Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/sla2030/public_html/wp-content/plugins/media-tags/media_tags.php on line 42
Cootamundra – Sheep – Wool Impacts & Adaptations – Southern Livestock Adaptation 2030

Cootamundra – Sheep – Wool Impacts & Adaptations

Impacts on production and profitability

The impacts on pasture and livestock production and farm profitability, based on a “business as usual” model for a 20 micron self-replacing sheep enterprise at Cootamundra are shown below:

Cootamundra Sheep Wool Impacts Adaptations Table - 1

Key findings

  • Compared to the period 1970-1999, in 2000-2009:
      • Annual pasture production was down by 24%, requiring stocking rate to be reduced by just 2% to maintain ground cover. But profitability was down by 42%.
  • Looking forward to 2030, compared to the base period 1970 – 1999, the 4 different climate scenarios showed:
      • Annual pasture production was down by 5%, requiring stocking rate to be reduced by an average of 17% to maintain ground cover, but one climate scenario (English) saw an increase in pasture production and stocking rate
      • Winter pasture production is increased but autumn and spring drops.
      • Profitability was down by 28% on average, but with a huge range (+15% to -66%)

The impact of adaptations

The following table shows the impact of various adaptations on the profitability of a wool sheep and prime lamb enterprise in Cootamundra

Cootamundra Sheep Wool Impacts Adaptations Table - 2

Key findings

  • Continued genetic improvement between now and 2030 is critical to offsetting the decreased stocking rate impacts. Indeed genetic gain alone can largely offset climatic impacts
  • The use of a summer feedlot helps balance the compressed pasture production and allows stocking rates to recover to near base levels but with the extra cost of grain feeding . This site has one of the best responses to the use of feedlots, when required.
  • Decreasing the lamb age of turn off was better than increasing lamb turn off weights.
  • The use of summer feedlots, when required and current genetic improvement has benefits now and in the future – at Cootamundra profitability can actually be increased when these adaptations are combined.
  • Other changes will need to be implemented over time as pasture conditions change, but not now. A combination of factors will give the best outcome.
  • In meat base enterprises increasing the mature size of the females places additional pressure on the potential stocking rate.