HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : Jun - July 08
i mplementing new practices to improve their commercial sheep production and Poll Merino stud business has resulted in some major improvements in Greg and Jane Kellock’s family enterprise in the past three years. Greg and Jane Kellock are producer-advocates for the joint AWI and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) initiative ‘Making More From Sheep’ and will share their experiences and findings with other sheep producers through Making More From Sheep events in South Australia. The Kellocks are an example of the rewards that can come from investigating new options, careful planning and turning ideas into actions. Many of the management practices adopted by Greg and Jane are included in the Making More From Sheep: a sheep producer’s manual, the comprehensive guide which supports the program. The manual contains 11 topic modules, which address the key profit drivers in sheep enterprises. With three grazing properties spanning more than 14,000 hectares in the mid-north and upper south-east of SA, the Kellocks run more than 11,000 sheep across diverse pastures and rainfall zones. Greg Kellock says that although convincing his father, three years ago, to take on some rotational grazing rather than their traditional set stocking was not easy, the new practice soon proved highly beneficial. “I started with one part of the property, running 900 sheep between four paddocks,” Greg recalls. “Every fortnight we moved them from paddock to paddock, and within 12 months, when we could see the positive results, we started rotational grazing on all of our country. “The area that had been on rotational grazing for 12 months really took off. The spell enabled the grass to re- establish and grow faster, and varieties that we hadn’t seen before appeared. With a reasonable spring to follow, the new varieties set seed and the country noticeably benefited through the dry period.” When the dry times hit, instead of spreading the sheep out again, Greg put them into one mob rotating it around 23 paddocks on their property, ‘Thistlebeds’, east of Burra. “That enabled us to stretch our pasture rest time and, with the help of grazing charts and de-stocking through the drier times, the country really benefited. Despite the poorer seasons, the change in the country over the past few years has been phenomenal.” While the Kellocks’ stocking rate has not been as high as in the past, the health and welfare of the stock has improved and the sheep are said to be cutting more wool per head. So even though there are fewer sheep on the property, the business is cutting the same amount of wool. “We’re getting a better lambing percentage because the sheep are in better condition from continually going into fresh paddocks to feed.” However, Greg says that the change to rotational grazing did have some initial hurdles, including sheep behaviour. “Suddenly increasing a mob of 300 into a mob of 1800 means the sheep have to learn to find water on 10,000 hectares, rather than 1000. In the beginning, the older sheep tended to hang on a fence, wanting to go back to their old paddock. But eventually this was overcome and now with the young sheep being shifted early, they are easier to train.” Greg and Jane say grazing charts have made an enormous difference to their management. “The charts let us know our stocking rates and enable us to calculate forward,” Greg explains. “By assessing the seasons and the paddocks and keeping rain records we can put plans in place and, for example, offload any dry stock after pregnancy testing. Just being in control of stocking rates and matching your carrying capacity is important.” Another change to the Kellocks’ overall operation was their move to a more structured business, including defining everyone’s roles. The family set up a weekly breakfast meeting to work out the week’s plan and to write up what Growers work on a new blueprint for profitability rotational grazing, instead of set stocking, has had positive results for South australian growers Greg and Jane Kellock 9 ProDUCTiViTy Beyond the Bale has to be achieved each day. The Kellocks also meet quarterly with their farm consultant, bank manager and accountant. “Each month we also complete a business position statement to rate each property’s production, water levels, staff, pasture conditions, livestock sales and so on – recording how things have gone over the past month,” Jane says. “We write business plans and policies, like a drought policy, and are blueprinting our business.” ú More information: Making More From Sheep: a sheep producer’s manual costs $65 (plus GSt) for aWi levy payers and can be ordered by calling the aWi helpline, 100 070 099, or visiting www.makingmorefromsheep.com.au; information on Making More from Sheep activities and workshops can also be found on the website or by contacting the helpline. Road To 2010 supplemenT To read more about the changes the Kellocks have made in their Poll Merino stud, ‘Kelvale’, to help enable them to phase-out mulesing their sheep, see the supplement with this edition of Beyond the Bale. South australian woolgrowers Jane and Greg Kellock are working on the key profit drivers in their sheep enterprise. The complete Making More From Sheep package.
Jun - Jul 08 Supplement
Aug - Sep 08