Twice a year gets better results for Boorowa farmers

Full potential: John, Toby and Tim McGrath, pictured in the newly renovated four stand shearing shed, use preventative treatments to ensure that their sheep and wool reach their potential. Picture: Supplied.
Full potential: John, Toby and Tim McGrath, pictured in the newly renovated four stand shearing shed, use preventative treatments to ensure that their sheep and wool reach their potential. Picture: Supplied.

Boorowa farmers Tim and Bernadette McGrath say the seasonal conditions of late 2020/early 2021 have been a welcome change in southern NSW.

Tim and Bernadette, along with son Toby, run "Hopefield" in Boorowa, a merino and prime lamb enterprise which also has Angus cattle and approximately 400 hectares of grazing crops such as wheat, oats and canola.

Hopefield's system differs from the standard once a year shearing/joining and has instead two of each per year.

"The main reason for this is to manage risk around lambing, wool prices and spreading income throughout the year," Tim said.

"Whilst the Autumn joining does produce better weaning rates, the spring joining provides benefits in terms of supplying lamb to market at a time when supply is low, resulting in favourable pricing.

Whilst the Autumn joining does produce better weaning rates, the spring joining provides benefits in terms of supplying lamb to market at a time when supply is low, resulting in favourable pricing

Tim McGrath

"Normal seasons at Boorowa enable this management practice with enough feed for the pregnant ewes in both Spring and Autumn."

Whilst Tim hasn't had a lice problem on the property for the past eight or so years, he does use a preventative treatment as an insurance policy to ensure that his sheep and their wool are able to perform to their potential.

"If you calculate the disruption to the farm calendar by treating for long wool lice outbreaks, plus the labour to treat, in addition to the cost of treatment, I feel it is a much better option to use a backliner off shears to be safe," Tim said.

"I just finished shearing a few weeks ago and used AVENGE + FLY.

"I choose this as I know it is a great option for lice control and comes with the added benefit of fly protection off shears which in this kind of fly season has proven invaluable.

"I also found out that AVENGE has recently been bought by an Aussie company so think it is great to be able to buy a well known brand and support local jobs.

"I know that if I need any assistance or have an issue that I can pick up the phone and talk to someone who knows about sheep and local conditions and not an offshore call centre."

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