Cattle restocking under way in west

North west flood 2019 restocking commences

Buyers check out the grey Brahmans at Big Country in Charters Towers last week. Photo: Jessica Johnston.

Buyers check out the grey Brahmans at Big Country in Charters Towers last week. Photo: Jessica Johnston.


Flood affected graziers have started the long process of restocking their properties in the north west and the industry is rallying behind them.


GREEN shoots are beginning to appear for the north's cattle industry despite vast areas of grazing country being decimated in the north west flood.

Flood affected graziers were among those restocking at the 2019 Big Country Brahman sale in Charters Towers last week, with the industry rallying around those affected.

Sale agent Ken McCaffrey, McCaffrey's Livestock, said the sale was a positive start to 2019.

"The seedstock industry reflects what else is going on in the cattle industry, and you'd have to say that given we've had buyers here from Boulia, McKinlay and other areas that were wet affected… some of those people are out buying bulls and that's a positive sign that people want to overcome their recent woes or disasters with that wet event and they want to move on as quick as they can and as best they can," Mr McCaffrey said.

"I spoke to a couple of people that were badly affected and lost a lot of stock, and in fact lost quite a large percentage of their stud herd, but they were here, they bought a couple of bulls at the sale.

"Certainly their budget was affected from what happened, but they understand really that it's a matter of keeping going as best they can.

"It will be a long process to get back to where they were, but they're not inclined to pull up and not do anything, they're moving forward."

Elders Rockhampton Livestock agent Robert Murray was buying on behalf of several clients in the north west.

He said while some were priced out of the market, WF & ME Allison, Broadlands Station at McKinlay, bought four bulls after suffering some losses in the flood.

"The people that got pulverised like Gipsy Plains were there selling a couple of bulls, and they spent on a heifer and sometimes you've got to do that to get through," Mr Murray said.

Rob Flute, Chatfield Station, Richmond, who also lost some stud sires in the flood, bought eight bulls at the sale.

Gulf Cattleman's Association president Barry Hughes said the industry was continuing to rally together to overcome the disaster.

"There's a whole bunch of layers to the recovery process and part of that is making sure graziers in that area don't jump the barriers in terms of putting mouths back on country that hasn't regenerated to the point of sustaining some grazing pressure through the year," Mr Hughes said.

"In saying that there's some very positive indicators coming from right across agriculture in relation to that disaster area and one of those was Big Country, in regards to saying we're still here, we're still with you.

"It will only give people a lift in spirits and some confidence that the rest of the industry is quite buoyant."

Mr Hughes said last week's Malanda store sale attracted $3.50/kg for young male cattle in the 250kg-350kg weight range, an indicator that there was still a market for those types of cattle.

He said the industry was waiting to learn the make up of the North Queensland Livestock Recovery Agency committee. 

"It is pivotal to have ongoing grassroots representatives on that board, who know the industry in that part of the world. 

"This is about rebuilding for the next 10 years so we've got to get it right."

The story Cattle restocking under way in west first appeared on North Queensland Register.


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