AUSTRALIA’S rangeland goat producers needed to retain more does and support online marketing of females to help meet breeder demand and ensure the industry’s longevity, according to Queensland Elders agent Gus Foott.
The Elders Charleville agent assessed many of the goats offered in AuctionsPlus’ first national goat sale last week, in which 1112 of the 1331 head offered were sold.
He believes the industry needs to offer more scanned in-kid does, as is done in the sheep industry.
“We’ve got to start marketing goats like people market sheep – put a premium on young females scanned in-kid – because it is the only way this industry is going to survive.”
AuctionsPlus sales associate Ed Murphy said the online platform planned to hold monthly goat sales and the next one is booked for the 16 July.
Last week’s sale achieved an 84 percent clearance rate, with five head passed in and 214 didn’t attract a bid. There were 81 registered users logged in, 33 viewers and 4000 catalogue views.
The top price for does in last week’s AuctionsPlus sale was $160 for 210 8-9 month-old Boer-rangeland cross and rangeland does from M.L. and A.C. Noon of Glenalvon Station, Mitchell, Queensland. The per head price equated to 705c/kg liveweight or 1600c/kg dressed. The does were 85pc Boer-rangeland breeding and 15pc rangeland. They sold to a breeder at Begonia in Queensland, who also paid $142 for 312 10-11 month-old Boer cross does from Barta Park Station at Mitchell.
A line of 390 10-11 month-old Boer/rangeland bucks, weighing 22.5kg live or 10.4kg dressed from Barta Park Station sold for $123, or 547c/kg lwt, or 1183c/kg dressed. Dudauman Park, Quandialla, NSW, sold a Boer buck for $505 and red Boer bucks sold to a top of $275.
Mr Foott said he wasn’t surprised at achieving $160 for the young does, $40 above their reserve.
“For a long time, I think we have seen goats in general being sold cheaply out of the south.
“Putting them on AuctionsPlus has probably put a real floor in the market at what they are worth,” he said.
“At times a young breeding ewe is worth a lot of money well so should a young doe – there should be a fair price for those young female goats.”
He said with rain in southern Queensland and in parts of NSW limiting the turn-off of rangeland goats and Thomas Foods International offering prices of 1030c/kg for 6.1kg-plus goats, some people were realising there is a future in breeding goats.
Mr Foott said demand was increasing for breeding does, but too many young rangeland does had been slaughtered and rangeland numbers were “at an all-time low.”
“I really think because the price has been so good for so long, people haven’t been thinking about the future and have just been selling everything for meat, including does — instead of holding them back as breeders, they’ve just been cutting their heads off.”
He said the lack of goat numbers was already affecting the future of the new Bourke abattoir.
“The scary thing is if people don’t keep young does as females and start breeding them then the industry is only going to end one way – they are going to kill themselves out of numbers.”
It’s time to put a premium price on young does
He said young underweight does had for many years been selling in New South Wales for as low as $35 to be grown out and slaughtered.
“No-one has been thinking about the future and it is getting worse as meatworks drop the weight of slaughter goats making a lot of light nannies eligible to be killed.”
Mr Foott said bids for the does sold on AuctionsPlus last week came from as far afield as South Australia.
“That’s the problem, there are just no numbers left.
“If we don’t start selling young does for what they are really worth and people don’t start valuing them properly, it could be quite scary what happens.
He said there needs to be a premium paid for young does so it worthwhile for producers to retain or sell them for breeding. He has heard an unconfirmed report of rangeland does scanned in-kid to a Boer buck making more than $200.
“There is no reason in this market that you can’t do it.
“I have said to a lot of my vendors around here, why not do it?”
Mr Foott said the vendor who sold the Boer cross bucks for $123 in the AuctionsPlus sale was pleased with the result.
“The vendor weighed them and about two thirds were heavy enough to kill, but there was a tail, so he said I want to try them on AuctionsPlus.
“He said to me it was probably the best thing that ever happened, that they didn’t weigh heavy enough,” Mr Foott said.
“It’s not just does, why not sell young bucks and wethers as backgrounding goats, and sell them to someone who can grow them out and kill them at around 18-20kg dressed weight?
“It’s about time that we put a proper floor in the market,” he said.