On-farm water storage in many areas of the South Coast is critical, and several areas have been declared water deficient (for livestock).
A range of Federal and State assistance measures are in place (see the Support services directory) with contacts and links to financial support measures, water support, regional counselling services and crisis care.
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- Support services directory
- Livestock situation
- Livestock management
- Livestock health and animal welfare
- Crop situation
- Crop management
- Land and water management
- Climate situation and outlook
- Climate resources
- The Commonwealth’s On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme is available to eligible commercial livestock farmers and pastoralists in WA. The rebate is for 25% 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 WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
- Climate outlook: The BoM seasonal rainfall outlook for February to May 2020 is for near-normal rainfall chances over most of the agricultural area. This is an improvement on previous outlooks.
- Water supplies: Community livestock water supplies are being used at a rapid and unsustainable rate. DPIRD is working with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), the Water Corporation and local governments to monitor and manage those water supplies.
- Plan now to control erosion this coming summer: as a result of the climate outlook, and expected lower than average biomass production in 2019, wind erosion risk is high and some erosion has already been reported.
Pasture biomass and ground cover is much lower than average for the season. Available pasture feed for the summer and autumn is likely to be limiting, and the risk of wind erosion over summer is high.
- Do a livestock water budget now if you haven't already. Check the depth of water in your dams to allow for silted dams. Plan now for earthworks that improve water harvesting and storage.
- Do a livestock feed budget now if you haven't already. You can use the supplementary feeding calculator for pregnant and lactacting ewes. Include supplementary feeding over summer and into late autumn 2020.
See the nutrition links below.
We recommend testing feed (bought and on-farm) and water before providing to livestock.
Do you pregnancy scan? Pregnancy scanning is an important tool to understand the potential of the lambing season and to efficiently manage the ewe flock.
CBH outturns and stockfeed: the site provides information on the process for acquiring stockfeed grain
- Agisting livestock
- Annual feed budget for sheep enterprises: estimate the supplementary feed requirements of a sheep enterprise for a single year
- Confined paddock feeding and feedlotting
- Drought feeding and management of beef cattle – a guide for farmers and land managers 2018: a PDF download (Agriculture Victoria)
- Drought feeding and management of sheep 2018: a PDF download (Agriculture Victoria)
- Feed cost calculator: calculate the lowest cost from a number of different sheep feeds
- Feeding and managing sheep in dry times: a PDF download
- Feed tests are vital for feed budgeting
- Lifetimewool. Tools for managing your ewe flock (including feed budgeting)
- Managing the beef breeder herd in southern Western Australia
- Sheep feed value guide
- Sheep pregnancy scanning benchmarks
- Reproduction potential and marking rates of the WA sheep flock
- Pregnancy Scanning Benchmarks – Use this tool to view the latest pregnancy scanning rates (reproductive rate) of WA sheep flocks.Add in your own pregnancy results to see where you fit within the curve.
- Supplementary feeding and feed budgeting of sheep: a full explanation of the options and how to choose feed sources based on energy and cost. Jump to the introduction of feed grains section
- Supplementary feeding calculator for pregnant and lactacting ewes
- The good food guide for sheep: feeding sheep for meat production in the areas of Western Australia
- Tips for handfeeding sheep the right amount the right way
- To hold or sell breeding cattle
- Tools and calculators for sheep and grazing management
- Water quality for livestock
End of the pasture season
- Condition scoring of sheep
- Welfare decisions for sheep and cattle
- A national guide to describing and managing beef cattle in low body condition
- WA livestock disease outlook: a monthly newsletter for producers
- Is your livestock fit to load?: a PDF download (Meat and Livestock Australia)
- Avoid poisoning of livestock by blue-green algae
- Water quality for livestock
Many crops in the eastern and north-eastern grainbelt were short or patchy, with yields lower than average. These crops have a higher than average risk of wind and water erosion over summer and autumn. Erosion risk can be reduced with recommended stubble management.
- Soil water graphs: for up to date graphs of plant available soil water, and for more infomation on the models behind the maps in either a cropped or fallow paddock. Plant available soil water graphs show the amount of soil water accumulated from the start of summer (1 November) through the grain growing season can be used to support seasonal decisions.
- Plant available soil water maps for fallow are produced from March to June for different soil types using the Ritchie two-layer fallow evaporation model run from the first of November in the previous year.
