Farm Table says:
This decision support manual has been produced by AWI and others with the aim of this manual and associated computer software (CDSR) to assist livestock selling decisions that pastoral sheep owners make before drought bites hard.
The economic performance of the pastoral sheep industry is in doubt and its environmental record is being challenged. Improved use of natural resources is essential to preserve future land use options and to ensure optimum sheep productivity and profitability.
Delayed decisions often mean stock loose condition and become un-saleable. Delayed decisions force stock to overgraze and kill perennial plants. Eventually rain mostly runs off rather than supporting feed growth.
Timely decisions that adjust stock numbers to available feed are most important in demonstrating environmental viability.
Prompt decisions when faced with impending drought are more often than not rewarded by:
• Better prices for sale animals.
• Fewer deaths.
• Less pressure on stock waters.
• Freeing up operating funds.
• Opportunity to improve the structure of the fl ock by removing poor performers and
The CDSR contains modules:
- A data entry module for details such as property size, stock numbers and rainfall.
- A risk profile module for self-assessment of Susceptibility of the Property to Drought
- A seasonal analysis module which tracks stock numbers on the property over preceding two years in relation to the evolving season in two-weekly or monthly time steps.
In conclusion they claim that information from the seasonal risk analysis is combined with the SPD rating (Susceptibility of Property to Drought) by CDSR to provide Indicative Management Responses. In terms of stock management and reduction in stock numbers these responses include risk assessment, whereby increasingly urgent and/or extensive responses are suggested as SPD ratings move from low to high