Stick to your plan

By Country News

We are now into December and I hope we all have a plan to help us work through this challenging season.

Yes, it can still rain as we saw in early November, but we need to stick to our plans, each will be unique to our own business, some will plant summer crops, some will dry off parts of the farm and only water through the better performing pastures, while others will cease watering altogether and lot feed their cattle, whatever choice you make, the nutritional balance of the ration needs to be carefully considered.

 I hope the information days hosted by Murray Dairy on ‘’Optimising your Summer Strategy” and facilitated by Cameron Smith, were useful in assisting you formulate your plan, feedback we received was very positive.

Heat stress is another challenge we face in the Murray Dairy region and is discussed in this issue. There are many methods available to attempt to alleviate this, such as natural shade, shedding and sprinklers, just to name a few.

The stress this places on the milking cow cannot be overlooked and can severely impact production. I encourage you all to take a look on the Murray Dairy website under seasonal conditions to find further information on managing heat stress.

The advantages of drying off pastures means that poorly performing paddocks can be completely renovated prior to irrigating in the autumn.  In some cases, incorporation of compost and manure to the soil profile not only helps the soil structure but also increases the moisture carrying capacity.  In this edition you will find an article that highlights the value of compost/manure for your pastures.

With Christmas only a few weeks away, I will take this opportunity to wish you a merry and safe Christmas, I hope you can all find some time to relax and be with family and friends.

Rick Cross

Murray Dairy chair