Property Management & Statistics

Management of our land

Our hill and high country properties have extensive improved pastures, with the balance in native tussock grasslands interspersed with areas of native podacarp (beech) forest and alpine shrublands. All stock are run under natural conditions with the improved range lands providing for their annual requirements. The world famous tussock grasslands of this area are ideal for pastoral farming of sheep as Jock McLean recognised so many years ago.

The property is managed to maintain and enhance these attributes. The remnants of native bush, which lend their name to the property, are carefully nurtured to ensure their survival. Inputs such as fertilisers are applied after soil testing and only when deficits occur. Every effort is made to manage the property sustainably.

Management of our stock

Stock health is approached in a natural and environmentally acceptable manner. Animals graze on extensive blocks with the minimum of disturbance to natural pastures with pure water available from mountain streams amidst fresh air uncontaminated by pollution.

The Elite Flock is managed to expose them to true high country conditions and values expected in a commercial environment.  Ewes are not assisted at lambing. Female progeny are run and evaluated with the commercial ewe lambs. Ram lambs are grazed under a commercial situation with no supplementary feed. All sheep are un-mulsed.

Monitoring Practices

Monitoring of vegetation, soil health and stock health are regular and on going. This is carried out in co-operation with regional authorities, fertiliser companies and veterinarians. The aim is prevention rather that cure.  Constant monitoring allows for quick reactions when required.

An R22 helicopter is used for all stock work, which is labour saving and ensures fast and efficient stock movement. Strategic laneways assist mustering and lead into the woolshed area for shearing or stock handling operations.

Location

The hill and high country properties named Forest Range, Breast Hill and Bargour are situated on State Highway 8 in the Lindis Pass, Central Otago.

Area

18,500 ha total.
12,000 ha oversown and top dressed. Balance native.

Stock Numbers

  • 10,000 ewes
  • 5,000 hoggets
  • 450 rams

Stocking Rate

Varies between 1 and 2 SU/ha depending on whether native or improved country.

Climate

  • Rainfall: 660 mm annual average at the Forest Range homestead. Varies over area.
  • Temperature: Ranges from 35 degrees C in summer to -20 degrees C in winter.
  • Typical high country weather patterns of hot dry summers and cold frosty winters.

Topography

Predominately hill and high country with a complementary balance of low, medium and high altitude with excellent sunny, shady and dark aspects. Altitude ranges from 500 – 2000 metres.

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