Weather

Southern producers wait on autumn break

James Nason, 17/04/2012

Click on image below article to view maps in larger format. Cattle producers in western Victoria and southern South Australia are watching weather forecasts with greater than usual interest this week as they await the onset of an already overdue autumn break.

Rainfall in the region has been spasmodic in the past month and not sufficient to generate the body of feed most landholders require as the colder months commence.

Anzac Day which falls next Wednesday is typically considered the date by which producers hope to have received their annual rainfall break.

The good news is that the weather forecasts are pointing to the emergence of cold fronts with the potential to bring widespread rain to the western district and south east South Australia from April 23 (this Monday) onwards.

Until then however southern producers are likely to face continued dry weather and high temperatures at least through to the weekend, due to an intense area of high pressure that is drifting slowly across the Tasman Sea, according to The Weather Channel’s Felim Hanniffy.

Landmark south east livestock manager Will Nolan said that despite the dry conditions in western Victoria and south eastern South Australia, good feed in the Gippsland and from the border river areas of Victoria and further north was helping to absorb turn off.

“Our southern market seems to be holding up fairly well,” Mr Nolan told Beef Central this morning.

“Our store cattle a fortnight ago were extraordinarily high, and while there seems to have been a little softening just in the last fortnight, it is still at good levels given the feed in northern Victoria, Southern NSW and heading up further.”

Inquiry had also been strong for store cattle from the pastoral areas due to the large body of feed, with demand mainly for breeding type cows and to a lesser extent for lighter weaner cattle.

Mr Nolan said Landmark as a company had sold more cattle in the first three months of this year than it did during the same period of last year, an indication of the numbers now coming through as a result of the herd expansion trend that has been evident in recent years. 

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