Season to season, around October/November, March/April, I usually make some pretty big decisions.
The last 12 months [from May 2016] have been quite low in rainfall. We also had a very long and very hot summer. So I’ve been reducing my stock numbers because of the seasonal conditions and the amount of grass I had in front of me.
In April , I still had a month’s feed for the cattle. I’d already off-loaded 150 in February, so I had another 400 head in one mob.
I had a couple of options: I could’ve sold the lot; I could’ve sold all the weaners or sold all the cows, one or the other; or I could’ve bought in hay – I would have had to involve neighbours in that, because I have very little machinery.
The seasonal forecast outlook from Andrew Watkins at the Bureau [of Meteorology] was for a late autumn/early winter rain, which could be May, and it also gets colder then. This meant my ground cover would struggle to recuperate if I grazed it down.
About three weeks ago [late April, 2016] I went for a drive, and I thought, ‘I’m not sure I’m making the right decision in keeping these cattle’.
So I sold all my cattle. They’re all gone. I’ve totally destocked.
And that’s really unusual to do in this region.