SHELTER from the prevailing weather, an extra row of selling pens and cover for the delivery yards; that will be the outcome of a $1.2 million construction project presently under way at VLE Leongatha Saleyards.
Construction contractors were hard at work last weekend, erecting the steel framework for the roof extension, avoiding sale days so cattle and lamb sales can proceed as usual, at what is a very busy time of the year for producers.
“We’re building the final section of the roof over what’s called the delivery area, for cattle after they’ve been weighted, ready for the carriers,” said Victorian Livestock Exchange CEO, Wayne Osborne.
“There’ll also be an additional row of selling pens going in under cover as well,” said.
The additional capacity will reduce the need to move cattle around and refill pens on the busiest days.
“We’re also putting in a western wall on the yards, although it won’t go the full height of the shed because that flow-through ventilation is important for the operation of the yards.
“But it will minimise the rain and cut back on the stronger winds.
“This year, 2015, is set to go down in the record books (for saleyards’ throughput) but whether it’s a one-off or the new plateau (of selling) we’ll just have to wait and see.
“We could be coming into a new era of production and if that’s the case, we might need to look at additional measures around the yards that will increase efficiency,” Mr Osborne said.
The welcome increase in cattle prices achieved at VLE Leongatha is no doubt one of the reasons for the increased throughput this year.
But it’s unlikely the firm will need more selling pens after the present work is complete.
In other news, lamb sales start at the saleyards this Wednesday, with two lamb market to be held prior to Christmas.
VLE has also been clearing mature timber from a plantation next to the saleyards and will be replanting.
“The Leongatha saleyards was designed to be environmentally friendly and the plantation was part of the process for dealing with the waste. These trees had passed their maturity and while we don’t need to replant the whole area, we’re happy to do so,” he said.