ON THE UP: Laidley cattle auctioneer David Stariha has seen prices for young cattle double in the last month as rains bring confidence, and feed, back to the region. Picture: Dominic Elsome
ON THE UP: Laidley cattle auctioneer David Stariha has seen prices for young cattle double in the last month as rains bring confidence, and feed, back to the region. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Rain and pasture regrowth pushes cattle prices through roof

IT’S AMAZING what a little rain can do.

Widespread falls around the region and across much of Australia’s east seaboard have not only turned the grass green again - it has sent cattle prices skyrocketing.

“The prices have doubled basically … especially on smaller cattle,” Laidley auctioneer David Stariha said.

With water in the dams and pasture in the paddocks, there’s been a rush to purchase stock to rebuild herds.

“A lot of people totally de-stocked because they had no feed and no water,” he said.

“Now they’ve got feed, they’ve got water, but they’ve got no cattle – that’s why the prices are so high, because there’s so many people looking to restock.”

It’s not just young cattle that have increased their earning potential, with heavy stock also pulling their weight.

“The bigger cattle haven’t doubled in price but there’s been a very big increase,” he said.

The sudden spike in demand is still being serviced by strong supply, with yarding sizes holding steady around the region.

At the Laidley Fat and Store sale on Thursday, February 13, 556 cattle were yarded, with sellers capitalising on the high prices.

At the sale, Dean Veivers of Stapylton sold a line 20-22 month old Droughtmaster cross steers for $1710.

Another standout was Premalaw Pty Ltd, Neurum, which sold lines of 20 month Braford cross steers at $1500, 12 month Brangus steers at $1180 and 8 months Brangus steers at $1010.

The change in just a few short weeks has been stark, and the mood at the cattle sales has changed dramatically.

“I think confidence is pretty good in everyone now. You drive around and there’s a lot of grass around now,” he said.

Even Mt Stariha himself was feeling better after the rain.

“Every sale at the moment, you’re astounded at what some cattle bring (in price) – you look at it and you’re amazed at what cattle are making,” he said.

And while the drought is far from finished, a little green pick and hope never hurt anyone.


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