Noel Vaughan and Steve Johnson discussed cattle prices and the challenges still facing farmers at the Warwick cattle sales yesterday.
Noel Vaughan and Steve Johnson discussed cattle prices and the challenges still facing farmers at the Warwick cattle sales yesterday. Jayden Brown

Rain relieves pain but drought stains

WHILE last week's rain has further bolstered the cattle markets, there's still a long way to go for the region's farmers as they start to bounce back from the drought.

Retired farmer Steve Johnson said while the cattle were starting to make $1.80 - $1.90/kg, they really needed to make more for farmers to break even.

"These farmers can't make the money back from rearing cattle," he said.

"They gotta get their $2.50/kg to even come close to breaking even."

While the rain has been somewhat of a saviour for struggling farmers, Mr Johnson said the profit just isn't there.

"Most people will go back to the bank," she said.

"A lot of farmers aren't game enough to stand up and say anything."

Loch Lomond farmer Noel Vaughan, who sold 13 steers at yesterday's sale, said the rain had saved many farmers.

"On the cattle side of thing these the costs are starting to get you," he said.

"I sold 50 head in the drought - had to offload old cows mainly."

Max and Bernadette Peterson from Killarney were also sellers at yesterday's sale.

Mr Peterson said they received 300mm of rain in a several day period last week.

"People are holding back their cattle and the market is responding positively," he said.

"Our prospects are better now for the coming months than they were."

A surprising 1500 cattle were yarded at the Warwick Saleyards yesterday, as demand for heavier, well conditioned prime cattle continued to rise.



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