For many years we have used an orchard floor management system where we mow the inter-row grass and throw it sideways under the trees for mulch and to suppress the weeds. We had been thinking of reducing our carbon footprint by reducing the mowing and using sheep to keep the grass down, as well as the weeds. Before doing this, we realised we would have to change our floor-based sprinkler system to avoid the sheep kicking sprinklers around and pulling out tubes. We completed the conversion to suspended lines and sprinklers in Spring and then with the onset of the current drought, we agreed to take 150 of our neighbour’s sheep to help him and this allowed us to trial the new sheep system sooner than expected. So far it is working really well and the bonus is masses of sheep poo throughout the orchard. We suspect we have about the same carbon emissions though because the sheep emit methane gas which is more greenhouse impacting than carbon dioxide from the mowers. We’ll complete an audit on this shortly.