Season 2019: seasonal and management information for farmers and pastoralists

Page last updated: Wednesday, 22 May 2019 - 10:58am

This page provides seasonally relevant information on conditions and management options for May, June and July 2019 in the agricultural areas of Western Australia.

Visit 2019 northern pastoral season for seasonally relevant information, including forecasts and management options  in the northern pastoral areas of WA.

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News

  • The Commonwealth’s On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme is now available to eligible commercial livestock farmers and pastoralists in WA. The rebate is for 25% of expenses, up to a maximum of $25 000 for the purchase, delivery and installation of new water infrastructure, to address animal welfare needs and improve business resilience. The rebate is being administered by the Western Australian Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
  • Climate outlook: climate modelling for southern WA indicates below-average rainfall is likely for the first half of May, with the likelihood of rain increasing in the last week of May. Longer term modelling indicates a truncated growing season, with a below-average rainfall in May, near-average rainfall in June and July, and below-average rainfall in August and September.
  • Water supplies: community livestock and crop spraying water supplies are being used at a rapid rate. DPIRD is working with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), the Water Corporation and local governments to monitor and report on those water supplies.
  • Livestock: keep feeding livestock to maintain condition score and prevent health issues in late pregnancy and early lactation (e.g. pregnancy toxaemia and hypocalcaemia).
  • Erosion risks are high this season: due to the climate outlook, extensive paddock and stubble burning, and some spading and soil inversion work, soils are exposed and susceptible to wind erosion.

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.

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 management

Nutrition and water

Livestock News AgMemo March 2019

Read these first:

And then these should help feed decisions:

Following germination of pastures

Livestock health and animal welfare

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Crop situation

We recommend planning crop management around the modelling for southern WA, which indicates below-average rainfall is more likely for the first half of May, with the chance of rain increasing in the last week of May. Longer term modelling indicates a truncated growing season, with below-average rainfall in May, near-average rainfall in June and July, and below-average rainfall in August and September.

  • Plant available soil water app graphs rainfall for a given weather station, from the start of summer through the grain growing season, and can be used to support management decisions
  • Plant available soil water maps are produced each month outside of the growing season and each fortnight in the growing season

Crop management

Land and water management

  • The National On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme is available to eligible commercial livestock farmers and pastoralists in rural WA. Information for applicants also has links to the application forms.
    The rebate is for 25% up to a maximum of $25 000 for the purchase of new water infrastructure, delivery and installation to address animal welfare needs and improve resilience to drought.
    Eligible items include water storage devices, such as tanks and troughs, pipes, fittings and pumps associated with water distribution systems, new bores and the desilting of dams by a contractor.
    Rebates can be applied to costs incurred after 30 June 2018, and applications close 30 April 2021 or when the funding allocation is exhausted, whichever occurs first.
  • Water deficiency declaration process: If strategic community water supplies in an area become depleted for livestock, the WA Government can make a Water Deficiency Declaration.
    • The local government needs to demonstrate that 5 or more farmers within a 20 kilometre (km) radius have to travel more than 40km to an off-farm source to access suitable water for livestock.
    • The local government makes a formal Water Deficiency Declaration request to DWER.
    • DWER consults with DPIRD, then makes a recommendation to the Minister for Water.
    • After the declaration is made, the state government is required to provide water for livestock needs at a central storage point, within a 40km radius of the farms concerned.
    • For more information visit the DWER website.
  • Community water supply program (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation): contact Tracy Calvert at tracy.calvert@dwer.wa.gov.au; 9841 0122 (Albany) or 0428 180 240
  • Strategic community water supplies (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation)
  • Reducing wind erosion risk
  • Maintaining roaded catchments and dams
  • Calculating dam water volume and drawdown by livestock and evaporation

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Climate situation and outlook

Climate resources

Health and assistance

Contacts

Contact your local DPIRD office to find out who can help you on any of the topics above.