Industry consultant Geoff Duddy (Sheep Solutions) will be talking to producers about managing sheep through a potentially difficult summer.
Minimizing damage to pastures and soil will be one of the biggest challenges graziers face this summer and Mr Duddy says confinement feeding can play a vital role.
“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 droughtlot”.
While spring pasture growth has been good in some parts of the region, South East Local Land Services Agricultural Advisor, Matt Lieschke, is concerned about the lack of carry-over feed in some areas.
“Unfortunately dry conditions and timing of rainfall has meant that some areas haven’t been able to generate a lot of bulk in pastures, which is cause for concern heading into summer.”
It is not clear how long the feeding period might extend and what the associated impact on finances, livestock, pastures and soil may be.
“Water is probably the biggest issue at present. A number of producers have commented that dam levels are well down – you can always bring feed in, but carting water for stock is a different story.” Mr Lieschke said.
Across the region tough decisions are being made about what stock are moved on and what stock are kept.
“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.
“These workshops are a great opportunity to not only see a constructed droughtlot, but also hear from an expert about sheep nutrition and how to set up a droughtlot or sacrifice feeding area and make plans for the summer ahead” Mr Lieschke said.
Mr Duddy has worked with sheep producers in areas of sheep breeding, genetic selection, nutrition and intensive feeding systems for many years and is looking forward to sharing that experience at the workshops.
Field days are scheduled for:
- Tuesday 4 Dec “Glendalyn” 620 Sykes Road, Binalong 9am – 1pm
- Wednesday 5 Dec, “Foxlow” 2707 Captain’s Flat Road, Primrose Valley 9am – 1pm
- Thursday 6 Dec, “Cowl Cowl”, 553 Lade Vale Rd, Gunning 9am – 1pm