Updated: Sep 28, 2020
I won't bore you with the details, but shareholders know about the hiccup we had over the past 7 months with a livestock finance company wanting us, and several others, pay up many months earlier than was agreed. While that uncertainty was happening, I ceased fertilising the pastures as much as I would like, and then stopped, which made a dry year even harder on the sheep.
Anyway, that has all been dealt with and we are moving forward again. The accelerator is being pressed down towards our goals again with continued passion and fixation on the targets.
Two weeks ago, I spread fertiliser again and the pastures are now responding very nicely. You should see some big differences in the pastures over the next month as we not only fertilise frequently again, but Spring is getting closer.
After selling all our trade sheep and lambs, and some culls earlier this year, we had ~3,175 ewes and lambs on the property (185ha arable). Because of the livestock finance company issues, we took the action of culling ~500 more ewes, most of whom were in-lamb unfortunately. So we are down to ~2,650 ewes with ~900+ of those being weaned lambs. However, our maiden ewes are due to start lambing today and then the older ewes from late August. All these lambs will have increasing quantity and quality of pastures available to them, so hopefully they will have a good time growing fat.
My target was to have 5,000 lambs born on the property this year. We may only get to about 3,500 as we have not been able to buy more ewes. However, we hope to make up for the shortfall with some buying in of skinny sheep to fatten and sell as the pastures get back to where they should be. All of our weaned ewe lambs will also be joined to rams in a few months to help keep our numbers growing. All of the older ewes on the property have already lambed this year so they will produce for us two sets of purple tagged lambs (purple = born in 2020).
The target for 2021 remains to have around 25-30 ewes/ha (up to 5,550 on the farm) and as close to 9,000 lambs on the ground for the 12 months - which would be an average of 48 lambs/ha. It is a work in progress and we have a long way to go.
Below are some photos of our pastures over the past few days. They should grow much faster now that they have some fertiliser.