LOOMBERAH based mixed farmer Damien Pittman and his family are restocking after finally getting a break from three years of tough conditions.
Looking to increase their sheep numbers by purchasing scanned-in-lamb (SIL) ewes for a quick turn around, Mr Pittman of Wahroonga secured 101 first-cross maiden ewes, SIL and ready to drop for $436/head.
Purchased out of the AuctionsPlus National Sheep Sale on May 12 from the Skipper family of Bereni Pastoral Co, Billimari near Cowra, the ewes had six months of wool on them (shorn October 2019) and scanned 153 per cent to Poll Dorset rams.
Mr Pittman said restocking with lambs offered fast cashflow options.
"You buy a heifer, the heifer might not even be in calf so when you join her your nine to 10 months away from having something on the ground, then 12 months to sell ... it's nearly two years to make money," he said. "By buying scanned in lamb ewes that are ready to lamb, we have to option to possibly sell in December or whenever they are ready."
Operating a family farm across 728 hectares (1800 acres), Mr Pittman and wife Claire work alongside his parents Ian and Cathie Pittman, and brother Matt and his wife Jess. Their mixed farming operation consists of cattle, sheep, cropping and hay production.
"We are down to about 80 Simmental breeders of Barana bloodlines, we purchased seven heifers out of their (2019) sale," he said. "We are self-replacing, steers are sold to Cargill for Woolworths.
"We have about 700 first cross ewes, and we put Poll Dorset rams over them and have the option to sell them through TFI (Thomas Foods International) here in town (Tamworth), but we seem to get better prices through the yards ... roughly $25 more than going direct.
"We always have grazing oat crops in and barley for harvest to finish our own steers or lambs. After the rain we have put oats in for hay."
Usually the Pittmans purchase from sheep producers at Scone but with a heap of feed in the area, their usual contacts are looking to hold onto stock to grow out.
Livestock are rotationally grazed. The Pittmans lamb all year round.