Cattle farmers are expecting relief thanks to rain in recent weeks.
Cattle farmers are expecting relief thanks to rain in recent weeks. Helen Spelitis

Rain a relief from mental suffering of drought

PRESSURE on cattle farmers to buy feed or put their animals into feedlots will ease in the new year.

Already the rain has brought a 30% increase for prices at the saleyards and record kill numbers are expected to start scaling back.

While there is still a long way to go, South Burnett livestock agent James Bredhauer said farmers were closer to breaking even with a brighter outlook for the coming months.

He said it would take a while for the benefits of the past two weeks rain to sink in.

But with the expectation of some feed in the paddocks again, cattle farmers will no longer need to put their animals in feedlots to survive.

"The rain has saved lives, that's for certain and in more ways than one," Mr Bredhauer said.

"Costs would be so high at the moment to keep those cattle (in the paddocks) because they've been buying feed.

"I think we are going to see some very good prices coming into next year."

He said the rain wasn't just about the economics of having to buy food, but had a great impact on people's state of mind.

"It the constant wear of drought that hurts," he said.

"People are looking at it every day, and they can't see any options on how to make money or get out of their situation.

"It's the mental thing that gets to people."

Record-breaking

Almost 2 million cattle have been slaughtered in Queensland this year and while national cattle turn-off is expected to remain high, prices are predicted to rise by 12% year-on-year.

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