Online resources available to help navigate the season in the north and the south
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is monitoring the impact of seasonal conditions in various parts of the State and providing support to affected landholders.
Very dry conditions are continuing in the southern agricultural region, particularly on the south coast, which is currently experiencing decile 1-3 rainfall.
The department and the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather forecasting systems suggest little improvement in rainfall chances for the next three months from March to May.
In the north, large parts of the Kimberley and Pilbara regions are experiencing above average temperatures, with many areas recording below average rainfall during the 2018-19 wet season.
The dry weather has created challenging conditions for landholders, particularly livestock producers in the north and in affected areas of the south.
DPIRD is working with grower groups and local government in the southern agricultural region to provide timely information and assistance to landholders and to devise scenario plans.
The department’s Season 2019 webpage, has a range of resources to assist with crucial livestock and land management decisions.
With the likelihood of meaningful rainfall still several weeks away, the main issues continue to be the risk of soil erosion, supplementary feeding livestock and available water for livestock.
The latest Landsat ground cover images have identified several areas with low levels of ground cover in the eastern grainbelt, Lakes District and south coast.
The Season 2019 webpage currently features articles on maintaining the quality of on-farm water reserves, strategies to minimise erosion and feed budgeting.
There are also articles in this edition of AgMemo to assist sheep producers to prioritise supplementary feeding plans.
DPIRD is working closely with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DoWER) to monitor community water supplies, as it works with local governments to address district issues.
DPIRD is assisting industry and northern pastoralists affected by the seasonal conditions by providing dry season information.
In January, the department conducted aerial rangeland condition surveys of parts of the Kimberley and Pilbara regions with an emphasis on assessing broad scale rangeland condition, surface water availability, stream flows, dry standing feed and new pasture growth for livestock.
Staff from the department’s Northern Beef Development and Rangelands programs are supporting pastoralists by providing useful information and advice for the development of dry season management plans.
This and other useful information can be accessed via DPIRD’s dedicated 2019 northern pastoral season webpage, which can also be accessed via the Season 2019 webpage, located on the department’s homepage.
The page includes climate outlooks, advice on how to prepare a forage budget and stocking rates, rangelands monitoring and animal welfare resources.
DPIRD staff at offices located around the State are also available for queries and information regarding livestock and land management throughout the season.
R U OK?
There are links available on both webpages to social support services, including the Rural Financial Counselling Service WA, Beyond Blue Support Service and the Virtual Psychologist.