The livestock operations are currently completed across all properties, with a focus on adding to the overall output of the resource, rather than compromising it.
A Dohne sheep flock that has been selectively bred over 50 years. The Dohne is a dual purpose sheep typically producing a medium micron and heavy cutting fleece, and producing a lamb that is adequate for the trade market. The pure bred self replacing flock is maintained at Merriwagga, the balance of the ewes located at Ariah Park to join to terminal sires (Poll Dorset and White Suffolk) and these first cross lambs are fed to target the trade lamb market. The genetics for the pure bred flock are sourced from “Mt Alma” stud in South Australia and “Coleslea” Leeton, and the terminal sires are sourced from “Kurralea” stud Mirrool NSW.
The sheep operation is viewed commercially as another phase in the cropping rotation. They provide a break for weed control and another way to manage risk through commodity spread. Poor quality grain and some permanent pastures are utilized to supplement feed stock. This allows value to be added to lower quality grain and nitrogen to be fixed via pasture. The lighter soils are not grazed to limit compaction and erosion, and ground cover is to be maintained at all times.
A sheep specialist, Anthony Shepard (www.sheepmatters.com.au) is employed by the business to help further promote the productivity of the flock.