Most primary producers in our area had a good plan in place to manage a dry spell including fodder reserves, farm management deposits and strict summer fallow programs. The drought has punched most producers in the mouth.
We have been assisting our clients to make additional drought strategies. Some producers are moving to put their business into “neutral” until the season breaks. This may involve the sale of all livestock or lease of farming country to neighbours.
Producers need to be aware of their fixed costs before making any decisions around a drought strategy. We have been helping producers complete budgets to capture total fixed costs (the cost of doing nothing) including family drawings and school fees. This has been used by some clients as an income target to be achieved with off farm work.
A full farm budget usually takes about half a day with Sam or Mel. At the end of the process the most appropriate drought strategy usually presents itself.
On a positive note, we have been told by a very confident client that his weather models are showing flooding rains in time for Christmas. His only concern is flood waters disrupting access from his property that may cause him to miss his Christmas lunch!