One of the biggest livestock success stories of 2020 was the rise and rise of goat prices, especially for stud animals and even more so for red bucks.
To get some idea of how meteoric it has been, Boer bucks sold to a top of $1510 and averaged $854 in an AuctionsPlus goat sale at the end of July.
By the beginning of December a Kalahari Red sire had sold for $11,070, a price many stud cattle breeders would be happy to walk away with.
The escalating Australian record for goats throughout the year was done against a background of supply chain disruptions in key export markets due to COVID-19.
Despite transit disruptions that hampered trade in markets such as North America, local conditions proved a stronger market driver when restocker nannies sold for $9 a kilogram on-the-ground on AuctionsPlus.
That slumped to $7.70/kg in May when an influx of producers fearing impacts of coronavirus offloaded goats in numbers.
But amid what was probably the best livestock market in Australia at the time, a 52kg 11-month-old Red Boer was purchased for $1510 by Kingaroy's J and K Gillon in July, besting the last top price in the public auction system of $1050.
He and 30 other single lots were offered by Jake Berghofer and Emma Patterson's Springvale Boers based at Eulo, west of Cunnamulla, and selling agent Anthony Hyland, GDL St George said he thought they were only just touching the surface of the interest in goats in Queensland.
"Everyone has got a fence going up, and goats are a hardy animal that can cope with drought," he said.
At the end of September, one of NSW's largest Boer goat breeders, Valley Boers sold Youlden Valley Cobber, a 12-month-old 75kg red buck, for $5000 to Waterloo Boer Goats at Bundaberg, at an invitational sale held at Allora.
It was the first time red Boer goats had been sold at auction in Australia and so the price was a new record for the breed.
By the end of October, goat breeders from Bendigo, Victoria to as far north as Cunnamulla in Queensland were paying a $2002 average for 21 composite bucks at the inaugural Contender Meat Goat sale, Condobolin.
The offering from Ian and Alison Manwaring and family was made up from a selection of Australian, rangeland, South African and USA Myotonics genetics and received a top price of $3000.
Fast forward to November when the Australian record for stud goats was broken multiple times during the first annual Cobar Red and Black Goat Sale.
The Rangeland Red stud at Goodooga claimed the new record after selling a 13-month-old red and white buck for $9000 to the Moseley family of Etiwanda near Cobar.
That wasn't the end though - in early December Seaford Red Goats at Blackall offering its progeny for the first time set a new Australian record when its full-blood Kalahari Red buck was sold for $11,070 on AuctionsPlus, to neighbours Aimie Licht and Nat Curley of Avington Station.
For breeders such as Charleville's John and Bronwyn Hodgen, it means they are likely to come out of years of drought more financially viable than when they went into it - thanks to goats.