Cathy Hawkins with her father Lawrence at the Coolabunia Cattle Sale on February 21.
Cathy Hawkins with her father Lawrence at the Coolabunia Cattle Sale on February 21. Tobi Loftus

Burnett farmers say more rain needed and soon

KUMBIA farmer Cathy Hawkins is worried that if she does not receive more rain soon, her family farm will receive significantly less for their cattle.

Ms Hawkins attended the Coolabunia fat and store sale on February 21 with her father Lawrence.

"We were selling Angus steers mainly,” she said.

"I think the steers went okay, the prices should be pretty okay.”

Ms Hawkins said she was woken up on Saturday night by the sound of rain.

"It was wonderful to get a bit rain,” she said.

"We didn't see the clouds build up.

"We woke up at around 11.30pm and the rain went until about 2am.

"We kept waking up and hearing it.”

Ms Hawkins said she hoped it meant the start of more rain, as the rain had done next to nothing.

"Ten inches would be nice,” she said.

"We got 140 points (36ml).

"The market has definitely slid a bit, it will keep on doing it if we don't get better rain.

"We only come to the sale when we have cattle to sell and that varies how much rain we get.

"We have about 60 to 70 head at the moment.”

Bullcamp cattle farmer Les Wilson said he only got 9mm of rain on the weekend.

"If somebody else gets rain and I don't it doesn't bother me, as long as I can feed my cattle and give them water it's okay,” Mr Wilson said.

"If somebody else gets the benefit of the rain it keeps the prices steady.

"You can't go commiserating because I didn't get the rain.

"If I miss out I miss out, somebody got it so that's good.”

Mr Wilson said it was good to see prices holding.

"When I came to the district three and a half years ago I had to sell a lot as we were only getting $1.50/kg,” he said.

"That was very distressing, mainly because I was feeding.

"Back at that time I opted to keep most of the breeding herd and pay what I had to.

"This pen of blacks today we got $3.47 for the Brangus.

"I did sell a few pens here at one stage for $4/kg.”

Mr Wilson sold two pens of steers and one pen of heifers at the sale.

"It went better than expected, with no rain and the prices coming down,” he said.

"I know some areas around here get a bit of rain, but as we only got 9mm over two nights, that's not going to do anything for the dams.

"My predicament is water not grass.

"I can start pumping water and I can survive, but that's not ideal.

"I'll be able to hold on and get through winter, but we will need some rain within the next three months otherwise there will be a lot of trouble.”

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