- Plant available soil water maps for crop are produced from July to October for different soil types using evapotranspiration of a generic wheat crop is estimated using the FAO crop factor method, where the timing of crop germination (break of season) is estimated using a two-part rule.
- Maintaining roaded catchments and dams. Plan now for new dams and roaded catchments.
- Calculating dam water volume and drawdown by livestock and evaporation
- The National On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme is available to eligible commercial horticultural and 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.
- Farm Water Supply Planning Scheme: If you are commercial broadacre farmer who is experiencing water shortages, you can apply for a rebate to assist with an audit of your farm water.
Farmers who have had an audit undertaken before 31 May 2018 remain eligible for a rebate of 50% up to $500 towards the farm audit and 50% up to $250 for an auditor to complete a call back inspection. Any audits undertaken from 1 June 2018 will be eligible for 50% up to $1000 for an audit.
Registered Auditors are listed on the DWER site.
- Community water supply program (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation): contact Tracy Calvert at email@example.com; 9841 0122 (Albany) or 0428 180 240
- Strategic community water supplies (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation)
- Reducing wind erosion risk
The BoM seasonal rainfall outlook for February to May 2020 is for near-normal rainfall chances over most of the agricultural area. This is an improvement on previous outlooks.
- Seasonal climate outlook newsletter for a full set of forecast information
- Statistical seasonal information web page for rainfall forecasts, soil water maps, potential yield maps, and frost risk maps.
- See the rainfall to date tool for your recording station
- See the last week's rainfall:
- Search for the daily rainfall and other climate records from your local station: Climate data online – Bureau of Meteorology
- Australian CliMate online app - Climate analysis for decision makers. Question focused analyses for exploration of weather data across Australia. CliMate is also available for iOS and Android devices.
- Windy.com to see animated global weather conditions affecting Western Australia.
A range of Federal and State assistance measures are in place to support farmers and pastoralists experiencing hardship, as a result of seasonal pressures.
The Support Services Directory harnesses a range of financial, water and welling support, as well as links to Regional Counselling Services and 24/7 crisis care.
Western Australia does not have a drought declaration system so no formal declaration needs to be made to access these services.
The Federal Government’s National Drought Policy and National Drought Agreement aims to build resilience to climate variability and dry season pressures, specifically through bolstering risk management practices and enhancing long-term preparedness. See the national On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.
Note: the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation administers the WA component of the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.
SUPPORT SERVICES DIRECTORY
A website that harnesses information about Commonwealth and State/Territory assistance (includes Drought Loans, Farm Investment Loans, Farm Household Allowance)
Assists farming families experiencing financial hardship with income to maintain their household
13 23 16 or 1800 612 004
Low interest loans for businesses to improve the strength, resilience and profitability of their businesses (provided by the Regional Investment Corporation)
1800 875 675
Free financial counselling service to assist primary producers
1800 612 044
Assists farm and pastoral businesses and financial institutions to resolve disputes about business financial arrangements, through a low cost and non-legal form of mediation
1800 198 231
Income support programs for farmers and rural small businesses
13 23 16
Funds for household expenses
Rebates of 25% up to a maximum of $25 000 for the purchase and installation of new water infrastructure and equipment to eligible commercial livestock farmers and pastoralists
1800 780 300
Grants of up to $100 000 available for community water supply development and improvements in dryland agricultural areas receiving <600mm average annual rainfall
1800 780 300
Network of strategic community water supplies in WA dryland agricultural areas to provide emergency stock water
1800 780 300
Emergency water for livestock provided by the State government carted to a central point, coordinated via local shires
1800 780 300
Rebates of up to $1000 for commercial broadacre farmers experiencing water shortages to fund an audit of farm water supply and potential improvements
1800 780 300
24–hour crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services
13 11 14
Counselling for individuals, couples and families experiencing challenges to help them cope, improve wellbeing and identify options
Provides support and education services to regional men, communities and health services
9690 2277 (office hours)
Provides information and referrals regarding health, finances, legal matters, counselling and domestic crisis
1800 199 174
Contacts for a range of 24 hour support, financial and family counselling, health, emergency and ancillary services
The Australian Government is inviting local councils via a restricted competitive process to apply to deliver projects under the Communities Combating Pests and Weed Impacts During Drought Program - Biosecurity Management of Pests and Weeds - Round 2 in selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 2019–2021.
1800 020 283
Contact your local DPIRD office to find out who can help you on any of the topics above.