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

Culcairn – Sheep – Prime Lamb 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 prime lamb enterprise at Culcairn are shown below:

Culcairn Sheep Prime Lamb Impacts Adaptations Table - 1

Key findings

  • Compared to the period 1970-1999, in 2000-2009:
      • Annual pasture production was down by 20% requiring a 43% reduction in stocking rate. Profitability was down by over 100% as a result (a loss).
  • Looking forward to 2030, compared to the base period 1970 – 1999, the 4 different climate scenarios showed:
      • Stocking rates will be lower (-7% on average) to maintain a sustainable pasture base
      • Two of the four models predict a less profitable business unless producers make adaptations, while the other two models show an increase in profit
      • On average, profitability is down 14% but care needs to be taken in interpreting this result because of the variability (a range of +58% to -124%)
      • May is the optimal lambing month across all climate systems modelled

The impact of adaptations

The following table shows the impact of various adaptations on the profitability of a prime lamb enterprise at Culcairn

Culcairn Sheep Prime Lamb Impacts Adaptations Table - 2

  • The benefit of including 20% lucerne in the pasture mix was examined.
  • Having 20% of the pasture area as lucerne increases overall profit by approximately 16% when the four GCMS are averaged. 
  • The optimal lambing date remains similar with a May/ June lambing as a result of a slight shift in pasture growth towards the end of the year.
  • Further modelling is required to assess if there are further benefits with increased area of lucerne. 
  • To achieve the ground cover target the German model reduced stocking rate significantly. 
  • Further modelling is required to assess the benefits of summer feedlots in helping to maintain ground cover while increasing stocking rate.