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Beyond the Bale : December 2013
composition, feed types, climatic conditions and prices, producers can get a range of management options and pick the best one for their enterprise. Mr Graham says the philosophy behind StockPlan® is to encourage drought-preparedness. “There is no one drought plan that fits all producers – every producer’s drought plan is different. The beauty of StockPlan® is that it tailors the available options to a producer’s individual property and circumstances. “StockPlan® lets producers examine a range of options and management strategies before implementing the strategy.” More information: Further information on the online course is available via NSW DPI’s Tocal College on 1800 025 520 or email@example.com www.wool.com/droughtresources FAST FACTS l StockPlan® is a decision-support tool that helps producers make management decisions that minimise the environmental and financial impacts of drought. l An online version of the tool is now available which enables producers to undertake the course from home; workshops are also available. l StockPlan® is available to sheep producers across Australia. STOCKPLAN® HELPS FOSTER DROUGHT PREPAREDNESS Anew online version of the decision-support tool StockPlan® has been made available to producers across Australia to help them manage the financial, environmental and social pressures due to drought. StockPlan® enables woolgrowers to explore drought-management options, by helping answer questions on the costs of feeding stock, the effect of drought on the flock structure and farm finances, and the best ways to plan a recovery post-drought. It can help woolgrowers work out how to profitably rebuild sheep numbers (breed or buy) coming out of dry seasons or a drought. The StockPlan® tool was developed more than ten years ago by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), with support from AWI, and has been used in conjunction with StockPlan® workshops. More than 2500 producers have attended StockPlan® workshops since 2003. Around three quarters of participants have been from NSW. “StockPlan® has now been made available online by NSW DPI to enable producers from across Australia to undertake the course from home, at a time and pace that suits them,” says Phil Graham, Technical Specialist Livestock Systems at NSW DPI Yass. “However, ideally producers should still attend a one-day workshop, if they can, before undertaking the online course, because the workshop provides a good grounding in what’s involved with StockPlan®. We find that a greater 38 38 38 ON-FARM December 2013 BEYOND THE BALE number of producers complete the online course if they have attended a workshop. “The online course costs $390, but if a producer attends a workshop, then they get access to the online course for free.” StockPlan® includes three core decision tools rolled into one package, plus a drought plan template which producers fill in using the three decision tools. The three tools are: • Drought Pack which assesses the cost of feeding and determines the breakeven price for animal classes. • FSA Pack which is designed to help producers decide whether to feed, sell or agist stock. • Im Pack which is a decision tool that gives producers the opportunity to assess the structure of their flock over a 10-year period, allowing them to explore a range of recovery options. By entering data on flock AWI has a range of drought planning, management and recovery resources available for woolgrowers going into, enduring and recovering from drought. Publications available include: Managing Sheep in Droughtlots – a best-practice guide that highlights the purpose, benefits and experiences of woolgrowers managing sheep in confined areas during drought. Managing Fodder Prices for Droughts – a guide to strategies that help manage fodder prices and supply risks during droughts. Which Sheep do I Keep? – a guide to help determine whether to sell or supplementary-feed all, some or none of the flock. Stock water – a Limited Resource – a fact sheet that helps calculate stock water budgets, especially when droughtlotting sheep. These four publications are available on the AWI website or (free) as a hard copy by calling the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099. More information: www.wool.com/droughtresources AWI DROUGHT RESOURCES