Online sales open new world of opportunity for producers
SOUTHERN Downs farmers have welcomed a growing shift to online auctions as saleyard coronavirus restrictions leave buyers seeking alternate markets.
Greymare farmer John Cleary started selling his cattle using AuctionPlus before the pandemic but said, following closures nationwide, he himself had seen such sites boom in interest.
"We did notice that as soon as coronavirus hit, the demand obviously increased and daily no-through sales increased," Mr Cleary said.
"There was massive growth in that division."
In an interview earlier this year, online auction house Farmgate Auctions director Guy Gallen said the pandemic had paved way for the future of farm sales.
"COVID-19 has certainly shone a light on selling livestock online and people are looking beyond traditional methods," Mr Gallen said.
"Anything can be sold by auction - we're not limited by time, space or place and we don't have to meet such common saleyard requirements as EPA rules, effluent run-off, repairs or maintenance."
In a recent sale, three-fifths of Mr Cleary's stock went to interstate buyers in Glen Innes and Legume- an option that wouldn't have been possible without the platform.
It was a welcome alternative he encouraged more producers to seek out, even after the virus ended.
"You can sit in your office hundreds of kilometres away and watch cattle from 10 different locations and have them all at your fingertips," he said.
"While people obviously like to see them in the flesh, I think if you have good video and present them well, it's a fair platform that gives all buyers a crack of it."
It also gave sellers like him the chance to wait out a fair price.
"If they don't meet the market, you don't have to sell them," Mr Cleary said
"No matter what, at the yards, you'll always hear someone say - I'm not happy with what I got but they're gone.
"(Online auctions) give you more control over what you want and what you get."