Think­ing ahead for soil and pas­ture

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FARM SCENE -

In many ar­eas, the past six months of grow­ing sea­son rain­fall has been less than 10 per cent of what is usu­ally re­ceived, re­sult­ing in re­duced pas­ture and hay yields.

With such dry con­di­tions, feed­ing has be­come part of many pro­duc­ers’ rou­tines and use of time, al­low­ing lit­tle time to con­sider what is ahead.

Plan­ning ahead is an in­te­gral step in min­imis­ing the longer-term im­pacts of the dry win­ter­spring sea­son.

Be­ing ad­e­quately pre­pared to make the most of an au­tumn break is im­por­tant to al­low pas­tures to re­cover and pro­vide a high-qual­ity feed-base for cat­tle pro­duc­tion.

Plan­ning should also in­clude putting a risk man­age­ment frame­work in place in case an au­tumn break doesn’t oc­cur.

For 2019, sev­eral fac­tors can be planned for and man­aged:

Soil fer­til­ity – pas­ture pro­duc­tion re­flects un­der­ly­ing fer­til­ity in soils. Soil fer­til­ity can be checked through a soil test.

While ni­tro­gen (N), phos­pho­rus (P) and potas­sium (K) are im­por­tant, other nu­tri­ents such as cal­cium (Ca), mag­ne­sium (Mg) and sSul­phur (S) can also be con­sid­ered to achieve a bal­anced nu­tri­ent pro­file in the soil.

The pH re­sults al­low for plan­ning of lime ap­pli­ca­tion to lessen the im­pact of soil acid­ity.

Soil struc­ture – pas­ture pro­duc­tion can be ad­versely af­fected in ar­eas of a pad­dock due to the im­pact on soils as cat­tle track to and from wa­ter, feed sources and shade/ shel­ter.

The ex­tent of im­pacts will de­pend on how heav­ily pad­docks have been stocked and the amount of traf­fic to feed, wa­ter and shade/shel­ter sources. Can sac­ri­fice pad­docks or stock con­tain­ment ar­eas be used to take pres­sure off higher qual­ity pad­docks?

Pas­ture man­age­ment – in af­fected ar­eas of the state (that is, from drought or dry sea­sons), there would have been re­duced avail­able pas­ture through spring lead­ing to the risk of stock will be putting ex­tra pres­sure on pas­tures.

If hay has been made, con­sid­er­a­tion should be given to nu­tri­ent re­moval through the process which can be man­aged through the fer­tiliser pro­gram.

Think­ing ahead, are there pad­docks that need to be man­aged or ren­o­vated to make them more pro­duc­tive into the fu­ture? Can pad­docks be fur­ther sub­di­vided or, can wa­ter sources be bet­ter lo­cated to sup­port im­proved graz­ing man­age­ment?

Plan­ning for and manag­ing a num­ber of pas­ture-pro­duc­tion-lim­it­ing fac­tors can al­low pro­duc­ers to be bet­ter po­si­tioned.

Speak to an agron­o­mist or farm ad­vi­sor about plan­ning to make the most of au­tumn.

Mar­ket re­port for 9th and 10th Jan­uary Wed­nes­day Fat Sale 688 head. Thurs­day Bull and Cow Sale, 83 bulls, 454 cows and 60 steers.

688 head this Wed­nes­day for the fat sale, which was the first sale for 2019. Top vealer mak­ing 312.6 cents per kg. There were 578 veal­ers which av­er­aged 257.4. Some very good cat­tle yarded with re­stock­ers ac­tive, with pro­ces­sors keen to get the best and not keen on un­fin­ished cat­tle.

There were 24 heifers, with the top 290 cents per kg to av­er­age 266.1.

There were 82 steers of­fered, to top at 283, to av­er­age 249.8.

The yard av­er­age was 255.7. The av­er­age price for 688 cat­tle was $999.47.

The bull sale on Thurs­day had 83 bulls. Sold to top of 240.6 cents per kg with some good beef bulls on of­fer. The bull av­er­age was 209 cents and 83 bulls av­er­age per head $1417.62.

