Graziers remain on high alert for lamb and sheep losses with ongoing wet and cold conditions forecast.
Riverina farmers and NSW’s Western Division have been hardest hit with agents reporting widespread lamb losses in the past month.
In Victoria’s North East and Western District, ongoing rain has stranded stock, while in Western Australia’s south west excavators have been used to dig emergency drains in an effort to drain excess water from pastures.
Yarram Park's manager Jeremy Upton, Willaura, Vic, rescued stranded lambs from a flooded paddock with a tinny, after 100 millimetres of rain inundated paddocks last week.
“It has produced some challenges but the upside is far greater than the few problems it has caused,” Mr Upton said.
“It has completely filled our storage dams which sets us up for a fantastic start to spring which we haven’t had in many years.
“Producers will be able to turn off their stock in heavier conditions and maintain higher breeding numbers.”
He said the 255 rams listed for the Yarram Park upcoming ram sale in Hamilton were in forward condition.
LMB Linke livestock agent Bernie Grant said the ongoing rain had impacted lamb survival.
“Those that have got through lambing can’t do anything because it is too wet so they’re stranded ,” Mr Linke said.
“While there is pain getting onto the wet paddocks, there will be long term gain because the season is guaranteed now.
“I’m not taking (the floods) lightly but following last year’s disastrous spring, we will be in a better position once we get through these wet weeks.”
He said the western district spring flush would be delayed by more than one month as the wet weather hinders lambs maturing.
“We should in theory have more lambs carried over to the New Year and not sold until December depending how the seasons unfolds but we will expect grass fever to hit and prices react accordingly,” Mr Grant said.
Elders Riverina livestock manager Peter Cox said Western Division pastoralists with limited high ground to move stock had been severely impacted.
“Some of the country is so waterlogged the ability for ewes to look after their progeny is becoming very difficult,” Mr Cox said.
“Any producers that have been lambing in the past month during this extreme wet weather would have had losses.
“But there is money in mud, there is no money in dust, so hopefully the upside for agriculture as a result of the significant wet gives us a long term benefit.”
In WA, Primaries wool manager Greg Tilbrook said the south west of the state had been impacted the most.
“Areas in the Great Southern are getting too wet and the Esperance is under strain - logistically it hasn’t impacted the sheep but it is hurting crops,” he said.
“The feed is starting to take off and there is plenty of guts in it so we are seeing those that are running sheep wanting to retain their five and six year-old cast-for-age ewes, which will increase production next season.”
He said the favourable season supported by strong sheep and wool prices had seen the average price paid for rams jump nearly $200 per head this season.