Season 2018–19: seasonal and management information for farmers

Page last updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2018 - 11:12am

This page provides seasonally relevant information on conditions and management options for those conditions in the agricultural areas of Western Australia.

The outlook period is November 2018 to January 2019 inclusive. The seasonal situation information identifies conditions that will affect management choices in the outlook period.

Summary

Destock pasture paddocks that have less than 750kg/ha of dry matter: save the soil and save the livestock

  • On-farm water reserves are very low in some southern shires.
  • Pasture in southern areas is well below average.
  • Paddocks with less than 750 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) of dry matter, or 50% groundcover, should be destocked now and livestock moved immediately to confinement feeding areas or heavier soils with better pasture coverage.
  • Livestock will only travel short distances from water in summer – supply water in the paddock being grazed, and within 600–800m of paddock feed.

See the seasonal rainfall update newsletter for a full set of recent rain and soil moisture maps and information.

Livestock and pasture situation

Pasture biomass in some southern shires is much lower than average:

  • Destock any paddock with less than 750kg/ha of dry matter, or less than 50% groundcover, or where large bare patches have developed. Do this as soon as possible.
  • Do a livestock water budget now. Allow for silted dams, and a late start to the 2019 season.
  • Do a livestock feed budget now. Cover supplementary feeding over summer and into late autumn 2019.

Shires with very low pasture dry matter areas are Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Kent, Lake Grace and Ravensthorpe.

See the nutrition links below.

Livestock information

Nutrition and water

Read these first:

And then these should help feed decisions:

Health and animal welfare

Crop situation

  • Intense localised cells of rain and hail have caused crop damage in the central and eastern grainbelt.
  • Late rain may lead to germination of summer weeds.
  • The forecast is for an average or drier summer, so a green bridge for disease is less likely.
  • Barley and canola yields are high in most areas. Barley stubble is dense enough in the northern areas that some managers are baling stubble after harvesting.

Crop information

Land and water information

Climate situation and outlook

Climate information

Health and finances information

Contacts

Contact your local DPIRD office to find out who can help you on any of the topics above. During the Christmas and New Year period, phones may be diverted, but you will be put in contact with someone who can help with your questions.