When it's very wet underfoot
15 July 2016
Livestock management has been a challenge for many producers across southern Australia this winter with high rainfall and continual wet weather events.
Here we offer online resources and advice to help producers maintain optimal condition in sheep and cattle in these conditions.
Too much of a good thing: Procedure two in the Pasture Growth module of MLA's More Beef from Pastures explains water use efficiency and rainfall impact on pastures.
Managing mud: The MLA-funded Evergraze program has a range of on line fact sheets and tools for managing wet soils in livestock enterprises.
The chill factor: Wet and cold conditions can have a dramatic impact on lamb survival and ewe condition. MLA's Making More From Sheep includes the Wean More Lambs module which features tips and tools for increasing lamb and ewe survival in tough conditions. Guidelines to the shelter requirements for sheep are located on the Victorian Department of Primary Industries' website.
Feet first: Sheep lameness is often a consequence of continual wet conditions. NSW Murray Local Land Services District Veterinarian Scott Ison wrote this article about what producers need to focus on to prevent severe foot problems.
The problem with pugging: Continual grazing or stock movement on water logged pastures can lead to long term problems with groundcover removal and soil erosion. NSW Murray Local Land Services Land Services Office (Sustainable Agriculture) Sue Briggs shares advice on minimising the impact of pugging.
The grass is greener: Producers need to be aware of the downside of green grass based pastures following a wet autumn and winter, which has potential animal health impacts such as grass tetany. More Beef from Pastures and Making More From Sheep both offer fact sheets on managing the risk and how to diagnose and treat grass tetany.