Dry times

Managing your land and stock during dry times

In dry times it is important to make risk management decisions early. Below are some useful links, tools and resources that you might need, to make the necessary management and financial decisions on farm, and most importantly to look after your mental health in tough times.

Dry times, livestock and farm finance

This series of fact sheets is for farmers to manage livestock and farm finances in dry seasons. They were produced by Primary Industries and Regions SA and the Department for Environment and Water with the support of MacKillop Farm Management Group and SheepConnect SA.

Other publications

These publications can assist you with decision making and management during dry times.




Soil management


Tools and calculators

Tools and calculatorsThese tools and calculators can help determine and predict feed demand and budgeting, stocking rates, livestock condition scoring, climate impacts, pasture growth rates, weather and climate forecasts.

Confinement feeding videos

These videos, developed by Birchip Cropping Group, provide guidance on establishing and managing confinement feeding. The case studies were produced by Agriculture Victoria on farms which have established confinement feeding lots.

Support services

Industry links - Livestock and crop management

Dry times

The Drought Resilience Podcast

Listen to honest accounts of the drought from farming families in Orroroo, Eudunda and Keyneton. This podcast, produced in partnership with Talking Livestock and Voice it, features four South Australian sheep producers who have battled consecutive years of drought. Each interview reveals how they navigated their businesses and families through the financial and mental hardships, including practical coping strategies such as containment feeding. The Drought Resilience Podcast is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and National Landcare Program.

Episode 1: Georgie Keynes and Toby Rosensweig

Meet Georgie Keynes and Toby Rosenzweig. The drought coincided with the couple taking over management of the Keynes family’s historic sheep grazing property.
Dams went dry, water pipes were installed and sheep went into containment lots.

Listen: Spotify | Apple | Buzzsprout

Episode 2: Paul Schutz

“Further east of here there were Mallee trees dying. When you’ve got Mallee trees dying, you know it’s damn dry.” That’s Paul Schutz, Point Pass sheep farmer. The past four years have been the driest his family has ever experienced, but off-farm income, leasing property and containment feeding has got them through.

Listen: Spotify | Apple | Buzzsprout

Episode 3: John Nicholas

Meet 34-year-old John Nicholas from Orroroo. John’s been farming for 10 years, but about half of them have been in drought. Despite the challenging conditions, hear John’s optimism for the future, about his adventures breeding dorpers, moving back to merinos and his plans to crack into the EU market.

Listen: Spotify | Apple | Buzzsprout

Episode 4: Jim and Sam Keurschner

Jim and Sam Keurschner run a sheep and cropping operation at Blackrock near Orroroo and say it’s been the worst drought in living memory. But they’ve got through by using strategies like containment feeding which has helped them maintain most of their flock. Discover other ways they’ve dealt with the drought, including how they’ve coped with the mental hardships.

Listen: Spotify | Apple | Buzzsprout