CORANGAMITE Shire Council’s decision to push for a regional livestock selling centre in the municipality has been vindicated by Camperdown saleyards trading figures showing a substantial increase in numbers.
A total of 43,763 cattle were sold in 2013-14 — up 18.7 per cent on the previous financial year.
Mayor Chris O’Connor encouraged more sellers from across the shire and region to consider consigning their cattle to the Camperdown yards, which were expected to again show strong results this financial year.
Dairy cattle numbers were a major component of the throughput which The Standard understands was boosted in part by tough seasonal conditions which forced some farmers to trim their herds.
“The 2012-13 results were down a little on previous years, due to a number of factors that were outside our control, but it is encouraging to see these numbers increase so significantly,” he said.
“Camperdown agents association members have worked tirelessly to ensure they offered good numbers and quality stock for buyers to choose from, which has helped sale numbers increase.”
Cr O’Connor said the figures reinforced Camperdown’s position as a premier centre for dairy sales. “Early in the year, there was a push for a switch to post-weigh sales that threatened our numbers, but agents and producers continued their support of pre-weigh sales and ensured numbers and quality remained,” he said.
“There has also been a concentration on monthly sales in addition to the weekly fat market, which has had a positive impact on numbers.
“These strong numbers provide a competitive market place for farmers from across the region.”
Late last month, the council voted to start an expressions of interest process to develop and operate a new regional saleyards in the shire.
Councillors were told regional yards would produce higher sale prices, more regular attendances by major buyers and more efficient facilities. The council has indicated it would only consider closing the Camperdown yards if the new facility was built in the shire and that the Camperdown yards would continue to operate in the meantime.
Warrnambool City Council initiated a similar process last year for a regional selling centre within 40 kilometres of Warrnambool and selected Regional Infrastructure Pty Ltd as its preferred tenderer. Discussions are continuing.
Cr O’Connor said a regional saleyards had the potential to benefit both municipalities.