It never rains, but it pours: Managing livestock nutrition from green to dry
As our CEO, Kym, was driving through rural Australia recently, he was struck by how unbelievable the recent season has been.
Regular rainfall has benefitted farms and towns across the country, with perfect crops and green pasture to be seen everywhere.
Especially for South Australian and Western Australian producers, the 2016 winter season has provided us with superb green pasture for livestock producers to make the most of, especially heading into the warmer and drier months.
After a wet season
“Usually, while some regions of Australia will have a great season, other areas will be suffering through a plethora of difficulties. At the moment, we’re seeing all regions experiencing healthy growth, even through the red centre, with the second highest rainfall in 50 years” – Kym
After a wet season like the one we have recently seen, it won’t be uncommon to see livestock drinking more groundwater. If you’re a Beachport Liquid Minerals customer using the BLM dispenser, you might find it more difficult to get your livestock to consume BLM at the trough.
If you are looking to increase feed conversion and help your livestock take full advantage of the green feed, orally drenching them might be the best method to guarantee they’re accessing the supplements at this time.
Here comes the sun
As we move towards the dry season, we’ll start to see the effects of the warmer weather hit the paddocks. As the pasture matures and the feed starts to dry off, it’s important to look into methods to boost feed conversion efficiency to encourage weight gain in your livestock. It usually takes around three weeks for green pasture to turn and for the nutrition levels to drop dramatically.
Whether you choose to irrigate pasture throughout the dry months to allow your livestock to access the nutrient-rich feed, or to use livestock supplements to ensure their maintenance nutrient requirements are reached, it’s important to get the timing right. There is often a period between the turning of feed from green to dry that traditional supplementation methods neglect, as they only work effectively on dry feed. It can leave your herd or flock on depleted nutrients for a number of weeks, affecting growth and health.
Liquid livestock supplements can be used year round, allowing your livestock to take better advantage of the green feed when it’s available as well as supplementing the dry feed, with no lag period between seasons. Starting your flock or herd on a liquid supplementation program now as we move into the warmer weather (for our Southern and South-Western Beachport Liquid Minerals family) will help you to make the most of the incredible season we’re enjoying.