The year that was – February

What made the news in February

News
February 2016: Buyers certainly got an indication of the strength of the market at Bartholomew and Co's annual Beaudesert All Reds Show and Sale in February.

February 2016: Buyers certainly got an indication of the strength of the market at Bartholomew and Co's annual Beaudesert All Reds Show and Sale in February.

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A new Nationals leader, swimwear made in the outback, predictions of record cattle prices and the launch of our GrowQld initiative all made for a packed news agenda in February.

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EYCI predicted to hit 700c/kg 

If we knew just how high cattle prices would get in 2016, we might have purchased a few more breeders back in February when our National Beef Writer, Shan Goodwin warned that the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) could hit 700c/kg. QCL reported beef industry analysts Mecardo as predicting breeders as the main beneficiaries of the continuing upward price trajectory.

“Pregnancy-tested-in-calf heifers will be like hen’s teeth,” Mecardo managing director Robert Herrmann said back in February.  Mecardo predicted the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator would go above 700c/kg carcase weight under favourable seasonal conditions.

Full story here. 

Shake on it: Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash headed to the Prime Minister's office to announce their leadership in February.

Shake on it: Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash headed to the Prime Minister's office to announce their leadership in February.

Joyce named Nationals Leader 

Barnaby Joyce was named the new Nationals leader in February after the retirement of long-serving MP Warren Truss. Mr Joyce retained the agriculture portfolio saying he had more to achieve in the area. 

NSW Senator Fiona Nash was voted in as deputy becoming the party’s first female leader in 95-years. 

With Queensland Nationals demanding stronger senior representation, Rockhampton-based Senator Matt Canavan was given a portfolio dedicated to Northern Australia.

Full story here. 

Barnaby Joyce was named Federal Nationals leader after a wide-ranging Cabinet reshuffle in February.

Barnaby Joyce was named Federal Nationals leader after a wide-ranging Cabinet reshuffle in February.

February All Breeds

The first bull sale of 2016 kicked off with the Annual February All Breeds Sale at Gracemere and while the prices didn’t hit the heady heights seen later in the year, average prices were up on the 2015 sale. Male averages increased by $862 per head while female medium values improved by $2044 per head. Bulls sold to $20,000 and females topped $12,000 with clearance levels across the board increasing by a hefty 22 percent. Angus breeders sold 16 Angus bulls for an average of $4156 at 100pc clearance. 21 Charbrays topped $13,000 and averaged $4857 to clear 88pc.

February All Breeds: Top selling Charbray, the $13,000 920kg, Diamond Dove Jackman (H) (27-months) with his new owner, Russell Curran, Spenbar Stud, Condamine. Picture by Kent Ward

February All Breeds: Top selling Charbray, the $13,000 920kg, Diamond Dove Jackman (H) (27-months) with his new owner, Russell Curran, Spenbar Stud, Condamine. Picture by Kent Ward

Simmentals again enjoyed a strong result with a complete clearance of the offering on the way to setting a $4575 average for the 20 bulls sold to top at $9000. The Charolais breed registered a 90pc clearance of their catalogue with 17 bulls setting an average of $4294 and topping at $8000.

Full Report Here. 

Story Fresh helps Grow Queensland

AFTER trialling their fresh lettuce into the south-east Asian market, Queensland growers Geoffrey and Anne Story and son Nathan, Story Fresh, Cambooya consigned their first commercial order of fresh produce into Singapore in February. 

The shredded lettuce consignment was flown as chilled cargo from Brisbane Airport. Their story helped launch QCL’s first Grow Queensland forum held in Toowoomba in February.

Red the full story on Story Fresh here. 

Click here to view our gallery from the GrowQld Toowoomba forum. 

Geoffrey and Anne Story, Story Fresh, Cambooya.

Geoffrey and Anne Story, Story Fresh, Cambooya.

Smithfield buys Sapphire feedlot

The Smithfield Feedlot family from left Don and Barb Madden, Andrew Shearer-Smith, Jason Shearer-Smith and Robert Smith, Smithfield Feedlot, Proston.

The Smithfield Feedlot family from left Don and Barb Madden, Andrew Shearer-Smith, Jason Shearer-Smith and Robert Smith, Smithfield Feedlot, Proston.

In February, Queensland’s Smithfield Cattle Company, the owners of Smithfield Feedlot, Proston, finalised the deal to take over Sapphire Feedlot in Goondiwindi.

The deal allows Smithfield expand into the Goondiwindi region and position itself closer to Southern Queensland and Northern NSW beef producers.

Full story here. 

Tick line tensions run high

Tensions over the tick line reached boiling point at a meeting in Moura in February when some landholders were asked to move out of earshot of a vote taken for a group submission on the location of a new line. 

AgForce defended their handling of the public meeting which was attended by about 90 landholders. 

AgForce’s Sharon Howard said aim of the meeting was to determine if producers in the Moura control zone had an appetite for a group submission.

Full story here. 

Dark Days 

KILKIVAN graziers Ben and Teresa Day said their farm business would be cut by two-thirds if the Palaszczuk government locked them out of 6397 hectares of lease country, some of which their family has grazed since the 19th century.

GREEN TARGET: Ben and Teresa Day said their Kilkivan farm business would be cut by two-thirds if the Palaszczuk government locked them out of 6397 hectares of lease country.

GREEN TARGET: Ben and Teresa Day said their Kilkivan farm business would be cut by two-thirds if the Palaszczuk government locked them out of 6397 hectares of lease country.

The Days were one of almost 80 leaseholders in the process of being booted off their long-held properties to appease the Palaszczuk government’s entrenched green political supporters, particularly in vote-crucial inner-city Brisbane.

“There has been no environmental studies and certainly no consultation,” Mrs Day told QCL. 

The Days run 150 cattle on the former forest reserve which was set to become national park.

Read the full story here. 

Tributes flowed for Lockyer’s Steve Jones

Tributes flowed in for the very popular and well-respected mayor of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Steve Jones who passed away aged 54, in late February.

Former Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones passed away aged 54, in late February.

Former Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones passed away aged 54, in late February.

The then deputy mayor Tanya Milligan, lead the tributes saying it was with a sad heart the Lockyer Valley had a premature change of the guard with the passing of mayor Steve Jones.

"Steve was elected as the inaugural mayor of the newly formed Lockyer Valley Regional Council following council amalgamations in 2008. He was a staunch supporter and advocate for the Lockyer.”

Read the full story here. 

Cozzie business born from drought

Swimming: Judy and Claire Gowing, Annie Roberts and Amanda Jones dressed in Cozzies.. Pictures: Judy Gowing.

Swimming: Judy and Claire Gowing, Annie Roberts and Amanda Jones dressed in Cozzies.. Pictures: Judy Gowing.

Swimwear is the last business venture you would expect to find in drought-ravaged western Queensland, but launching the colourful cover-up Coola Cozzies range gave Ilfracombe’s Julie Brown a sanity-saving outlet, and encouraged people back into the water without increasing their risk of melanomas.

Julie dreamed up the idea that helped give back her self-respect in the midst of a drought that was taking her usual work away.

Full story here. 

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