Bad experience with agistment

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Kaz
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Joined: 05/04/2015 - 9:51am
Bad experience with agistment

Hello
I am an absent landowner and have over 200 acres in Central West NSW. When my land settled I and took on a local farmers sheep to graze down our natural pasture. He also grazed our neighbours property on what was to be rotational grazing between the properties. We were happy with the handshake deal we made because everytime we visited our property he'd supply us a fresh lamb.
As the next 2 years went on the rotation of paddocks was dropped and all of a sudden more and more sheep were being added. The fresh lamb supply all but stopped.
The overstocking; combined with no rain, turned our once beautiful property into a dustbowl of dead sheep/lambs and weeds everywhere, our native pasture destroyed and tracks worn into the terrain changing the direction of rainwater. In tge last few months the sheep became so hungry they pushed through a fence into my 3 year old cider orchard and destroyed every tree down to the rootstock, these were very rare heritage trees.
Last fortnight I quickly learned to fix fences and muster and pushed all the sheep onto our neighbours property who still wanted the sheep onsite (his property was just as dusty but I also discovered he was still getting fresh kill in exchange)
The sheep kept testing the new boundary fence and trying to push into my property. I worked out a few days later that my property is the only one with permanant water and these sheep were being given water by my neighbour with the minimal they had left in their tanks for living. I carted some water over to my neighbour to be told that the farmer had already started taking the sheep off the property and was now going elsewhere. I also discovered that all the orphaned lambs I had "saved" through this cold snap had been "euthanised" because he "had no time to bottle feed" or anywhere to keep them.
This farmer is really a rogue operator who must just go between properties with no respect for the land or how he leaves it. I now have to rip my paddocks and reseed as i literally am left with Rock Fern. Even tge Kangaroos have moved on.
I'm going to take this opportunity to purchase a slasher for my tractor and maintain the pasture myself until I can learn enough to run my own sheep herd.
I hope other people can learn from my experience
K

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Last seen: 1 day 8 hours ago
Joined: 28/02/2011 - 2:19pm

Hi Kaz,

Thanks for taking the time to post and for sharing your experience.

Your story is not uncommon (particularly with absentee owners) and outlines the importance of having a formal agistment/lease agreement in place which clearly describes who is responsible for fence repairs, livestock that escape, fertiliser replacement, standards for grazing (rotational or set stocked) and the maintenance of minimum pasture lengths.

There some simple agistment forms available on-line or you could have your own solicitor draft the agreement.

Regards,
Charlie

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