A long drought of stud cattle selling activity will be broken for the Longreach Saleyards when it plays host to the Elders Outback Invitational Bull Sale on March 3.
It was back in April 2014 when 240 lots went under the hammer during the Elders Longreach All Breeds Sale that the facility was last used for a stud cattle sale, and according to Elders Longreach branch manager Tim Salter, regular store and fat sales also ceased at Longreach around that time.
“The drought caused a recession of bull sale activity at the saleyards, we had extremely poor seasons over an extremely wide area of the region,” Mr Salter said.
He said since the last sale was held at Longreach, apart from the regular spelling of transit cattle moving through to eastern destinations, the odd private weigh of cattle or the rare load on the rail, no other activity has occurred.
Mr Salter said he’s hopeful that the upcoming sale will assist beef producers situated in the region during their road to recovery.
“The sale caters for bull buyers over a wide and varied area of Western Queensland and the Northern Territory.
“We’re expecting to see buyers from Alice Springs to all points across the North West – Windorah, Quilpie, Charleville and Cunnamulla in the south and all ports to the east with strong support consistently being offered in the past from Alpha, Jericho, Clermont and Springsure.
“We are confident that the sale will attract a good crowd, with the sale concept becoming an invitational sale the bulls selected by the breeders are tops of their drafts and have been critiqued to ensure the best quality bulls are presented.”
He said while many local producers are “still in a recovery period of rebuilding and consolidation” with their herd numbers, they still need bulls to breed on.
“Hopefully we can provide the service of bringing a high quality line up of bulls for them to select replacement sires right at their doorstep.”
Mr Salter also said local producers are anxiously awaiting the recommencement of weekly sales, but the region “still needs a vast improvement in the season and significant numbers to return to the district in order to conduct a regular sale”.
Longreach Regional Council Mayor Ed Warren said the saleyards are vital to the future of the region.
“Council convenes a Combined Agents Working Group that is working with our saleyards manager to make the facility ready for action this year,” Cr Warren said.
“This upcoming sale, along with our recent EU Accreditation, are great results and I’m proud of the work of our team,” he said.
Expressions of interest for proposals to lease and upgrade the saleyards have been called for by Council, though according to a spokesperson no outcome has been confirmed at yet.
One of the lease provisos in Longreach is for capital improvement over a five to 10 year period, specifically changes to the flow of cattle through the yards, in the drafting area, and shade requirements.