"There are two parts and it actually started off because I felt, numbers these days is part of the game. Surplus stock is the cream so if you can get more cream it’s a lot better for the business. We are in very good solid healthy lambing country but for us to be able to lamb seven thousand ewes at one time in August really stretches your friendship with nature. If we get a bit of a dry season you’ve got a bit of a problem and it just puts a lot of pressure on us to manage it. I thought to try and keep our numbers up around about that 6-8-9000 lambs a year if we can do it depending on seasons, if we split the lambing we split the risk. Quite often our rainfall – our growing season is actually Spring so July rains going into August and September grows most of our native grasses and that’s our peak feed and best feed part of our season. Even when the natives dry off they are still generally good feed value so if we are lambing 2-3000 between February and April we can cover it. We can spread them out over a little bit more country and get through it, and we still have those lambs on the ground and hopefully they go into the winter and we can deal with them and get them up and going.
Part 2 of it, what’s eventuated has actually become a very good risk management tool. We are not putting at risk lambing so many at one time. We split that between maybe getting some summer rains and make use of that with those later lambs. We also split our sales, so surplus sales are not just always around that peak period of August early September. We can spread them out throughout the year and sell a lot of the sheep as lambs especially wethers if we can. And the other one is wool. Lambing in the wool has its issues of decreasing staple strength or losing all the wool through the death of a ewe due to lambing, hence the December shearing for the Autumn lambing. Instead of having all your wool in the season being sold virtually within a couple week period we can spread it out and look for different markets and pick different markets to be able to do it. So it effectively works as a good risk management tool. It can be a bit more work but in these drier times that we’ve had in the last 20 years it’s actually worked really well for us. We haven’t been able to make the numbers we want but we have still been able to get a certain number of lambs on the ground every year. Instead of only being able to put maybe 3000 on the ground in August, we’ve been able to get another 1500-2000 on the ground in April or somewhere there. So we’ve been able to keep the business afloat that way."