GV Stock Association will now hold sheep sales fortnightly at its Shepparton centre due to fewer livestock being presented for sale.
The change to fortnightly sales is a first, but does not come as a surprise, as Elders agent Andrew Kyle said sheep numbers had steadily decreased during the past five years.
“I think a lot of people have looked at alternative marketing strategies, like selling out directly to abattoirs — which has cut the numbers out,” he said.
“It’s a catch-22; because we’ve sent a number of lambs over the hooks, we have less numbers in the market.”
Mr Kyle said he hoped the change was temporary and sales would return to normal by late August.
“The numbers are very low now, you need a couple thousand lambs to justify a market and we’ve got a quarter of that,” he said.
He said the figures had dropped from about 1500 to 500 sheep.
“It’s lessened producers’ options, but a lot of them won’t be forced to sell and can hang on that fortnight, or go to alternate centres,” he said.
The next sheep sale in Shepparton will be held on Friday, May 22.