Agriculture Kangaroo Island to host coping with season workshop

WEATHER WARNING: Stormy skies and a rainbow over a freshly ploughed paddock at Haines, Kangaroo Island.
WEATHER WARNING: Stormy skies and a rainbow over a freshly ploughed paddock at Haines, Kangaroo Island.

The late rain in September is now (unfortunately) a distant memory and the feed is drying off rapidly. Whilst it's certainly not all 'doom and gloom' with most farmers on KI having an average season, the lack of water for many will limit grazing options. "None of us want to see the paddocks drifting like we saw earlier this year", Rick Morris, Chair of AGKI said. "We need to be proactive now to ensure we get our stock through in as good a condition as economically as possible and to ensure we maintain ground cover". To assist producers AGKI will be running a "Coping with the Season Workshop" on the 10th December, Parndana Sports Club so we can all learn more about managing livestock and pastures this summer and autumn.

"This has been our driest winter ever recorded on our place" Rick said, "and I need to be proactive in managing my stock and pastures". Feeding livestock this season will be a significant cost to most farmers on KI. Do you hand feed stock in the paddock and if you do, how do you manage the grazing pressure to maintain sufficient soil cover? Rick said. "Many farmers will be thinking about setting up confinement feeding areas and how to design them for easy management. How much feed do you need to have on hand to get your stock through?" Farmers who put stock into short-term confinement, at the break of the season this year to allow the pasture to get way, reaped the benefits. This is a valuable tool to use and definitely improves both stock condition and pasture growth.

All these topics 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. He's expertise covers soil, plant and animal nutrition, health and management workshops including Life Time Ewe Management and High Performance Weaner Management. Colin will be discussing livestock & pasture management options including target condition score pre-joining and increasing lambs conceived, effective supplementation on dry feed, feed budgeting, stock nutritional requirements and grazing management. Local farmer Caleb Pratt will discuss how he sets up and manages his confinement feeding system and the lessons his learnt over the last few years.

The workshop to be held on Tuesday 10th December, Parndana Sports Club, from 3pm to 8.30 pm, BBQ tea provided. The workshop will be free for AGKI members, non-members $15/hd.

Please RSVP by Thursday 5th December (for catering purposes) via eventbrite Phone Lyn Dohle (PIRSA) on 0419 846204 if you require further information.