Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

First Visit in 30 Years Pays off for Grazier

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

First Visit in 30 Years Pays off for Grazier

Article excerpt


Western op:

In 1990 ran 3000 merinos and had a hefty wool cheque of $130,000

A year later as the floor price crashed the same wool sold for just $18,000

This year with just 1000 head he got a wool cheque of $29,000

The best price he has received in 21 years

WHEN Charleville grazier Richard Moore made the 700km trip to Warwick recently, it was to set foot in saleyards he hasn't seen for 30 years.

With an affable grin, the westerner explained the last time he sold sheep here it was 1981 and primary production was firmly focused on wool.

This time he made the journey east with a truckload of merino wethers as part of a plan to reduce sheep numbers going into winter on his 25,000ha property Lynton Hills.

C[pounds sterling]They just had to go,C[yen] Mr Moore said.

And, while the sale system might have been a necessary choice, the primary producer was more than satisfied with the result.

The five-year-old wethers sold to a top of $119 and the 63 head averaged $102.

A vast change from three decades ago when he and his father at one time had the C[pounds sterling]pick of the yardC[yen] at $2 a head.

Like the variability of the seasons, he knows too well the market for both live animals and wool has fluctuated considerably in that time.

C[pounds sterling]We have always had merinos but in the 1980s and 1990s we ran up to 3000 head of sheep,C[yen] Mr Moore explained.

C[pounds sterling]In 1990 we had our best year ever when we got a $130,000 wool cheque.

C[pounds sterling]The following year the floor price crashed and we got just $18,000 for the same amount and quality wool.C[yen]

Since then falling wool prices, a growing wild dog problem and a long battle with drought forced him to reduce sheep numbers until he was running just a 1000 head.

He offset his reduction in sheep numbers by moving into Santa Gertrudis cattle.

C[pounds sterling]We had 1000 head of sheep until earlier this year, when we lost 60% to the January floods and fly strike. …

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