April 18, 2013
MCKINLAY beef producers David and Heather Moore have measured just 13mm in two storms so far this year. The critically dry season has forced the Moore family to put 1600 steers and heifers on the road to Roma while the remaining 800 breeders left at Strathfield, 15km northwest of McKinlay, are being supplementary fed. Mr Moore said his steers and heifers were trucked to Winton on March 18 and are currently walking south from Longreach under the watchful eye of Blackall drover, Gavin Wemyss. “This is his first mob and my first mob so we are virginal drovers together,” Mr Moore told Queensland Country Life. “The cattle aren’t looking too bad now – they have cleaned up and are starting to go ahead.” Mr Moore said the cattle should arrive in Roma by August or September and would be sold through the Roma Saleyards. “Those cattle needed a boost before they were sold and hopefully by the time they get to Roma the initial rush of cattle will be over and they’ll hit a more stable market,” he said. Mr Moore has also been trying to lighten off his breeder numbers but said booking space at processing works in the north had proved difficult. “We want to sell some cows that have a little bit of condition on them but the first booking for six decks we can get in Townsville is in late June,” he said. “We have a little bit of feed left but, like most people up here, stock water has become a major issue.” – Pictures: Heather Moore.