Stanley Vale Merino Stud - News & Views

Weekly sheep and cattle market wrap

Indicators

The Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) has reached a record high this week at 1,202.34c/kg cwt. This is up 227.56c year-on-year, with the surge being driven by restocker demand in the market.  Restockers took out 56.57% of sales followed by 43.28% from feeder buyers. 

Over in the east, the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) has softened 8.74c/kg cwt week-on-week at 1,086.81c/kg cwt. The number of head sold to lot feeders has risen by 10% week-on-week, taking out 52.38% of the sales.

Feeder cattle

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New South Wales top MSA producers announced

New South Wales beef producers who consistently deliver beef of superior eating quality were recognised last night at the 2022 Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Excellence in Eating Quality Awards in Armidale.

Hosted by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), the Awards recognise beef producers who have achieved outstanding compliance rates to MSA specifications, as well as high eating quality performance as represented by MSA Index results for MSA graded cattle during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.

MSA was developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve the consistency of eating quality of beef and sheepmeat. The system is based on almost 1.2 million taste tests by more than 171,000 consumers from 11 countries and takes into account all factors that affect eating quality from the paddock to plate.

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Slaughter lifts as relief comes for the processing sector

Despite reports to the contrary, there have been some strong processor numbers to start 2022. While lamb and cattle slaughter numbers are below 2020 and 2021 levels so far this year, circumstances are improving.

Changes to the national definition of a close contact and isolation rules for abattoir workers have seen the weekly kill numbers improve this week. Cattle slaughter improved 50% this week to 62,000 head while lamb slaughter rose by 100,000 head this week to 319,000 head. These numbers are encouraging, although cattle slaughter is down 28% and lamb slaughter down 29% from the same week last year.

Looking at specific states and species provides a slightly more nuanced picture of the situation.

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How you can share red meat’s story

Elle Moyle – veterinarian and producer

I grew up on sheep and cattle properties throughout southern Australia. I currently live in south-west Victoria, where I work as a large animal vet. I’ve also purchased my own property where I run composite ewes and Angus cattle.

Why do you think it’s important to share your story?

Sharing our stories is an important way to connect with others, find common ground and showcase our great industry. As a young producer, I love to discuss and share all the positives of working in this industry and the opportunities it presents. I feel that sharing our lifestyle, projects and goals can help others understand farming practices and inspire those in the industry to further their involvement.

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Weekly cattle, sheep and goat market wrap

New record for the National Feeder Steer Indicator

The National Feeder Steer Indicator broke a new record again this week, hitting 523¢/kg liveweight (lwt) on Tuesday. Since the middle of June, the Indicator has appreciated 81¢, or 15%, and from the beginning of this month, it lifted 18¢/kg lwt, or 3%, in 10 sale days.

Increased supply has done little to dampen demand, with an extra 1,451 head yarded week-on-week. Big lifts from Tamworth and Wagga Wagga have driven supply upwards – Wagga rose by 685 head and Tamworth by 585 head week-on-week to account for over 27% of the total feeder steer yarding. With these saleyards being two of the top three most expensive sales, it’s evident that key cattle regions for feeder cattle throughout NSW are confident of the season ahead.

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Soil group stirs a passion

Life has changed for Debbie and Steve Buckland ever since they took part in a Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) funded Healthy Soils Group.

Gone are the days of sitting in front of the television in the evening to watch a movie!

The pair have become so passionate about sourcing information on soils management that they now spend their evenings scrolling through YouTube videos learning ways to improve the soil health of their 143ha farm at Winkleigh in the West Tamar region of Tasmania.

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Legume pasture systems for improving sheep production

Many producers throughout WA have introduced serradella and biserulla and more recently vetch into their crop rotations. The benefits of these pastures to the cropping phase are well documented, but there is a lack of data available on their potential to improve carrying capacity, lamb growth rates or ewe reproductive performance. This project aims to quantify via participatory research the performance of lambs and ewes grazing these pastures to enable their use to be optimised in mixed farming systems. Demonstration sites will be established on up to 20 farms over 2-years to investigate the following:

Lamb growth rates in late spring/early summer when grazing annual pasture legumes versus other pastures or stubbles Ewe reproductive rates from grazing annual pasture legumes versus other pastures or stubbles prior to and or during joining in early summer

Lamb growth rates

At each farm, at least 100 lambs will be split post weaning and allocated to graze serradella, biserulla or vetch versus crop stubbles or alternative pastures. The bigger the mobs the better but the minimum requirement is 50 lambs per mob and the animals need to graze for a minimum of one month. Feed on offer (kg DM/ha), nutritive value of the feed (energy and protein content) and liveweight will be measured at the start of grazing and then monthly until the end of grazing.  All measurements will be completed by project staff from Murdoch University.

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Ryegrass triple treat

Introducing annual ryegrasses has delivered a triple win for central Victorian sheep producer Lachie Green, by filling the winter feed gap, preserving perennial pastures and supporting quicker lamb turn‑off.

When Lachie took over ‘Mokepilly South’ at Lake Fyans in 2012, he faced the challenge of growing sufficient dry matter over winter in paddocks which had been overgrazed and under-fertilised.

Lachie hosted an MLA Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) to investigate high-production annual forages in perennial systems.

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Future-proof your business by being lender ready

The lending environment has changed substantially, with a raft of new considerations for producers who are going for a loan, including how to prepare their application and what help they can get.

Many business owners are looking for opportunities to expand, diversify and adapt their enterprise, but are held back when it comes to finance.

Gordon Stone, Director of the Agri Business Development Institute (ABDI), said many business owners were unaware of how the changes have affected the lending process.

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