KI farmers invited to workshop on coping with dry season

REMEMBER RAIN? A graded catchment on Kangaroo Island in operation, an option to help fill dams when and if it does rain again.
REMEMBER RAIN? A graded catchment on Kangaroo Island in operation, an option to help fill dams when and if it does rain again.

Concerned about the way the season seems to be heading? Are you wanting to change things so we don't get drifting paddocks like we saw earlier this year?

AgKI will be running a "Coping with the Season Workshop" later this month for producers to find out more about managing livestock and pastures this spring and summer.

Note the date of the workshop is now Monday, September 30, not September 23 as previously advertised.

"This has been our driest winter ever recorded on our place," AgKI chairman Rick Morris said. "And I need to be proactive in destocking and reticulating water around the farm".

Feeding livestock this season would come at a significant cost to most farmers on Kangaroo Island, he said.

Do you hand feed stock in the paddock and if you do, how do you manage the grazing pressure to maintain sufficient soil cover?

"Many farmers will be thinking about setting up confinement feeding areas and how to design them for easy management," Mr Morris said.

"How much feed do you need to have on hand to get your stock through? What trigger point's can you use to know when to keep stock or to sell? is early weaning an option? Are all questions farmers will be thinking about this spring."

All these questions and more will be covered in the workshop.

Guest speakers include Dr Colin Trengove, who comes from a farming background at Spalding, before working as a vet and farm consultant.

His expertise covers soil, plant and animal nutrition, health and management workshops including Life Time Ewe Management and High Performance Weaner Management.

Dr Trengove will be discussing livestock and pasture management options, including early weaning, confinement feeding, how to maintain ground cover and when to off load stock.

Two local KI farmers Caleb Pratt and Peter Lovering will discuss how they manage their own operations.

With Caleb outlining how he set up and manages his confinement feeding system and the lessons his learnt over the last few years.

Peter will talk about the trigger points he uses to know when to keep stock or when to sell.

Lyn Dohle from PIRSA Kingscote will talk about managing water supplies - how much will you need and ways to manage both its quality and quantity.

The workshop to be held from 4pm to 9pm on Monday, September 30 at the Parndana Sports Club. Barbecue tea provided. The workshop will be free for AgKI members, non-members $15.

Please RSVP to the PIRSA office on 8553 4949 or email by Friday, September 27, for catering purposes, or call Lyn Dohle at PIRSA on 0419 846 204 for further information.