Cost cutting and maintaining breeding programs in dry times is among the list of priorities for producers across the state.
As producers continue to face or have overcome floods, bushfires, plummeting commodity prices, biosecurity threats and drought in the past year, The Land asked what was the priority for the next 12 months.
Merino breeder and woolgrower Richard Blyton, Nimmitabel, said he wanted to keep improving his sheep genetics while keeping costs down, or at least under control.
"We will have a tight year because we don't know what is going to happen with the government, season, commodity prices or world disruptions. But I will come through even if it is tight," Mr Blyton said.
Norm Maher, a cattle breeder at Bungowannah, agreed that maintaining the breeding program was a priority because if "you don't you'll end up nine months behind straight away and it's very hard to catch up."
He also wants to maximise fodder resources ( cut as much hay as you can) and maintain infrastructure.
Black Springs cattle producer Stan Rumble is hoping cattle prices will come "halfway between". "They're at bedrock prices now and they were too sky high before. If they could come halfway between it would be better for everybody," he said.
Having been in ag for 50 years, Bill Cornell, St Pauls Genetics, Henty said he had seen many cycles with ups and downs.
"With the last three years being so good there was always going to be a bump ahead. We had planned for the bump (although had not expect it to be as extreme) by paying out debt, reclassing the herd and to reduce stress and be even more effective managers," he said.
"We moved to one calving time and moved to online seedstock sales only. Our priorities for the next 12 months are to be positive and have faith, and to continue with our ET and AI programs to strive to produce better seedstock cattle.
"It is full steam ahead with our cattle and pasture improvement program, understanding that in the short term returns will be less.
"With predictions of higher cattle prices returning in the next 18 months and that rainfall will return, it is the priority to continue our program and be ready to maximise revenue when the better times return."
Yass Merino breeder Ashley Wilson will be cutting his non-essential costs such as fertiliser for a year to get them through.
"Tighten our belts just that little bit more and see how things play out over the next 12 months. But I can't see it getting any better, it might get worse but I hope I am still here next year. The uncertainty of seasons, the unrest around the world and the lack of any money for our commodities is going to make next year very difficult," he said.
Adrian Spencer, who is part of the family-driven Ironbark Herefords at Barraba, said the last drought provided a lot of lessons, which had been put in place in good years, in the knowledge the next bad year would not be far away.
"We're working with a clear direction," he said. "The feedlot we installed in the good times so we can keep going when the tough times appear, like now. What is impacting the industry is a lack of confidence, along with labour issues."
Don Leadbitter, Goolma, is optimistic about the next 12 months and thinks once we get past the glut of lambs in the system right now, early next year the market and prices will improve.
"You have to take the seasons as they come and put your plan together based on the feed you have at the time, rather than worry about all the doom and gloom you might be hearing elsewhere," he said.
Ray Gardner, Piambong, has seen plenty of dry times but just as many good seasons and said now was the time to buy livestock while the market was cheaper "if you have the feed".
His plan for the next 12 months is to buy in Merino lambs, put them on feed then turn them off this time next year.
"The season at Piambong [near Mudgee] is looking good and at this stage I don't see the need to stock up on hay just yet," he said.
"I know some people are heading into a dry time this summer, but it's not shaping up that way where we are at the moment."
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