Planning for 2019 should be front of mind for all producers. The 2018 season showed the extremes across SA with both drought and a bumper season occurring.
It is important to review your current business position given 2018. What are the critical decisions that need to be taken, particularly if the 2019 season is poor?
Whilst stocking rate is a key driver of profitability, it is important to ensure that it is managed to the season. The break to the season is a key factor influencing carrying capacity. So determining trigger points (i.e. dates and strategies), can allow stocking rates to be optimised whatever the season. It is particularly important to have a well-developed “exit” strategy for late or poor breaks to the season.
Carrying capacity should be manipulated relative to the season break. Table 1 provides an example of the impacts of time of the opening rains on carrying capacity. Trigger points (i.e. critical dates) should be established for your own situation. The trigger points are dates at which actions must be implemented.