Tips for tackling tough seasons

09 October 2015

Being prepared and acting early were the key messages delivered at the recent ‘Tackling Tough Seasons’ events held in Tasmania.  The sessions were delivered through MLA’s More Beef from Pastures (MBfP) and Making More from Sheep (MMfS) programs.

Agricultural climate specialist Graeme Anderson, beef and sheep producer Ed Archer, agronomic advisor Terry Horan and agribusiness consultant Basil Doonan shared their top tips on how to be prepared for any season:

  • upskill in pasture management through locally run pasture management courses and the MBfP and MMfS online modules (pasture growth and utilisation) to maximise productivity from your pasture resource
  • feed budgeting is a vital tool for planning ahead, with tools like MLA’s Feed Demand Calculator being important for making decisions about stocking rates for the season ahead and if/when supplementary feeding will be required
  • early decision making in regards to destocking and locking up pastures for fodder is crucial, not only in the season ahead but for the seasons that follow
  • plan ahead with tools such as MLA’s Rainfall to Pasture Growth Outlook Tool to assess your pastures now and understand the growth patterns in the next few months
  • seasonal forecasting tools are becoming more reliable and are an important tool when planning your approach to the season ahead – get your information from reliable sources, such as the BoM Seasonal Outlook Video.

Beef and sheep producer Clare Peltzer from Evandale in Tasmania’s north, attended the Launceston event.

“I see farming as being primarily about growing grass and then converting the grass you grow into an animal product," she said.

"Effectively managing your pasture resource to optimise production is crucial, especially in a tough season.”

Pasture management courses are currently being organised for Tasmanian producers through MBfP and MMfS programs. The course involves a two day theory workshop in March, followed by six on-farm group coaching sessions in the months ahead to support participants in putting the theory into practice.  Places are still available, with groups forming across the state.  For more information contact Penny Hooper.

Learn more about planning for tough seasons at:
Climate Dogs
More Beef from Pastures
Making More from Sheep

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