A LIVE-STREAM of trading from the Mount Gambier and District Saleyards has been suggested by a Victorian farmer who remains concerned his inability to attend weekly sales could impact his business.
Grant District Council has declared essential staff, livestock agents, livestock carriers, canteen operators and meat-buyers are the only people allowed into the Glenburnie saleyards in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Onlookers and farmers seeking to purchase a pen of livestock are prohibited from walking through the gates due to the restrictions.
Drik Drik beef producer Neale Emerson said the saleyard guidelines had created some difficulties for farmers wanting to restock.
“I can still do everything I want to do and have done previously. I can purchase my supplies from Mount Gambier as everything remains open,” he said.
“The biggest change for the industry during these times is for farmers who are unable to go to the markets.”
Relying on the Mount Gambier and District Saleyards for livestock, Mr Emerson said a lot of producers preferred viewing stock before purchasing large quantities.
“It is a bit like asking somebody if they would give another person $30,000 to buy a car for you without you looking over it yourself, I doubt many people would do that,” he said.
“You can tell an agent you want 30 cows, but it might be their idea of 30 cows, not mine.
“That is a minimum of $60,000 or more you are looking at spending.”
Concerned about further border restriction measures, Mr Emerson believes the Limestone Coast’s agricultural industry would be greatly impacted if Victorians were shut out.
“If Victoria was shut off, there would be large repercussions,” he said.
“Farmers in Mount Gambier also have to travel the border to look after their stock and if they can not come back, there would be South Australians locked out of their own state.
“It works vice versa and I know Mount Gambier farmers personally who are driving across three times a day to check on their heifers.”
Mr Emerson said he used a Mount Gambier-based stock agent for his business, a relationship he hoped to continue until restrictions were lifted.