After a third dry year on the northern Monaro, which has seen the region’s long-term rainfall average reduced to forty-five percent, has caused Clea Pastoral manager, Tim Hickey, Anembo, NSW, to make some big decisions.
And one of those this past month was to further cut numbers from his once 1200-strong Angus breeding herd to merely leave 400 of his best and strongest cows on the 4850 hectare property.
“Conditions are still very tight and others around us are doing it tougher” Mr Hickey told Stock and Land as watched over the selling of 290 Angus mixed sex calves, aged two to three months at NVLX Barnawartha on Thursday.
“Hopefully we’ll have our numbers back to a manageable position” he said.
The 50 year-old Clea Pastoral herd, owned by businessman Ian Reid, is based on primarily on Rennylea bloodlines which for many years has targeted all of the main EBV attributes of 600-day growth, muscle and feedlot marbling ability.
“Besides cutting our herd numbers we have also trimmed our crossbred ewe flock by half back to 1000 head” Mr Hickey said.
“Tough times have called for tough measures” he said.
“We are now aiming now to look after are principal asset which is our country. But living in a cold region - Anembo is located between Canberra, Cooma and Braidwood - we need to obtain good growth from our pastures and summer crops before winter as the area can plunge into near-permafrost conditions where minus 10 to minus 14 degrees is not uncommon”.