Eyre Peninsula sheep producers wait for rain

FEEDING: Sydney Lawrie with some of the Collandra North flock feeding in the background.
FEEDING: Sydney Lawrie with some of the Collandra North flock feeding in the background.

An Eyre Peninsula sheep breeder says local producers will need more rain soon to take the burden off feeding their flocks.

The last week has seen the wettest days for July, with the highest levels falling on July 6.

Port Lincoln Airport recorded 10.4 millimetres on July 6 while Cummins saw 14.2mm, further up the peninsula Elliston saw 5mm and Cleve received 3.8mm.

Tumby Bay sheep breeder Sydney Lawrie said the recent rains would help take pressure off feeding and the situation in the area was better than last year, but feed was still short.

“Across Australia everyone I've spoken to is feeding heavily,” he said.

“I haven't heard of anyone in my area trucking in (feed)  as it was last year, whether people have stored a bit more since last season I don't know.”

Farmers will be bolstered by the good prices for wool and sheep at the moment.

The most recent Australian Wool Innovation market report shows Australian Wool Exchange Eastern Market Indicator dropped 3 per cent to be at 1994 Australian cents per clean kilogram.

Despite dropping below 2000 cents this was still 470 cents higher than the same time last year.

Mr Lawrie said most people he spoke to were holding on to their breeding core in their flocks.

“We are getting good prices for store lambs as well as prime lambs and with the Eastern Market Indicator going above 2000 cents (recently) with wool, to be where it is people will want to hold onto stock and take advantage of good times,” he said.

“This year everyone really is going to need another good rain to make the most out of the good prices.”

Mr Lawrie is also the chair of the national panel for Wool Poll, which later this year will give sheep producers the chance to vote on how much of their wool levy they want to put towards research and marketing through AWI.

He said on September 17 people would get a voter information kit and it was important for people to have a say.

“We're the only agricultural sector that gets this opportunity every three years, so be a part of it and vote,” he said.

“Remember if you’re a wool grower, it's your wool, it's your industry, vote".