Time key to making best possible choice

MIND YOUR BUSINESS: Time key to making best possible choice

COMMENT
Agribusiness
CALCULATIONS MADE: Sheep prices have continued to climb, causing many to question their traditional methods for working out how much is too much to pay when restocking.

CALCULATIONS MADE: Sheep prices have continued to climb, causing many to question their traditional methods for working out how much is too much to pay when restocking.

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MIND YOUR BUSINESS: One the earliest things I learnt was that "timing is not something, it is everything".

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One the earliest things I learnt was that "timing is not something, it is everything".

Getting the crop in on time, detecting a health problem in a mob of ewes at the earliest instance and paying your bills before or on time are some simple examples that pay big dividends.

Being a little early rather than a little late is some of the best insurance you can have should the implementation have its problems and cause delays. In a lot of instances, you can never catch up and ultimately will pay the price of poor timing.

They say that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second-best time is now. In other words, don't dwell on the missed opportunities, learn and move on.

Sheep operators who are reliant on buying in ewes are asking themselves the question "should I be paying these high prices for my replacement ewes or breeding my own?".

Some have old formulas to determine the price, but I am unsure if it stacks up in all situations.

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One old saying in pricing young replacement ewes was the average price of the lamb or lambs per ewe plus the cull for age ewe meat price. The sense in this decision is predicated on the industry remaining in its present state.

Some rule of thumb figures suit the prime lamb industry more than the wool industry and vice versa. And of course, the good producers can afford to pay more and they tend to set price levels and force other producers to pay more than they want to.

One of my mentees asked me, with a frustrated tone in her voice, if I could come up with a formula to determine the price someone could afford to pay for Merino rams.

The meat market is obviously having an upward effect on the price of Merino ram prices. Merinos are such a versatile breed because they have many options. But that is cool comfort for the specialist wool producer with a mediocre lambing percentage having to fork out these prices for Merino rams.

One of the other reasons for the higher price of Merino rams is the younger generation are really taking on Australian Sheep Breeding Values and investing more long term in their flocks.

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After 10 years and hundreds of Bred Well Fed Well workshops across the country, many can see the benefit of investing in the right genetics for their futures. Nutrition can only do so much.

The other factor is studs have learned to offer sufficient rams to create a sense of competition, while still selling outside the annual sale.

One member of a former sheep group I facilitated rang to tell me he had decided to change his ram source. But, he found it very expensive so he will still be running the old and the new bloodline rams.

As a 50-year-old man attending both ram sales he made an interesting observation. At one sale all the buyers were all older than him and - you guessed it - at the other they were younger.

The younger generation are demanding the figures and this is music to my ears.

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