Local Land Services (LLS) will run a series of on-farm workshops over the next few weeks, about sheep management during what could be a tough summer.
Despite some areas experiencing good spring pasture growth, South East LLS agricultural advisor Matt Lieschke said he was concerned about the lack of carry-over feed in other areas.
“Unfortunately, dry conditions and timing of rainfall have meant that some areas haven’t been able to generate a lot of bulk in pastures,” he said.
Mr Lieschke said it was not clear how long the feeding period would go on for and what the impact on finances, livestock, pastures and soil would be. “Water is probably the biggest issue at present. A number of producers have commented that dam levels are well down,” he said.
Tough decisions were being made across the region about the stock to move on and the stock to keep, he said. “Economics at present are generally in favour of feeding sheep due to strong commodity prices; however, water, feed availability and labour will be major factors in determining the number of stock that are fed and carried through,” he said.
LLS district vet Henry Clutterbuck advised people to complete a stocktake and audit on water leading into summer and whether there was enough to water livestock through the season.
“I think at the end of the day if you are trying to spot cattle that have issues in terms of lack of water you need to have acted earlier,” he said.
Water is probably the biggest issue at present. A number of producers have commented that dam levels are well down.South East LLS agricultural advisor Matt Lieschke
Industry consultant Geoff Duddy of Sheep Solutions will be talking to sheep producers about feed management, including minimising damage to pastures and soil and confinement feeding.
“Restricting stock to a small part of the property is an extremely valuable tool during drought.” Mr Duddy said
“With good planning and management, confinement feeding can work extremely well, whether it’s via a sacrifice paddock or a dedicated facility such as a drought lot”.
Mr Duddy has worked with sheep producers in areas of sheep breeding, genetic selection, nutrition and intensive feeding systems.
- Tuesday December 4, ‘Glendalyn’, 620 Sykes Road, Binalong, 9am-1pm
- Wednesday December 5, ‘Foxlow’, 2707 Captain’s Flat Road, Primrose Valley, 9am-1pm
- Thursday December 6, ‘Cowl Cowl’, 553 Lade Vale Road, Gunning, 9am-1pm