NSW: Time to Think About Restocking

AUSTRALIA - Cattle producers, keen to rebuild their productivity base after years of drought, have been advised to carefully plan restocking to maximise the return on their investments.
calendar icon 6 February 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Photo: StockXchange

New South Wales Department of Primary Industries has advised producers to take market trends and the property’s capabilities into account, and to avoid hasty decisions which could prove costly in the long term.

"Widespread rain has generated renewed confidence in livestock production and it’s understandable that producers will want to buy stock to take advantage of available feed," NSW DPI livestock officer Alastair Rayner said.

"Producers should develop a plan which covers what is realistically achievable and, before spending money on restocking, think carefully about whether it is time for a change to the enterprise mix.

"A good starting point is to prepare a gross margin, cash flow budget, and expected return on capital for each enterprise under consideration.

"Realistically consider the capabilities of the property to support different enterprises.

"The assessment needs to go much further than the pastures and soils, taking into consideration the condition and size of yards as well as on-farm water supplies to determine if restocking is a practical option.

"The level of management skills needed to achieve expected outcomes from the enterprise should be factored in.

"Typically, growing steers relies upon achieving good growth rates to meet market targets. These growth rates are a result of grazing management decisions which ensure the genetic potential of the animals is reached."

An effective restocking plan also needs to consider the risks involved in bringing new stock onto a property, including the potential introduction of diseases or weeds, or susceptibility to poisonous plants.

Mr Rayner advised producers to make a pre-purchase inspection, or at the very least, obtain as much information as possible regarding the health, vaccination and treatment of the stock.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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