ONLINE buying and selling has arguably never been more important as the livestock industry adheres to the current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Commercial producers, stud stock specialists and livestock agents are all working together to secure the best possible outcomes in a time when entering a paddock or putting your hand up at a physical auction may not be possible.
Nutrien stud stock manager, Tim Woodham of Wagga has been on the road visiting studs and inspecting cattle for clients.
However, he said the amount of inquiry and communication from both buyers and sellers had heightened in the current coronavirus climate.
He said it was important to ask for lots of photos, to secure videos and constantly ask questions when considering purchases where an animal might be secured "sight unseen."
"Videos are important to see how well the animals walk," he said.
"You want to see the animal walking around with the head above the spine," he said.
Mr Woodham also encouraged buyers to ask for photos of feet. He said conformation was essential and sound feet were a requirement.
In addition to the physical attributes he said scrutinising figures was valuable too.
"We are living in a world where figures are more and more prominent and people are chasing certain criteria in their EBV (estimated breeding values) profile," he said.
When physically assessing an animal Mr Woodham said he liked to be able to gauge the frame size.
"There are measurable things you can do," he said.
"If I am interested in a bull I might ring up and inquire about the hip height," he said.
"Sure it might not be done perfectly but this information is a gauge," he said.
Meanwhile, it is not just buyers and sellers who are using the online technology to select cattle.
St Paul's College at Walla Walla livestock team manager, Emma Finemore is inviting other schools to join in the St Paul's Virtual Junior Beef Judging Competition.
"I think the competition will be great ... it is removing physical boundaries," she said.
The online nature of the event means that students from any region of Australia can compete against each other in junior beef cattle judging. Miss Finemore said the initial response to the virtual event had been amazing.
"School students are the future of the agricultural industry and I believe we need to supply them with ample learning and development opportunities to further enhance their involvement in the long term," she said.