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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Don’t let your livestock die – plan for summer

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The recent Kempsey Cattle Sale saw record numbers with 2300 head sold. If producers are looking to reduce stock numbers ahead of a long dry summer, closing dates of saleyards and processing facilities need to be considered. Photo supplied.

Addressing the immediate impacts of fire on livestock and livestock producers led to the provision of emergency fodder at the Kempsey Showground and Grafton DPI site over the last few weeks. Both theses sites will be closing in the next few weeks with the Kempsey Showground closing on Friday 6 December and the Grafton DPI site will close on Friday 13 December.

NSW Local Land Services (LLS) and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) established the emergency fodder distribution points across the fire-affected regions to provide emergency fodder in support of animal welfare needs in the critical initial stages of the emergency.

North Coast LLS General Manager, Louise Orr, said staff at the emergency fodder distribution sites and fire grounds, have been working tirelessly to provide emergency fodder and stock water, animal assessment, stock euthanasia and burial, livestock feeding and management advice and care of animals in evacuation centres.

‘As the distribution points are winding back operations, support for impacted primary producers and communities will continue as long-term recovery support commences. Support will continue to be provided through the Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647,’ Ms Orr said.

Planning for summer

While the immediate impacts of the fire are receding LLS are reminding producers that they need to plan ahead for a summer of drought and how they are going to feed and water their stock.

According to the LLS the entire region is drought impacted, with close to 83 per cent of the region now classified as being in intense drought. Ms Orr said with drought and in some areas bushfires now impacting producers, it’s more important than ever to be planning ahead.

‘While many producers have made the difficult choice to destock, we know there are still lots of landholders trying to hang onto their stock, despite issues with feed and water availability. We are urging producers to make realistic feed and water budgets and honestly consider their options” said Ms Orr.

Nathan Jennings senior land services officer said as temperatures increase water requirements of stock also increase. Supplementary feed remains expensive and difficult to source due to the widespread drought.

‘It is crucial that producers take time to consider the workload as well as the emotional and financial costs of ongoing feeding and what other options there might be,’  said Mr Jennings.

In some cases, the best option is to look to further, reduce stock numbers. With Christmas fast approaching closing dates of saleyards and processing facilities need to be considered. Details of the last sales and reopening dates are listed below.

·         Lismore Last Sale Tuesday 10 December, reopens Tuesday 7 January

·         Grafton Last Sale Thursday 12 December,  reopens Tuesday 7 January

·         Kempsey Last Sale Saturday 14 December, reopens Saturday 4 January

·         Casino Last Sale Wednesday 18 December reopens Wednesday 8 January

‘Due to current seasonal conditions many processors are already booked up into the New Year and there may be a wait to get cattle in, but please contact your processor to discuss your individual circumstances,’ said Mr Jennings.

‘If you are purchasing stock feed make sure you speak with your local feed supplier now to source quality feed.’

North Coast Local Land Services is offering free feed testing. Testing helps producers be confident purchased fodder will meet the nutritional requirements of their stock.

Drought support has changed in NSW. Landholders are encouraged to visit the DPI Droughthub for information on the services and support available during drought conditions.

Eligible farmers and small business on the North Coast that were hit by the recent NSW bushfires can now access recovery grants of up to $15,000. To apply for a bushfire recovery grant, primary producers and small businesses should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/

If you need advice to help you make decisions about whether to feed or sell your livestock please contact one of our 

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    • All I read here is a community concerned about the welfare of its livestock and its livestock producers with options to get them through a dry holiday period.

      I see nothing that reflects cruelty in the livestock industry,and nor would I expect to. Cruelty to animals,including in livestock raising, is prohibited under NSW animal protection legislation.

  1. Don’t be a silly sausage regarding your livestock and the fires, address what is at stake from the cattle still alive. Over the next two weeks there is emergency fodder at the Kempsey Showground and Grafton DPI.

  2. Nah !
    Just let the suckers starve ,and if they don’t make it the government will recompense us for our losses , like always . The idea of intelligent management of stock is alien and has no place in traditional practice and might lead to cheeper prices at butchers !
    Cheers G”) I doubt if this will be published after the experiences recently at the hands of the editor .


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