News & Media

Budgeting tools for sheep feeding decisions

Released on

Released on:
Thursday, 30. April 2015 - 10:15

Sheep producers are reminded to use the range of tools and calculators available to assist sheep producers in the management of their sheep and pastures.

Department of Agriculture and Food senior development officer Mandy Curnow said the tools and calculators had been designed to help producers manage their flocks effectively.

“Producers are encouraged to use the department tools to make timely management decisions, particularly about feed budgeting for the ewe flock and grazing at the break of the season,” Ms Curnow said.

“With the emergence of green feed, it’s timely to use the Supplementary feed calculator for ewes on low green feed. The calculator was developed for use at the break of season and gives a supplementary feeding rate based on the Feed on Offer (FOO), stocking rate and the current pasture growth rate. 

“This can be used in conjunction with the Feed cost calculator to determine the lowest cost of a number of different sheep feeds.

“The calculator can also be used to work out the energy and protein values of a selected mix, and provide a cost per tonne, per megajoule of energy and per kilo of protein.”

The department’s Annual feed budget for sheep enterprises tool was developed to help producers estimate the supplementary feed requirements of a sheep enterprise for a year, and the average monthly feed requirement to maintain condition in adult sheep and grow weaners.

Based on sheep details, pasture availability and feed types recorded by the producer, the calculator displays the energy the sheep require, how much is available from the pasture and the amount of supplementary feed required.

Ms Curnow said producers who preferred paper-based tools could use the lambing planner which allowed them to change a lambing date or a joining date to see the impacts on other key times in the reproductive year.

“The lambing planner is a best practice guide for lambing and provides information on ewe and ram nutrition and condition score targets at different stages, and reproductive management,” she said.

“The lambing planner is our most popular tool, with more than 25 000 distributed across Australia over the last 10 years. It was jointly developed with the ASHEEP group at Esperance.”

For a free copy of the lambing planner, contact the department’s Albany office on +61 (0)8 9892 8444.

Sheep and grazing management tools are available on the website.

The department’s feed cost calculator can be used to work out the energy and protein values of a selected feed such as lupins.
The department’s feed cost calculator can be used to work out the energy and protein values of a selected feed such as lupins.

 

Media contact: Jodie Thomson/Dionne Tindale, media liaison  +61 (0)8 9368 3937