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May 2018

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Capitalising on Rainfall at Cavendish

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Point Vale

Ross & Colleen Lomas will lamb 3700 ewes this year at Point Vale, located east of Cavendish at the bottom of the Victoria Valley.

They operate with a deferred grazing system with approximately 90 paddocks on 1000 ha. Key points of the production system include:

  • Large mobs of sheep grazing small paddocks for a short period of time. Recovery period for the pasture is up to 90 days depending on pasture growth
  • Low input system with the primary supplement being trace elements.
  • Ground cover is left to allow an insulation effect on the soil, and to help increase organic matter and protect seedling pasture at the beginning of the season
  • Merino ewes are joined to a cross bred for a first cross lamb. Replacements are bought in, keeping the farming system very simple
  • Fencing is 3-5 wire electric, with attention to ensuring each grazing cell has excellent watering facilities.
  • Excellent sheep handling facilities, allowing for ease of operation and minimal stress on livestock.

Historically, Ross & Colleen managed a high input, high stocking rate system and made the change to a low input regime in 2008, following the dry years of 2006 and 2007.

They recently expanded their farm beyond the area above and are currently converting that land to cater for deferred grazing.

As the current season gets away to a slow start, they have ceased providing any supplementary feeding with enough paddock feed to support ewes on the point of lambing.

 

Photo taken one week post 26mm of rain in April 2018, whilst the previous photo was taken at the same location in early April prior to the rainfall event.

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