Primed for the 2019 Warwick Show

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Cattle and sheep producers are reminded that entries close soon for the 2019 Warwick Show Prime Cattle and Prime Sheep and Lamb competitions.

Prize money for the Prime Sheep and Lamb competition has doubled this year and chief steward Joe Browne has paid tribute to the sponsors for their strong support once again in 2019.

The Free Times caught up with Joe and this year’s judge Chris Lawlor – Warwick buyer for Thomas Foods International (TFI) – at last week’s Warwick sheep sale, where quality for both the export and butcher trades was impressively high despite the drought, but with very few pasture-fed lambs now selling at Warwick.

But the worrying trend of producers selling breeding stock – both sheep and cattle – is not showing any sign of slowing and concern remains over the longer-term impact.

Last week’s sheep sale saw 2246 lambs and hoggets and 1473 sheep yarded, with the top price of $166 achieved by the Retreat Farming Company of Goondiwindi.

Notable was a big line of top-quality White Dorpers from the Grieve family’s ‘Glenochar’ property at Muckadilla which sold to export buyers between $138 and $165.

Chris Lawlor said it was a “crying shame” to see good breeding stock going for slaughter, off-loaded by producers who have run out of water, with ewes accounting for as much as 90 per cent of the mutton at last week’s sale.

Chris said processors were doing their best to keep kill numbers up, with TFI at Tamworth processing around 55,000 a week at the present time and buying a B-double load of lambs at Warwick in a typical week.

Over at the cattle sale last week it was a similar story, with females accounting for around 50 per cent of the total yarding of 2563.

Joe Browne said entry fees for the Prime Sheep and Lamb competition at the Warwick Show this year will be deducted from sale proceeds to streamline the entries, with final numbers entered from individual producers in the past sometimes differing from those proposed to be entered.

• Prime Sheep and Lamb entries close next Wednesday 20 March and entries for the Prime Cattle close this Friday 15 March.

• Schedules and entry forms from the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society office at the Warwick Showgrounds or call 4661 9060.

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