Season 2019: seasonal and management information for farmers

Page last updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2019 - 2:45pm

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 January to February 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. Check the depth of your dams – farmers are finding that some dams are almost half filled with silt and paddock debris from past storms.
  • 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. Prevent animal welfare problems.
  • 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.

See the Statistical Seasonal Forecast web page for rainfall forecasts.

Livestock and pasture situation

Pasture production in some southern shires has been much lower than average, and the risk of erosion over summer is high.

  • 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.

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Livestock information

Nutrition and water

Read these first:

And then these should help feed decisions:

Health and animal welfare

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Crop situation

  • The forecast is for an average or drier summer, except in the far north grainbelt, so a green bridge for disease is less likely.
  • Many areas are reporting record breaking high yields, with smaller areas of low yields because of hail, early frost, and low rainfall.

Crop information

Land and water information

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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.