Temora – 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 self-replacing Merino sheep enterprise at Temora are shown below:
- Compared to the period 1970-1999, in 2000-2009:
- Annual pasture production was down by 31%, requiring stocking rate to be reduced by 9% to maintain ground cover. But profitability was down by 66%.
- Looking forward to 2030, compared to the base period 1970 – 1999, the 4 different climate scenarios showed:
- There is, on average, a decrease in annual pasture production of 9% and to maintain minimum ground cover a decrease in stocking rate is needed (DSE/ha)
- The lower stocking rate (13% decrease), lowers profits by 33 % on average, but with a range of +37% to – 102%.
- The big variation between the models in profitability relates largely to the timing of the rain within the year and the role of lucerne in the pasture.
The impact of adaptations
The following table shows the impact of various adaptations on the profitability of a Merino sheep enterprise at Temora
- The improvement from the summer feedlot is less than other sites due the year round pasture production being more even as a result of the lucerne component. If this was an annual pasture the overall profit would be lower but the percentage improvement from the feedlot would be greater.
- The impact of grain prices on feedlot benefits is obvious.
- Although not modelled the continued genetic improvement between now and 2030 is critical to offsetting the decreased stocking rate.
- The following management changes – earlier selling of wether lambs, an earlier lambing date, changing ewe age structure – only had small effects by themselves but could be combined
- The use of summer feedlots, when required and current genetic improvement has benefits now and in the future. Other changes will need to be implemented over time as pasture conditions change, not now. A combination of factors will give the best outcome.