Water planning brings real savings for lamb producers
15 May 2017
Water has been the top priority for Harrow lamb producers, the Leeming family, and it has paid off.
After the 2014/2015 dry period, their gross farm income increased by 30 per cent with a substantial decrease in costs.
Current custodian Tim Leeming said good water supplies provided opportunities.
"If water resources and infrastructure are inadequate during dry times, graziers are forced to destock or reduce carrying capacity," Mr Leeming said.
"This invariably erodes the capacity for the business to earn money once the season turns around.
"We stuck to our guns; we had water, protected pastures and increased our capacity to earn.
"Eighty per cent of your profits tend to come in 20 per cent of years."
Mr Leeming did the sums on establishing a dam system compared to a reticulated piped system for water for the properties they own. He found reticulation cost $81/ha and a dam $194/ha, with the piped system fed by storages as big as four megalitres.
Tim's top tips for water planning are:
- Do an audit on your worst case scenario – make sure you include a household garden allocation in the budget for both fire safety and your mental health.
- Farm water budgeting is critical.
- Ask the question – how reliable are my water resources?
- A key dam is critical. Speak to local authorities early if you want to increase your dam capacity.
- If drought proofing your farm, make sure you over estimate the water you will need.
- Well-designed farm water systems will enable your business to maintain and build capacity and resilience.
Read the full details of the case study Water water everywhere thanks to wisdom and vision.
Media contact: Fiona Myers 0418 896 662.
Categorised under: Agriculture