Five top tips for cattle producers for a productive season
Drought and bushfires over recent seasons have left Australian cattle herd numbers at record lows, however things are finally improving. Thoughts are turning to restocking and regeneration.
Below are some of the key considerations for cattle producers to ensure a productive season as recommended by Rob Inglis, senior livestock production Manager at Elders Wagga Wagga.
Animal health and wellbeing
The primary focus for all producers should be the health and wellbeing of breeding females.
“Given the significant fall in herd numbers across the country, herd regeneration is essential – and that begins with promoting the prosperity and breeding capabilities of your cows. There are few issues posing a threat to the health of breeding females, and the herd more broadly,” Rob said.
Trace mineral deficiencies
Rob has previously written about green feed problems and says “The abundance of feed available on the back of a relatively good season, particularly in eastern Australia, has resulted in the dilution of trace minerals in cattle – most notably selenium, copper and zinc. These elements are key components in maintaining a healthy immune system, so deficient cattle may become more susceptible to infection and disease.”
While Elders offers a wide range of supplements and feeds to combat dilution and improve overall herd nutrition and productivity, it must be noted that mineral supplement programs can have significant ramifications for cow fertility – so is crucial producers are adequately informed before administration. That’s where an Elders Livestock Production Manager can really make a dramatic difference for cattle farmers, says Rob.
“Getting an expert down to recommend a supplements program tailored to the specific needs of your cattle can help ensure there are no unintended, adverse effects on the cow’s breeding cycle.”
Adequate heifer growth rates
If heifers are to enjoy strong reproductive performance throughout their breeding life, it is crucial they experience a nice, even upward growth trend during puberty. According to Rob, heifers should be reaching at least 66 per cent of their adult weight by first joining.
“Scales are just about the most important piece of hardware that any livestock producer needs to have, as it is crucial to continually keep track of heifer weight. Without constant oversight, it is impossible to know if the animal is on the right path to a productive breeding life.”
The recent season has increased the threat of parasites throughout the herd, which can be particularly detrimental to weaners. Choosing the correct drench to combat parasites is crucial, and farmers must be aware of what will and won’t work for their herd.
“It is important to note that, in many herds, single active pour-on drenches are losing their efficacy, with significant pockets of resistance starting to emerge. Producers should consider a variety of drenching options, including a combination pour-on drench or combination oral drench. The single-active nature of injectables will not be effective in breaking the growing resistance cycle,” says Rob.
Elders offers an extensive range of animal health products including vaccines, drenches, lick blocks and more. View the range.
Sort out your finances
“Putting systems and instruments in place to ease the financial burdens associated with operating a cattle farm can allow farmers to focus more of their time and energy towards what they know and love – raising quality livestock,” Rob says.
“Elders offers a range of financial services to help farmers streamline and optimise their cash flows. Our expert team of Agri-Finance Managers can help you identify a finance plan to optimise the productivity of your farm.”
Elders livestock funding
Elders offers 100 per cent funding of up to $100,000 with 12 month payment terms on all commercial sheep and cattle purchases. The application process is quick and easy and you can repay at any time with no penalty or by sale proceeds, when the stock is sold.
Through Elders’ relationship with strategic agri-finance provider StockCo we can also offer limites over $100,000.
Learn more about Livestock Funding options.
Protect your assets
“For any primary producer it is important to know that the hard work put into producing quality cattle on farm isn’t compromised by accidents further down the supply chain. Elders Livestock-in-Transit Delivery Warranty can certainly provide producers with the peace of mind that if something does go wrong, they won’t be left out of pocket,” says Rob.
Elders Livestock-in-Transit Delivery Warranty guarantees the livestock you purchase or sell through Elders will be delivered alive to the relevant delivery location. If those livestock are not delivered alive (or require humane destruction), Elders will compensate you for the value of stock lost.
The Elders business has been built around primary producers and their needs throughout the production cycle. We have built a team of dedicated agribusiness experts to help you achieve your goals in crop growth and have the farm supplies and technical services you need to maximise your farm’s potential.
Talk to your local branch to see how they can assist you.