454 cows sold, with beef cows sell­ing to good de­mand saw the top cow make 267.2 cents. With a big run of cows sell­ing to good de­mand.

60 steers were yarded to sell to 272. The good run of dairy cows sold well.

The cow av­er­age was 192.9 cents. The yard av­er­age was 198.2. The av­er­age per head of 597 cat­tle yarded was $1115.

Veal­ers 1 Lim 1 Lim 1 Lim 1 Lim 1 Lim 1 Sim 1 Lim 1 Chey 1 Lim Steers 7 Ang 2 Ang 2 Ang 2 Lim 1 B/B Heifers 3 B/Blue I&R Awty, Nar­ra­can 8 B/Blue I&R Awty, Nar­ra­can 1 Lim JWG&NE Webb, G/B 3 Ang L Telford, Cross­over Ex­port Cows & Heifers 1 Bld Geekay P/L, Neerim Nth 1 S/H V Master­son, L/warry Nth 1 R/Ang G&M Stafford, Nay­ook 1 Ang N Hen­der­son, Wom­bat Ck 6 Ang Mo­lare P/L, Nar Nar Goon 2 Ang G&L Cox, Shady Creek 1 Ang WH Wad­dell, Seav­iew Dairy Cows 2 Frn DJ Arm­strong, G/B 6 Frn J Roberts, Yar­ragon 2 Fleck RJ&CE Monk, Poowong 3Frn RD Miller, Athlone 8 Frn N Di­lauro, Dar­num Steers 6 Ang 2 Frn 17 Frn 13 Frn Bulls 1 Char 1 Char 1 Ang 1 Lim 2 Jsy 3 Frn 1 Lim 6 Ang 10 Frn

Farm Check, Yar­ragon Sth JH Vi­cary, Drouin Stead­fast Cartage, Yan­nathan R Has­san & Co, Nilma Nth S&V Mis­sen, Rosedale T&J Marx, Trafal­gar G Man­giafico, D/bulk Nth GM Kuhne, Dum­balk Thor­p­dale Po­ta­toes, T/dale

Ross Webb, Trafal­gar G&L Cox, Shady Creek JA Dort­mans, H/wood Nth JWG&NE Webb, G/B D Far­ley, Ty­ers La­trobe Pak, Childers G Gar­diner, Seav­iew B Wal­ton, Trar­al­gon N Hen­der­son, Wom­bat Ck

R&G Schuhkraft, Childers D&L Wright, Drouin Sth Bloye Con­struc­tions, B/Ck K&S&J&G Sim, Nilma KL&AM Knight, Tan­jil Sth K&J Lawrence, Jin­di­vick McCrorey P/L, Trafal­gar AM&PE Laid­law, Tan­jil Sth Up­ston Farms, Drouin

325 420 383 365 390 535 500 400 405

615 645 588 420 590

535 449 490 493

510 500 605 545 597 555 685

713 708 580 775 640

648 615 518 508

312.6 1015 311.2 1307 305.6 1176 302.6 1104 300.0 1170 294.6 1576 294.2 1471 292.0 1168 290.0 1174

283.0 1740 282.0 1818 280.0 1646 275.0 1155 260.0 1534

290.0 1551 278.6 1250 261.6 1281 260.0 1281

267.2 1362 264.6 1323 248.0 1500 245.0 1335 240.0 1432 240.0 1332 231.0 1583

216.6 1543 216.6 1532 216.6 1256 210.2 1629 205.6 1315

258.2 1617 222.6 1368 215.1 1221 214.6 1091

1055 240.6 2538 840 239.2 2009 975 237.6 2316 770 236.2 1818 653 228.6 1490 810 226.2 1832 840 222.6 1869 815 218.6 1783 675 204.6 1380 1. NGL, 2. El­ders, 3.

SEJ, 4. Land­mark, 5. Scotts. We have a Face­book page. Like and fol­low us on VLE War­ragul.

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