WITH the region sweltering through hot temperatures in recent weeks, local livestock experts are urging producers to be aware of the effects the weather has on stock.
Gunnedah has averaged 37 degrees for the month of January, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
The hot temperatures have prompted Boggabri stock agent Guy Gallen to urge local producers to “keep an eye out” for their stock.
“The weather is having a big impact on a lot of people,” Mr Gallen said.
“Once water levels in dams get low you see stock start to go backwards really quickly.”
Dry weather conditions have also made an impact on the weekly cattle sale in Gunnedah.
“We are seeing a lot of cattle from western areas that have run out of water that just need to be sold,” Mr Gallen said.
“Cattle tend to come to Gunnedah from near and far and in arrive in varying condition but there’s no doubt the weather is really starting to take it’s toll.”
Mr Gallen said many producers would have to start making “some tough decisions” regarding their stock.
“I think some farmers will have to look through their herds and make choices to either sell their calves and keep their cows or vice-versa,” he said.
“I will say producers who are low on water should think of their stock, ‘sell and regret’ but sell nonetheless.”
Gunnedah pork producer Leon DeGroot said while the hot weather has been severe, he has seen worse.
“We have certainly been feeling the heat,” Mr DeGroot said.
“I think we have had hotter summers, but so far we have been coping with the heat but there’s no doubt it takes its toll after a while.”
Mr DeGroot said his sheds are equipped to help keep his pigs out of the heat.
“Luckily we are really well set up to make sure our pigs are as comfortable as possible during the hot weather,” he said
“So hopefully we should be able to get through this summer without any real problems but I know this heat will have an impact on everyone.”
Gunnedah vet Ann Luke is also urging farmers to look after their furry friends.
“Working dogs also require some help in the hot weather,” Dr Luke said. “It’s always important to ensure dogs have plenty of shade and water in this weather and ensure that their feet are coping with the hot ground.”