Bill Tatt: Drought, fires and now flooding across Australia

Stock and property: Bill Tatt (pictured) talks about the wild weather the country has experienced in recent weeks. Photo: File.

Stock and property: Bill Tatt (pictured) talks about the wild weather the country has experienced in recent weeks. Photo: File.

Week Ending 14/02/2020

There is a saying what a difference a day 'makes' in our case it has been the last two-three weeks.

Fires were raging almost at will across eastern Australia and now after this wonderful rain most are out or at least under some semblance of control. Now we have widespread damage caused by out of control flooding.

Two things I will suggest is that in some quarters Scott Morrison and his team will be blamed for the floods as they were for the fires and just as the construction of new dams may have been gaining some traction these flooding rains will put all those thoughts on the back burner.

With Angus Barlow moving to the south, Peter Cruickshank has come out of auctioneering retirement (mostly self-imposed) to take up the reins of selling sheep, cattle and lambs for Barlow & Peadon Schute Bell here at Dubbo.

A very good auctioneer, he is thoroughly enjoying this new gig with newfound enthusiasm.

He will be an asset to Andrew Peadon and his team in this role. The reasonable widespread rain has caused havoc with saleyard numbers across the state with Dubbo Regional Saleyards suffering a similar fate.

Dubbo sheep and lambs on February 10 saw a very light offering of 4200 lambs and 1800 grown sheep. The cattle sale on February 13, has fared no better with agents only able to muster 1400 head.


With rain expected to continue for the next four or five days light yarding's could be the normal for the foreseeable future.

Last weeks column touched on how the MLA felt that 2019 figures for beef exports to South East Asia could not be repeated in 2020. We heartily agree with that summary.

A high percentage of those cattle were forced onto the market in a drought selling frenzy.

Indonesia recorded a growth spurt of 15 per cent to 676,000 of feeder cattle while Vietnam from a lower base saw imports from Australia left by 32 per cent to stand at 267,000 head of both feeder and slaughter animals.

While Australian beef remains popular in South East Asia, we are continually being challenged from other quarters with Indonesia importing 81,000 tonnes of Indian Buffalo meat up considerably on previous years.

Brazil is another country which has in recent times gained access to this market.

Both Indonesia and Vietnam are maturing as markets for our production as the living standards in both countries continue to rise and with this, consumers are seeking better quality meat.