To steal shamelessly from Tamara Stewart.... "Here comes the rain." After a much publicised drought had left our paddocks looking pretty dry and sad (see the before photo above) we were relieved and elated to get some good falls of rain over the last few weeks. Although well under stocked, and with grass in reserve, our main issue was fencing and water - and specifically, having grass that was fenced in, and getting water to the paddocks where it was needed. With some of the dams completely dry or significantly reduced on where they normally are, this was tricky and time consuming and has set other projects back.
We nervously watched as bush fires took off in all directions around us - and were blessed when we were largely unaffected by them - thanks to the significant efforts of the Forestry crews and RFS crews, and favourable winds. More answered prayers.
Throughout this tough stretch, our strategy has remained the same - that is, move cattle regularly across the property, allowing them to mow the space and then moving them - and so far, it's working for us. We've learnt some lessons along the way about judging the timing for the moves (the great thing about learning from mistakes is that it is better than repeating them!! ) Paddocks have held a lot longer than some in the area and there has been little bare dirt, even if there has been dead and dry grass covering the surface, and our cattle are still in great condition.
The exciting news - although we need good follow up rain, the rain we have had is enough to add a little water to the dams that were dry, and the ground is moist and green grass is growing and is a significant answer to prayers. More pictures will come shortly. We continue to pray for ongoing rain to fill dams before our usual drier season over winter.
Its also been an interesting time to see how the Belties perform - and perform they have. They have stayed in excellent condition over a time that has been pretty trying - an in much better condition that other breeds in the area without the requirement to supplementary feed. Yet again, the 'beltie comes out on top.