Season 2019: seasonal and management information for farmers

Page last updated: Friday, 22 March 2019 - 11:58am

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 March to May 2019 inclusive. The seasonal situation information identifies conditions that will affect management choices in the outlook period.

2019 northern pastoral season – this webpage contains seasonally relevant information, including forecasts and management options for conditions in the northern pastoral areas of WA.

After significant rainfall (10–20mm) in the last 2 weeks in many areas south of Wagin, the information just below is relevant:

Summary

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

  • Ravensthorpe community livestock water supplies have been checked by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation  – see the attached Ravensthorpe livestock water supplies update for details.
  • 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.
  • Poor groundcover in some southern areas means that wind erosion risk is high.
  • 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 and erosion 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.
  • Seek professional advice about the costs and benefits of feeding, agisting or selling livestock if feed or water is limiting.

Quick links

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

  • Many areas have reported heavy stubble loads, which may cause problems during seeding. Check your stubble management options.

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.