Goats continue to offer great value

Zach RelphCountryman
Julie Petty is urging producers to consider goats as a viable farming option.
Camera IconJulie Petty is urging producers to consider goats as a viable farming option. Credit: Countryman

A goat expert has ratcheted up calls for producers to consider the industry as a long-term and viable farming option, as the niche protein’s value marches upwards into uncharted ground.

Meat and Livestock Australia goat industry project manager Julie Petty told Countryman the strong goat over-the-hook indicator level was “not a flash in the pan” and had been steadily rising in the past two years.

Ms Petty said goats offered positive on-farm benefits and encouraged farmers to view it as a strong industry, with fruitful prices expected to be maintained.

“The goat value is in uncharted territory at the moment,” she said.

“People need to really start thinking seriously about the goat industry.

“It is not something producers should jump in and out of when the price is right, there is actually a lot of long-term benefits in bringing goats on to a property, including rotational grazing with cattle.”

The comments come after goat prices soared to about 932¢/kg carcase weight late last month, notching a 83 per cent rise on levels at May’s end last year.

In WA, Beaufort River Meats were offering about 950¢/kg while Thomas Foods International in South Australia has been paying up to 1000¢/kg for 6.1kg-plus carcase weight goats.

Limited goat supply in the east coast is a major factor driving prices upwards, forcing processors to delve deeper into their pockets to pay for the limited available meat.

Ms Petty said the goat supply outlook remained unclear after a succession of tough seasons across key Queensland and New South Wales supply regions.

“In New South Wales in particular the population has really decreased on the back of horrendous seasonal conditions over the last few years,” she said.

“It forced people to send a lot of goats to slaughter to get cash flow.

“Now that we’ve seen a bit of rain and the season has eased a little bit, we are hoping to see the goat industry move into a herd-building phase.”

From January 1 to the end of March this year, goat production totalled 6100 tonnes cwt. It marked a 29 per cent decrease compared with the same period last year.

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