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Beyond the Bale : March 2018
Feed On Offer (FOO) is the amount of pasture in a paddock at any given time, measured in kilograms of dry matter per hectare (kg DM/ha). FOO required to achieve production targets are available for different types of livestock. Given the influence of nutrition on the performance of sheep, properly assessing FOO is a skill that can boost on-farm productivity by enabling better decisions to be made regarding allocation of stock to paddocks or supplementary feeding. To help producers to better assess FOO in their pastures, AWI, has recently been updated with a further 210 photos a web-based photo library of 500 FOO standards. This online photo library, now containing 650 images allows producers to estimate the FOO and nutritive value of grazed pastures by comparing their own pastures to reference photos in the online library. Recent additions have come from the Central West Slopes and Plains (NSW), Southern Wimmera (Vic), Great Southern (WA), Mid North (SA), South West Slopes (NSW), Maranoa (Qld), North West Slopes and Plains (NSW) and the Snowy Mountains (NSW). These are in addition to the 500 collected across Vic, NSW, Qld, WA and SA in 2013. Every photo comes with a full set of nutritional information including protein, digestibility, metabolisable energy (ME) content, legume content, ground cover and pasture height. FOO in central to the skills developed through the Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) AWI has funded the inclusion of an extra 210 photos in its web-based photo library of FOO standards to help producers better assess Feed On Offer (FOO) in their pastures. program. The photo library can be used in conjunction with the LTEM feed budgeting tables available at www.lifetimewool.com. au. The library is searchable which allows users to access photos relevant to their region. It covers a wide range of production zones, including cool climate, Mediterranean, warm temperate and pastoral species. The 650 available records were collected by experienced agronomists across Victoria, NSW, Queensland, WA and SA, from typical pastures in each region in summer, autumn, winter and spring with a range of FOO values at each harvest. MORE INFORMATION www.wool.com/foo FEED ON OFFER PHOTO GALLERY Example results containing pasture images and corresponding nutritional information from the online Feed On Offer photo library available via www.wool.com/foo. You are able to download the search results as a PDF document directly to your computer. To help producers access key information from the photo library, AWI is also making available at www.wool.com/foo PDF documents that have already been specially prepared for a range of 53 key state and climatic regions and pasture species. Pictured is a page from the 8-page ‘NSW Summer’ PDF document. up to 10,000 seedlings can be planted in a day, utilising two people. The bushes are planted in rows approximately four metres apart, with a gap of around two or three metres between each plant, equating to around 600 plants per hectare. According to CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Hayley Norman, the uptake of this new variety has been significant right across Australia, not only by woolgrowers with saline affected land in lower rainfall zones but also by farmers with non-saline soils. Hayley says the AnamekaTM variety was selected for improved palatability and digestibility from a collection of 60,000 plants. “AnamekaTM was selected by both scientists and our Merino sheep taste testing teams in Tammin (WA), Condoblin (NSW) and Monarto (SA),” she says. A recent CSIRO experiment has demonstrated that a diet of around 25% AnamekaTM saltbush leads to a 25% increase in clean wool growth. “This may be due to the high crude protein and sulphur in AnamekaTM,” Hayley says. “AnamekaTM improves profitability because it enables poor-quality crops and pasture residues to be utilised, and this reduces the need for supplementary feed (up to 60% per pasture ha). “AnamekaTM also enables farmers to rest pastures from grazing over winter, leading to improved pasture productivity. “The benefits of AnamekaTM are greatest in poor seasons, so it’s a good risk mitigation strategy.” Hayley and her team are now investigating ways to halve the up-front establishment cost of these high value shrubs, which may be a barrier to adoption for some growers. The development of the AnamekaTM variety was run by scientists from CSIRO, SARDI and the NSW Department of Primary Industries working through the Future Farm Industries CRC, of which AWI was a partner. The variability in nutritional value of saltbush, and the ability to select better varieties, was first noted during CSIRO research as part of the AWI’s Land, Water and Wool project. Chatfields Tree Nursery in Tammin, Western Australia, has the exclusive rights to propagate and supply the AnamekaTM variety. Chatfields delivers Anameka state-wide and posts or couriers to the eastern states. MORE INFORMATION Contact Chatfields on firstname.lastname@example.org or www.chatfields.com.au ON FARM 41
In the Shops - March 2018