ANIMAL nutritionist San Jolly will give an insight into the economics of grazing crops versus harvesting them in a series of workshops in Victoria’s Wimmera region in September and October.
Ms Jolly will also present on containing stock to increase productivity in dry times at the four workshops at Stawell, Wonwondah, Warracknabeal and Telopea Downs.
There was also increased interest among farmers to put sheep back into their cropping operations, and hence a need to look at the economics of grazing cereals versus harvesting them.
“That’s a pretty hot topic and everything is kind of leading in that direction.
“So if you are on cereals now how do you manage them and what options do you have?” Ms Jolly said.
Ms Jolly said this year the sheep crop grazing vs harvesting economics were “pretty much line-ball.”
“If you’ve got your own breeders and you are dropping your own lambs, then the economics of finishing them on a cereal crop as opposed to harvesting it, is looking very favourable.
“But if you are looking at trading, which a lot of people do, then it is pretty much line-ball right now between the returns for harvesting it or eating it,” she said.
“It is horses for courses and it depends on how you are situated.”
Agriculture Victoria Land Management Extension Officer Heather Drendel said Ms Jolly was a highly sought after presenter for her knowledge on ruminant nutrition, ration formulation, feed budgeting, animal health, and stock containment area design and management.
The workshops are being run with the help of the Wimmera Farming Network with funding from the Australian Government.
Ms Drendel said Ms Jolly would provide advice on how to get the most out of containment areas at the two-day workshops to be held in Stawell, Wonwondah, Warracknabeal and Telopea Downs.
“The workshops will cover practical sheep nutrition and the economics of sheep production, and with Ms Jolly presenting, they’ll be full of really useful advice and tips,” she said.
“Ms Jolly is the director of independent livestock consultant Productive Nutrition and is passionate about improving production sustainability and using best-practice methods that are practical, achievable and cost effective.
“San’s presentations are known for their engaging, practical and unambiguous style, so we know attendees will get a lot out of these workshops.”
The workshops will be held from 9 am to 3.30 pm in:
Stawell on Tuesday September 13 and Tuesday October 25
Wonwondah on Wednesday September 14 and Wednesday October 26
Warracknabeal on Thursday September 15 and Thursday October 27
Telopea Downs on Friday September 16 and Friday October 28.
Day one of the workshop will include:
How to get the most out of containment areas – benefits and pitfalls, nutritional management, entry and exit strategies and trigger points.
Practical sheep nutrition – assessment of feed on offer (tools and methods, setting accurate stocking rates, how do Dry Sheep Equivalents work in practice, seasonal changes in feed quality), how to manage demand and feed production (perennials versus annuals, what works best for soil and animal health).
Day two will include a paddock walk and will be a practical day building on the theory from day one. Other topics for day two include comparing gross margins for different management options.
The workshops cost $20 per session including morning tea and lunch. Book online or RSVP to Annette Smith at the Wimmera Farming Network on [email protected] or phone 0408 372 271.
Source: Agriculture Victoria.