Colac Regional Saleyards will host sheep sales for the first time in 14 years with monthly sales starting this week.
Charles Stewart director Jamie McConachy said the temporary closure of Geelong saleyards had affected farmers’ ability to sell stock.
The Geelong Saleyards closed in August after the City of Greater Geelong Council said safety issues were a concern at the saleyards at North Geelong.
“The Geelong saleyards temporary closure has taken place and there’s been feelings from both the Geelong and Colac councils that there needs to be a smaller saleyard facility in order to take hobby farming lots or smaller lots and accommodate for those people appropriately,” Mr McConachy said.
Mr McConachy said the monthly sales would provide a convenient location for people affected by the closure of Geelong’s saleyards and local sheep farmers to sell livestock, but he expected prices to reflect a smaller yarding.
He said it was likely that lower numbers of yarded sheep would not attract buyers causing less competition, which “means you’re not going to get huge results”.
But Mr McConachy said he hoped the sales would be successful.
“I would like to see it happen,” he said.
“It might gain legs down the track, but we’re certainly going into it with our eyes wide open.”
Saleyard superintendent Graeme Riches said he was expecting local, smaller producers to take advantage of the monthly sales.
“We more or less elected to go for a monthly sheep sale to give the little blokes a chance,” he said.
“Instead of taking a trailer load of four or five sheep to Ballarat, we’re providing the facility here to sell once a month.
“It helps the local producer as far as being a handy market so that he doesn’t have to take his stock a long way.”
Mr Riches said he was unsure about how many sheep and buyers the sale would attract but was hopeful the region’s farmers would support the sale.
“Australian Lamb Company have said they’ll support us; we’re just providing the local facilities, we’re just hoping the local producers will support us,” he said.
Sales will take place on the fourth Thursday of each month.