DEMAND for live heifers from China is driving a million dollar bonus for cattle farmers.
The young cows are fetching up to $300 more than they would if they were sold at one of the North East saleyards.
Paul and Scollard’s Dan Ivone, just one of several agents buying for the Chinese market, said close to 3000 head from the Ovens Valley had been sent overseas in the past 12 months.
Angus, simmental and red angus heifers have been the preference in the past year but other breeds are expected to be trialled in the coming shipments.
“There are some checks and balances that need to be done as part of the process but it has been terrific for the local job,” Mr Ivone said.
“Just in the past week we have tagged another 200 head – they will be blood tested in the coming weeks and then, all being well, taken to Portland and quarantine before being loaded onto the boat.