DESPITE a tough season, Southern Downs grazier Hilary O'Leary couldn't be more positive about the future of the beef industry.
Speaking at his third annual on-property bull sale this week, the Remolea Poll Hereford Stud principal said he could only see the industry getting better in the next few years.
"With the way cattle and beef is going in Australia and overseas, it's the most positive I've seen it in all my life," Mr O'Leary said.
"The future at present is very bright and I think it will be for a few years to come.
"All the ducks are lined up and a lot of Asian countries are coming online more and more as beef eaters.
"There's a lot of beef going into these countries, live and chilled, and it's only good news for Australia," he said.
The O'Learys offered 38 bulls at their sale on Monday, with 100% clearance with an average of over $5500.
There were two stand-out bulls. Lot 3 Remolea Kenworth K83 (P), a Trefoil Park Blair son, was purchased by Wallan Creek Herefords, Drillham, Queensland for $10,000.
Lot 8 Remolea Kenya K35 (S), an Evesham Bomber B52 son, was also purchased for $10,000 by Sid and Margaret Fletcher, Old Koreelah, New South Wales.
Eight of the other bulls reached the $7000-7500 mark.
The O'Learys have been selling bulls for more than 54 years, but it's only in the past three they have held the sale at their home in Clifton.
"We used to sell in Roma and Warwick," Mr O'Leary said.
"We sold at Glen Innes and Tenterfield for 25 years.
"There was a fair bit involved in getting set up to hold the sale at home, but it's really paid off. It's so easy now to get the bulls out of the paddock and into the yards ready for selling."
Mr O'Leary said their rainfall has been well below average for several years.
"We've had a lot of showery weather but not a lot of decent falls," he said.
"The rain has been too far between to do anything good with it. We haven't had any running water for a couple of years and the dams are getting low."
When Mr O'Leary caught up with Rural Weekly he said he had just recently finished planting oats.
"We are a few months behind, I'm usually doing it in February," he said.
"When we have oats we feed them to the bulls but otherwise they go on a high hay ration.
"And they are supplemented to be prepared for sale with some grain."
The O'Learys' bulls were sold to buyers across the Western Downs, including Taroom, Blackall, Dalby and some more locally to Clifton and Felton. The buyers were 50% new and 50% repeat.
Wallan Creek Herefords, Lot 3 - $10,000
S&M Fletcher, Lot 8 - $10,000
M&T Newton, Lot 5 - $8000
Glentown Grazing, Lot 7 - $7500
H&P Schultz, Lot 12 - $7500
Eungy Pastroral Co, Lot 20 - $7500
JD & SM James, Lot 4 - $7000
S&M Fletcher, Lot 6 - $7000
Russell Cullen, Lot 9 - $7000
WE Kruger, Lot 25 - $7000
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