IT'S been a while since rain has hit the ground in Orange, New South Wales.
So farmer Edward Price has headed north for a break from the dry.
The young grazier owns a 800-acre property 50km west of Orange where he runs a cattle, sheep and cropping enterprise but he has taken advantage of the quiet time at home to come and help his mate set up an irrigation business in Emu Park.
On Friday, Edward headed out to the CQLX Saleyards in Gracemere while he was in Central Queensland to check out what was on offer in the way of black angus, his herd of choice back home.
However he wasn't too keen to buy as things in Orange weren't looking good on the rain front.
"I came up to give him a hand while it's been a bit quiet at home. We haven't had rain in quite a while,” Edward said.
"The last lot of rain we had was May 19 and before that was March.
"Usually our predominant rainfall is in the winter - 26-inch rainfall - but we've had nothing. It's looking pretty bad. As soon as I get home we will pretty much start feeding for the rest of the year now.”
He said it's taken more than 10 years to get his herd and property in order and the next step was to expand when he could.
"I started in 2004. It's taken time to build fences, infrastructure, but it's at the point now where it's expansion time now,” he said.
"I was pretty lucky. My mother's side of the family had a property and my grandmother was kind enough to give me a little bit of cash to buy my own block but it's taken its time.
"It was all the old timber fences when we started and now we've gone to steel, and the next step is with the rivers running through the property, whether we invest in land or irrigation.”
Edward is set to head back down south soon with the farm work beginning to pick up again.
"Lambing will start soon. We should be having about 1000 lambs on the deck within a few weeks, so just trying to keep those ewes going, and the cattle have started and they are just a straight black angus,” he said.
"So it's just carving them down and selling them out at the 220-250kg mark, which is quite strong in Orange.
"220-250kg can bring up to about the $5 a kilo mark for the steers and about $4 for your heifers.”
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