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August farm tips on agronomy, animal health and nutrition

August farm tips on agronomy, animal health and nutrition

August farm tips on agronomy, animal health and nutrition

 

  • Where possible, spray out with an appropriate rate of quality glyphosate four to six weeks before your intended planting date. Add an adjuvant or broadleaf weed spike for additional control, but remember this spray is to target perennial weeds so do not compromise the dose rate of the glyphosate.
  • Walk and monitor autumn-planted cereal crops of wheat and barley, oats and triticale to check the growth stage and formulate weed control and fungicide plans.
  • When creating a seedbed, create an environment where there is good seed-to-soil contact. So if you are planting grass seeds, lucerne, clover, and herbs you need a very fine seedbed, brassicas need to be fine while maize and cereals can be a little less fine.
  • Make sure established lucerne has had its winter spray before the middle of August at the latest.
  • Soils generally are deficient in nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) in late winter and early spring. Therefore, products that apply N and S are a good option to help boost early spring growth.
  • When walking paddocks to be put into spring-sown crops, dig a hole in the soil 20 to 30 cm deep and look for signs of compaction. If compaction is identified, then ripping can help improve crop yield.

 

  • Keep feeding equipment clean.
  • Very young lambs require frequent, low-volume feeding.
  • Access to meal or pellets, and hay from the first week of age and continuing throughout the rearing period aids rumen development.
  • Always have clean water available.
  • Episodes of bloating appear to coincide with changes to feeding patterns, particularly increasing milk volume per feed.
  • Make gradual changes to feeding regimes to reduce stress on the lambs.
  • In cold weather, lambs will require more energy to maintain their body temperature, so provide shelter and dry bedding.
  • Vaccinate lambs from two weeks of age with a 5-in-1 vaccine such as Multine, with a booster delivered four to six weeks later.
  • Lambs that enter the rearing shed less than 24 hours old often have not suckled any colostrum. These lambs are then at higher risk of disease and rearing problems.

 

  • Minimising body condition loss post-calving will positively impact production and reproduction.
  • Spring pasture dry matter (DM) is often low and grazing utilisation poor due to wet ground conditions. This makes it difficult for the cow to reach the required DM intakes on pasture alone to meet lactation requirements.
  • Consider offering higher DM feeds such as silages or concentrates to help cows achieve their feed intake requirements.
  • Pasture in spring can often be low in effective fibre, increasing the risk of rumen dysfunction, especially when concentrates are fed. Fibre supplementation may be required in the form of grass silage, hay or straw to support healthy rumen function.
  • Increasing the energy density of the diet by supplementing high-energy feeds like grain and blends, can help minimise body condition loss post-calving.
  • Take an extended feed test of pasture and supplements to assess the ration and the best way to balance the diet.
  • Magnesium, calcium, and sodium supplementation is often needed to meet lactation requirements and to support animal health.