A GROUP of Central Australian beef producers will test the market for slaughter cattle when they stage a one-off sale of about 2500 bullocks and meatworks cows in Alice Springs later this month.
The sale takes place on Thursday 17 August at Alice Springs’ Rowe Creek yards.
While Alice Springs conducts a small annual show sale each year, other physical cattle sales occur only occasionally, as seasons and market circumstances allow, with most cattle sold out of the paddock to live exporters or processors.
Elders’ Herbie Neville said four local producers got together and decided to stage a sale themselves. Individually, none had the numbers to attract long-distance buyers to a smaller yarding, but by pooling resources, a good-sized catalogue of cattle big enough to attract buyers from across the continent has resulted.
The yarding will be mostly steers, predominantly six-teeth or full-mouth, with a few fours, and a smaller offering of meatworks cows. Steer weights will range from around 520kg live to +700kg. The bottom end of the offering might come into Vietnam live export calculations, but the majority of the cattle will be export slaughter types. Many will be HGP-free, with some being Certified Organic.
While the Central Australia region around Alice Springs has had no real rain since the first week in February, the areas to the northeast have fared better. Most of the cattle being consigned to the sale will be in prime to full forward condition.
Characteristic of the Alice Springs region’s cattle industry, there will be a wide genetic spectrum evident in listings, with good lines of Santa Gertrudis, Droughtmaster, Angus and Angus cross, and a few Herefords represented in the yarding.
Vendors include Sandover Pastoral Co (Weir family); Amburla Nominees (Tony Davis and family); G&C Pastoral Co (Viv Oldfield); Crown Point Pastoral Co (Oldfield and Costello families); and the Goldsworthy family.
Showcasing the Alice Springs region’s unrivalled diversity in marketing options, agents are anticipating potential processor competition from up to five states and territories – South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, and potentially, Western Australia. The Australian Agricultural Co has also expressed interest, and may send a buyer from its Livingstone plant, near Darwin.
“People sometimes say Alice Springs is in the middle of nowhere. But in terms of cattle marketing options, we actually think we’re in the middle of everywhere,” Elders marketing agent Herbie Neville said.
The Alice Springs yards are certified for sale of Organic cattle, having gained accreditation two years ago. A growing number of local cattle are run under Certified Organic lines.
Sole agents are Elders Alice Springs. Contact Herbie Neville 0429 933 200.