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Free Keep In Touch (KIT) Day – Stockyard Hill, Vic
April 14, 2018 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
KIT days are an opportunity for like-minded people to gather on a property to discuss topics relevant to that region and see firsthand how RCS principles are being applied in similar land types and production systems. We encourage you to invite neighbours, staff, family and friends as everyone is welcome.
- Potential stocking rates
- 1, 3 and 5-year business and property plans
- Enterprise flexibly
Welcome to ‘St Enochs’, located on the third largest Basalt Plain in the world. We are fortunate to have rich red free draining soil, abundant underground water, magnificent rare volcanic grassland flora, and some pretty impressive rocks thanks to Stockyard Hill, the volcano on our property.
‘St Enochs’ was first settled in the late 1830’s. It was purchased by the Bain family in 1898, so David is 5th generation on this property. We have three children, Katherine (22), Alexander (21) and Georgia (15). Katherine is in her third year of Agribusiness at Marcus Oldham, Alexander is in 4th year architecture at Deakin University, Geelong and Georgia is in Year 10 in Ballarat. We employ a senior stockman full time. Christian is in his 4th year with us and has made a huge difference in our ability to run a more effective business.
This is an 1,500 Ha sheep breeding enterprise made up of both Merino and Coopworth breeds, running approximately 8,500 hd at an average stocking rate of 6-8 DSE. There is approximately 150 Ha of arable land currently under Lucerne and rape, and 200 Ha of native grassland that is only able to be grazed lightly as it is under a stewardship program. The remaining land is rocky, red loam, acidic, fertile areas interspersed with swampy, black clay areas. With an annual rainfall average of 625mm falling mostly in winter and early spring we have a feed wedge in spring and some growth in autumn depending on the timing of the break. Currently, our paddocks are dry as our rainfall has been 29 mm since the start of the year. Our rolling rainfall was sitting at 596mm at the end of February and is likely to be around 550mm by the end of March.
Infrastructure has been our focus over the past fifteen years with construction of a woolshed and a stock watering system installed throughout most of the farm. Paddocks have been re-fenced to smaller sizes for rotational grazing. We currently have approximately 70 paddocks. The desired size is approx. 20 Ha with ringlock, two top wires and a bottom barbwire wherever terrain allows. Coopworths do not understand the intent of fences. We have not been using the grazing chart, but will have had it in operation for about a month by the KIT day.
We are now ready to implement soil fertility improvement where possible to improve pasture species, pasture growth and utilisation in order to improve our DSE rating.
The problem we face is low turnover and low gross margin.
9:30am Smoko (provided)
10:00am Introduction to ‘St Enochs’ by David and Debbie Bain
10:20am Facilitated discussion
12:30pm Lunch (BYO chair, lunch and water)
1:30pm Property tour and discussion
4:00pm Wrap up and finish