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MacLoran Farm

Be well-prepared as season break nears

As “the break” nears, it’s important that producers begin setting themselves up to be in the best position possible for the growing season.

With the latest forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology stating a low probability of rain until June, which could mean there won’t be much pasture growth until July, it’s crucial that producers do their sums and explore their best options to ensure stock remain in good condition.

This is particularly important to not only maximise the vitality of sheep but to ensure ewes remain in the best condition for joining and parturition.

Given the current high prices for sheep, lamb and wool it’s important to ensure flocks are managed well to maximise output.

As available feed resources across the state dwindle it’s important that producers understand the available options for confinement feeding. To this end, Livestock SA is working with members and service providers to roll out a series of workshops across the Mallee, Mid North, Upper North, Eyre Peninsula and Pastoral regions next month to focus on available options.

Livestock SA have continued to help coordinate fodder donations, working with state and national bodies to facilitate the distribution of donated fodder to SA producers.

Livestock SA has also continued to advocate for members through discussions with State Government and Federal Government parties on lasting drought management policy. As part of this Board Member Allan Piggott met with national drought coordinator Major General Stephen Day on his most recent trip to SA to discuss the impact of drought on SA livestock producers.

Livestock SA have also continued to highlight the adverse impact that interstate freight subsidies have had on the price and availability of fodder in SA.

Already many producers in drought-affected areas across the state have spent significant months, resources and time hand feeding sheep and cattle. It’s a hard job, and there’s nothing uplifting about it.

However, it’s important to ensure that you not only look after your stock but yourselves, your families, neighbours and friends.

It’s also important that producers in these regions are given the opportunity to engage and talk about other topics besides feeding sheep.

In recent discussions with members it has been reassuring to hear many producers have contacted Rural Business Support’s team of Rural Financial Counsellors. We encourage all affected producers to get in touch with RFCs to learn about available options and possible funding available to them.

RBS’s Farm Business Strategic Reviews are also an important available resource that producers should look to consider in upcoming months.

Accessing these types of services will help to ensure producers set themselves up appropriately for when the break comes.

ANDREW CURTIS, Chief Executive Officer, Livestock SA

Published: 28 March 2019