Pre-lambing management key to flock rebuild

Bayer Australia's Grow livestock webinars attract national farming audience

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Photo: Olivia Calver

Photo: Olivia Calver

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Discussions will turn to pre-lambing management tactics in the New England.

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Producers across the country are flooding online livestock webinars with the heightened price of livestock making upcoming calving and lambing periods all the more valuable.

Bayer Australia Limited's Grow livestock agronomy service are among the host of agricultural businesses turning to online delivery of profit-growing tips.

Since April more than 1000 individual registrations have tuned in from across the country with plans for the flexible option to continue even when travel restrictions ease.

"The feedback from producers has been really positive," Grow associate brand manager Charlotte Tomkins said.

"We have decided to continue to run these once travel restrictions are lifted as it seems many people like the flexibility to join from home and we are able to reach farmers in remote locations."

From next Wednesday discussions will turn to pre-lambing management tactics in the New England.

Photo: Stephen Burns

Photo: Stephen Burns

Given the standard tight lambing window and climatic conditions in the region, producers will be encouraged to make data driven decisions using scanning data, condition scores and feed budgets.

Armidale-based livestock agronomist Ed Hiscox said with the current price of lambs it was important to turn scanning data into higher marking percentages.

"Whilst we have got plenty of feed, the market is quite dear so there is a big focus on people trying to breed their way out of the drought," he said.

"There is a focus on lamb survivability and then at the start of the year with optimising high conception rates, which comes back to condition score and managing feed.

"For people that aren't in the market buying restocker ewes a key focus is making sure that every lamb is viable from scanning through to marking and making sure they survive."

For many New England producers lambing may be something they have never experienced before.

Earlier in the year The Land reported a growing number of cattle producers were entering the wool game for a quick turnover and restocking option.

Mr Hiscox encouraged those people going back into sheep to seek good advice from their neighbours, other sheep producers or livestock agronomists.

"I have seen a lot of people going back into sheep," he said.

"Cattle guys getting back into sheep and even further west I've seen some farming operations that are putting a sheep arm back in their business that they probably haven't had for 10 or 20 years."

He encouraged producers to invest in pregnancy scanning ewes to allow for better management especially leading into the short feed and colder conditions at the end of the gestation period.

"This year might be a little bit different with the amount of feed we grew very quickly at the start of the year in February and March," he said.

"We will probably have a bit of a luxury that we have low stock numbers and a bit of grass around us.

"We still need to be able to manage that and put the right feed in front of the right animals."

Visit growsolutions.com.au/en/workshops/ to register for the event.

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