HAPPY new year, and welcome to 2018.
I hope that the end to 2017, and the festive season has treated you all well.
Personally, I am looking forward to a positive and fruitful start to 2018.
Unfortunately, not all of us returned to start a new year, and on this note I want to acknowledge the passing of Noel Renshaw, of Warragul.
Noel passed away just before Christmas, and his funeral, Friday, December 22, was attended by many of his farming associates.
Some will know, but many will not, but Noel set a very high barrier to others who grew prime, outstanding vealers.
The Baw Baw Livestock Exchange’s market report headlined Noel Renshaw as the highest price vealer, for many weeks of the year.
Breeding prime European cross vealers was Noel’s passion, and for some, it gave great incentive to improve, and aim to better Noel.
My condolences go to Noel’s son, Trevor, and families for their loss.
The production of prime vealers has fallen away over the past few years, as consumer wants and needs changed.
However, the want to produce the best possible article lives on, and if fact, has improved over the years.
Producers have come to understand that whatever breed of livestock, both cattle and sheep, that seeking the best possible article, pays the best results, no matter what the season.
The 2018 annual calf sales, which will see between 40,000 and 50,000 calves, and breeding females offered, will highlight this fact.
Combining with producers increasing improvements in breeding of their cattle, is the exemplary late spring.
This will be one year when these two factors combine to see some of the best young cattle offered for sale.
Even if you are not looking too buy, or you have never attended these annual sales, it is well worth a look this year.
If the December calf sales are any guide, the cattle will be in excellent condition, and offer more weight than most of than most of the previous years.
Many people wait until the Annual Mountain Calf Sales to see some of the best bred cattle, but with some of the worst conditions in the high country for many years, some say ever, January may well be the time to seek quality and condition.
Look for all market reports in the Stock & Land, which will cover the north east, western district, central and Gippsland annual sales in January, and early February.