Garry & Michelle Riggs, Lakefield StationKatherine, NT
Lakefield Station, on the northern Sturt Plateau encompasses 60,000 hectares of savannah woodlands with native grasses and is phosphorus deficient. We run approximately 8,000 mixed age cattle - 2,500 breeder self-replacement herd. We have been using a custom made loose lick up to 35% urea mix. This year, we have switched to the BLM products - Green Cap and the White Cap. We have used the Green Cap with our weaning and trucking of steers and light conditioned cows and calves.
We have great success with the Green Cap with our weaning, putting the recommended rate through the dispensers in the water troughs. Initially, weaners were frightened and agitated when first drafted off, but after a night in the yards on the medicated water, there was an amazing transformation. The weaners were calmer and settled, eating hay and calf pellets. When it came to tailing, Michelle commented that the weaners were very easy to tail with the dogs in the yard. After a couple of hours of being worked with the dogs, Michelle took 850 fresh weaners outside without any drama.
With trucking steers, we have a weight loss from shrinkage of approx. 14 kilos from Lakefield to Darwin (450km). We used the Green Cap at the required rates in the water supply in the paddocks three days before mustering and in the troughs in the yards. With a chopper, we yarded and weighed 460 of our steers with an average of 298 kilos. They were trucked the following day and weighed in Katherine (150km) with an average of 298 - no weight loss and then a 7-kilo weight loss from Katherine to Darwin when weighed on delivery. We had saved 7 kilos by using the Green Cap.
We trucked 300 light condition drought-master cross cows & calves down to Alice Springs and then 250km up the Tanami Road. All cows and calves walked off the trucks. These cows were on the Green Cap 3 days before, right up to trucking, they had two dips over four days in the dip yards whilst on route to their destination.
We have since weaned another 800 weaners with the same results as the first round. Our first round weaners went on to the White Cap when turned out. So far, they are doing as well as if they were on our custom mix weaner supplement.
We have placed the whole herd on the White Cap, with encouraging results thus far. We would not hesitate in recommending the Green Cap to anyone. We are extremely satisfied with the results that we have gained.- Garry & Michelle Riggs