Roma set to yard record 14,000 cattle tomorrow

James Nason, 28/04/2014

What is the official record for a cattle yarding at Roma? Since printing the below article earlier this week (Monday, April 28), some media reports have identified a 13,900 head yarding assembled at Roma in 2006 as the largest on record for Australia’s biggest cattle selling centre. Beef Central this week asked Roma’s NLRS market analyst Martin Bunyard for clarification on what the official records say. Martin said the picture was a little sketchy because some gaps exist in the records prior to 2010, at which time MLA took over the official reporting responsibilities for Roma. The MLA records show that since 2010 the highest yarding was a 12,900 head yarding in March last year (2013), making the 13,206 yarded on Tuesday the biggest in MLA’s records. However Martin advised that the biggest all-time yarding that can be found in the records that are available was achieved in 1982, when 14,000 head of store weaner cattle were penned and sold by open auction. If anyone is aware of a bigger yarding at Roma, or elsewhere for that matter, please drop us a line at



One of the biggest cattle sales in living memory is set to unfold at Roma tomorrow where more than 14,000 cattle have been drawn for the weekly store sale.

The yarding is likely to smash the previous record which was in the 11,000-12,000 head vicinity.

A recent lift in rates and the traditional autumn sell off prior to winter are among the key drivers for the record yarding.

The huge volume of cattle is expected to also attract significant numbers of buyers, particularly restockers after recent rain filled in many seasonal gaps, and allowed producers to plant large areas to oats.

Agents have drawn 14,109 cattle for the sale, comprising 7980 steers, 4683 heifers, 1253 cows, 202 cows and calves.

Rod Turner from Landmark at Roma said that while some of the cattle are from western areas such as Longreach, Blackall and Charleville, most are from the local region.

Despite the big numbers Mr Turner is confident the yarding will attract enough buyers to ensure a solid market.

“I’ve never seen a soft market on a big yarding in Roma yet,” he told Beef Central.

“It is just human nature, they see the big numbers and they all come.

“In a sale where there is only 2000-3000 you’d be more worried then about whether you can attract the buyers.”

Mr Turner said the recent break in the season was also likely to drive restocker demand.

‘There are a few bad places here still, and a few places with feed but lacking water, but generally speaking it has been an excellent break and I have never seen feed come away as quickly as it has.

“They have also been going here flat here for weeks planting oats.

“They put it in before the rain and it is now up 7-8 inches high, and another 10-20mm of rain around here last night will be beautiful on those crops as well.

Beef Central last week speculated that a big sale was likely at Roma this week, spurred on by a return to a full week after recent public holiday disruptions and the recent lift in meatworks rates.


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