Resources updated to assist landholders with dry seasonal conditions

sheep drinking from dam
DPIRD’s Season 2019 agricultural webpage has been updated with new articles, including information to help livestock producers start feed and water budgeting now in preparation for a long summer and paddock management to minimise erosion.

The Season 2019 webpage includes an article Harvesting patchy, short crops  with a host of tips and options to achieve a quick, clean, low cut that could make a difference to crop profitability.

There is also an article on Harvesting a frosted crop, which features discussions and considerations for this season and the next when taking off cereal or canola crops that could be damaged by frost.

As the season progresses the risk of wind and water erosion could become a challenge for landholders managing competing needs for paddock coverage and livestock feed.

The Managing wind erosion article guides landholders though stubble and pasture management options to achieve the 50 per cent ground cover required, regardless of soil type, to provide protection from wind and water erosion through to the start of new season growth.

Weather and climate forecast

Local and international models showing a preference for below normal rainfall for the lower west and south west of the State for the next three months.

The department’s Statistical Seasonal Forecasting system and the Bureau of Meteorology’s outlook for October to December is for drier than normal conditions, coupled with above average temperatures for much of southern WA.

The department’s comprehensive weather pages have recently been enhanced, including data from the Bureau of Meteorology’s 91 automatic weather stations, noting daily minimum temperatures and enhancing the map colours to make rainfall and temperature observations easier to read.

Water supplies

The department continues to support the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), the Water Corporation and local governments to monitor farm water supplies, particularly in south eastern shires.

DWER’s online Dry Season Survey for Livestock Water Supply remains open to collect information and identify where there may be potential issues requiring a coordinated response across government.

Water deficiency declarations are currently in place in the districts of Hollands Rock, Mount Short and Mallee Hill to enable government water carting to provide supplies for livestock purposes.

Landholders planning to invest in new water infrastructure to address animal welfare needs or build drought resilience may be eligible for a rebate for 25 per cent to a maximum of $25,000 from the Commonwealth’s National On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.

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.

DWER’s Farm Water Supply Planning Scheme also provides rebates of up to $1000 for commercial broadacre farmers experiencing water shortages to fund an audit of farm water supply and potential improvements.

Support services

As harvest progresses and the year comes to a close the impact of the 2019 season on landholders financial situation will become more apparent.

While there has been much attention on the drought in the eastern states, assistance is also available to WA landholders affected by – in some cases – consecutive seasons of below average rainfall. 

The Season 2019 webpage has a range of information including available health and financial assistance.

It includes links to the Farm Hub website, which has information on Drought Loans and Farm Investment Loans, as well as the Farm Household Allowance for families experiencing financial hardship.

Check out the Support Services article in this edition of AgMemo for more detailed information on financial and social assistance.

Stay up to date with the latest seasonal information and advice by revisiting the Season 2019 webpage in the months ahead or contact one of our local offices to access more information.

For more information contact Brendan Nicholas, Esperance manager, Esperance on +61 (0)8 9083 1110.