Making more with the same

29 June 2017

Sheep producers Simon and Eloise Wheaton run 8,500 Merinos and 1,000 crossbred sheep for wool and meat production on 1,450ha on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

Simon joined a Making More from Sheep (MMFS) group in 2012, having attended MMFS events since 2008. He was driven by a desire to back up his business decision-making with more than just "gut feel".

The group helped Simon and Eloise achieve some of their business goals such as more efficient pasture utilisation, keeping costs down (as freight to the island adds $50/tonne to on-farm inputs) and improving productivity to maximise output from an area where opportunities to increase area is limited.

MLA talked to Simon about MMFS.

What was of most value when you first took part in the MMFS program?

I enjoyed the MMFS sessions right from the start. I particularly enjoyed visiting other people’s farms and hearing about what they were trying to achieve and how they were going about reaching their goals.

Longer term, what has been most valuable?

We've changed to a rotational grazing system. This has resulted in running more sheep and promoting the growth of more desirable grasses. Our young sheep, particularly weaners, now gain weight quicker and become profitable much faster.

Other outcomes?

  • better understanding of pasture composition and seasonal impacts on pasture
  • introduction of condition scoring of ewes to maintain more consistent condition of breeding ewes year round
  • reduction in drenching costs of 25% due to more strategic internal parasite management.

More information

Simon Wheaton
E: sandewheaton@bigpond.com

Find out more about MMFS at www.makingmorefromsheep.com.au - this site also features the MMFS modules, tools and resources for producers to work through or download.

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