News / Community / Business / 22nd July 2020
Mooving forward: cattle return to Binnaway Saleyards
It has been over 12 months since the Binnaway Saleyards experienced the sights, smells and sounds of a live cattle auction, but all that looks set to change next month with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
With the first Binnaway Breeders Store Cattle Sale for 2020 set down for Friday, 7 August, livestock agent, Larry Tolmie, said he was excited to get back on the catwalk and assist district farmers.
“We need to get regular store sales back in Binnaway,” Mr Tolmie said.
“Cattle sales are a part of farm life. It’s very important that the vendors and spectators are allowed to attend sales as it gives them an idea of what their cattle are worth at home, what the market is doing and where the main buying fraternity is coming from.
“The sales are also a social outing and they bring money to Binnaway - in every form. It doesn’t matter if they are buying fuel, buying a tyre, buying meat or groceries or visiting the local CRT - everyone benefits. And, of course, the hotel will benefit as well.”
The last Breeders Store Cattle Sale held in Binnaway was in June 2019 as, due to the drought, farmers were selling off stock on a regular basis.
“We couldn’t get enough numbers together, and if we did, where were they going to go?” Mr Tolmie explained.
“So vendors had to go to Auction Plus or to a bigger saleyard, such as Dubbo, where they had more enquiries coming from different areas, with bigger numbers - Dubbo was yarding 7000 - 10,000 cattle.”
Despite the easing of drought conditions in January, when COVID-19 hit in March 2020 the resultant restrictions dealt cattle sales another blow.
“We’ve only just been allowed to have store cattle sales again,” Mr Tolmie said.
“While the saleyards have been open, it was for buyers only over the last few months. If you weren’t a buyer or a designated agent, you weren’t allowed to attend saleyards anywhere.”
Mr Tolmie said strict COVID-19 procedures will be followed at the saleyards, including registering, completing a COVID-19 declaration and hand sanitising.
“We will pen the cattle in every second pen, so that way we can spread the buyers out.
Mr Tolmie envisages a yarding of around 300 cattle in forward condition at the August sale, attracting buyers from across a 150-kilometre radius - Coonabarabran, Binnaway Coonamble, Dubbo, Dunedoo, Coolah, the Hunter Valley, Quirindi and towards Tamworth.
“We normally yard about 300 to 500 and because the season is so good and the paddocks are full of feed, we’ve had to wrestle some of our clients to support the sale.
“If you have a paddock full of feed, you want to make them bigger, but by say September-October, a lot of cattle will come onto the market coming off crops and when that starts to happen it creates an over-supply of beef.
“So, I say, take advantage of it now - sell them smaller, but get more cents per kilo, rather than keeping them those extra months and getting less cents per kilo, and getting more weight - which is the same result.
“I think everyone locally is pretty excited that there is another sale at Binnaway Saleyards.
“We like to have about four breeders sales per year, so if this comes off as well as we think it will, I think we will probably aiming at November to go again.”