Bill Tatt: Castlereagh abattoir provides boost to economy

Stock and property: Bill Tatt (pictured) writes about the Castlereagh abattoirs and the Australian cattle herd figure in this week's column. Photo: File

Stock and property: Bill Tatt (pictured) writes about the Castlereagh abattoirs and the Australian cattle herd figure in this week's column. Photo: File

Week Ending 31/07/2020

Received a phone call from Len Scott Coonamble, art of the foundation family of the Castlereagh abattoirs in that township.

The facility was initially opened by the Scott family in 1974.

After a prolonged marketing campaign, the shed finally changed hands in 2012.

Over the years since much money has been spent on maintenance and upgrades but every time the works looked like starting, they would face another obstacle which caused further delays.

Finally, the word from Len Scott is that with new partners and the appointment of a site manager the project is on course to commence work in the next six to eight weeks with hopefully a trial kill towards the end of August.

The plant hopes to process all forms of livestock with the exception of pigs. The shed expects to initially employ 10 to 12 people and grow from there as demand improves.

The Castlereagh abattoirs at its peak employed as many as 50 personnel. If this all comes together it will be a magic boost for the Coonamble economy.

On the subject of Coonamble, the local agents are looking to continue to hold prime and store cattle sales in the near future.

The recent sales have been exceptionally good and with the great season and the influx of agistment cattle from the north the opportunity for future sales would be limitless.

For perspective buyers and vendors, the next goat sale for the Dubbo Troy Complex will be held on Tuesday, August 11.

Vendors are reminded that all the correct paperwork must be in place and please contact your preferred agent to allow stock to be collated and advertised.

There appears to much discussion between various analyst and correspondents as to the actual size of the Australian cattle herd the MLA has suggested that cattle numbers will rise and by June, 30, 2021 may sit at 25 million head.

Other writers suggest that this is near impossible because current numbers are well below 20 million cattle.

The writer is not 100 per cent sure where the figures are dredged from.

But if they rely on primary producer returns there could be some doubt in the numbers accumulation of actual figures on some of the big western runs would be difficult at best in recent years with droughts, floods and fires, calving rates have been all over the place in terms of percentages.

The one thing all parties agree on is that with the better season the average carcase weight should in 2020 be heavier than was the case in 2019 as graziers enjoy the better feed situation, low stocking rates and very good prices in the physical market allowing them to hold longer.