers were receiving between 310c to 320c/kg for cattle heading to live export through the Port of Townsville.

"However that supply has now tightened since the rain with producers looking to hold."

Phillip Avery, TopX Cloncurry, said the season is off to a good start but still patchy.

"If we can receive more rain by the end of March, it will set the producers up very well," Mr Avery said.

He said there had been some early mustering of sale cattle with interest from both the livestock export market and the southern feedlots.

"We recently put together a line of steers at 375c/kg from the Longreach district and the same money for heifers from the Winton district, both of which were bound for southern domestic feedlots."

Tim Rayner, Queensland Helicopters, Longreach, said producers were waiting to see what the season does before organising their first round musters.

He said they were doing some aerial mustering for clients who were taking advantage of the high cattle prices, while others were offloading because of the season's uncertainty.

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