All smiles at high clearance rates for Clermont sale

IMPRESSIVE clearance prices for cattle at last month's Highland Droughtmaster Sale in Clermont had graziers all smiles.

With the top bull selling for $12,000, it was a welcome relief in the battle against the drought.

According to State Government website The Long Paddock, there are 44 local government areas that are drought declared, with another three partly declared.

Another 79 properties across nine LGAs have received individual declarations.

But Clermont cattle producer Carl Moller, who took over as the AgForce Central regional president in November, said it's not all doom and gloom.

He said while many local areas remained dry, some parts of the district had had good falls after patchy rain.

As far as cattle prices go producers enjoyed a stellar start to the season, with prices up by as much as 60 to 70 cents at the first sale in Emerald for 2015.

But Carl said prices had now started to settle down due to the high numbers of cattle being sold off due to the dry weather, and the temporary closure of JBS in Rockhampton didn't help.

"When the works opened earlier in the year (prices) were really good, but they've come back now," he said.

"There are so many cattle on the market that the competition isn't there."

A strong crowd of bidders turned out for the Highland Droughtmaster Sale on March 20.

Strathfield Gizmo, the top-selling bull from Shane and Wendy Perry at Strathfield Stud, was one of 65 sold, with an average clearance of 83% and a clearance rate of 100% for the seven heifers.

"I think people were a bit apprehensive, they thought they might have been pretty hard to sell… so they were very happy with the result in the end," Carl said.



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