Stock management options

You can use other grazing and stock management options besides grazing on your own land.

Agisting livestock

Agisting livestock involves placing animals on another person's property for an agreed period of time. Generally, a monthly or annual fee applies, depending on stock numbers or total grazing area.

Agistment is a useful strategy during drought as you can keep your livestock and preserve the breeding line. Your property can be spelled, allowing time for pasture to recover.

Ideally the agistment property has quality pasture so you will not need to use supplementary feeding.

Before you decide on an agistment property:

  • inspect the property — check the feed supply, fencing, paddocks, weeds, water supply, potential disease or parasites, and overall terrain and conditions
  • negotiate an agistment agreement — discuss and create a written agreement to record conditions of the agistment, such as using any stock-handling facilities and the responsibilities of both parties
  • agree on fees — agree on a payment system and include this in the written agreement
  • consider transport arrangements — an agistment property close to your property will reduce transport costs and transit livestock fatigue (check if any animal movement restrictions are in place before transporting)
  • consider supervision — stock theft is a common problem with agistment, ensure there is adequate supervision, good fencing and your livestock are branded for legal identification
  • arrange insurance — make sure the agistment agreement covers all insurance needs and that the agistment property owner has adequate occupier's liability insurance cover.

Leasing grazing land

Leasing grazing land is an alternative to buying it. A formal lease agreement sets out the responsibilities of both parties, as well as terms, conditions and payment.

All subleases of leasehold land must be registered under the requirements of the Land Act 1994. All leases of freehold land for more than 3 years must also be registered. Stamp duty must be paid on all leases.

If the property is state land:

Making a lease agreement

Always speak to a legal adviser before making any lease agreement, even an informal one. This helps manage risks such as the lessor not meeting responsibilities.

Before signing a lease on grazing land:

  • inspect the property for pasture quality, fencing and improvements
  • talk to locals about the area or property
  • ask for production and financial records for the property
  • know what you want included in a lease agreement.

The lease agreement should include:

  • total area to be leased
  • rent payable (this is generally a fixed fee)
  • length of the lease
  • permitted use of the land
  • maximum number and type of livestock
  • any right of access to be reserved to the lessor (property owner)
  • any maintenance to be conducted by the lessee (the person taking the lease).

Other options

  • Feedlotting—is a production system where animals are intensively housed and fed in pens or sheds to quickly produce high-quality meat for consumption.
  • Supplementary feeding—is often used with grazing pasture to manage nutritional deficiencies that affect production.
  • Selling livestock—you can sell livestock via contract, sales yard or online auctions, producer alliances, or direct sale to abattoirs.