Things on the land can be tough. June rainfall was below average for most of NSW while low level soil moisture was also well below average. It seems hard to bear when you walk out the back door looking at the skies each day.
Yet while things may look grim there is a strong case to be made for future planning, being optimistic and looking to the good times ahead.
Founder and Principal of Agricultural Optimisation Services (AOS), Richard Noble, has over 40 years experience in the agricultural industry and how to best help farmers through droughts.
Richard said that while times are tough they are encouraging all clients to be positive and pro-active in the management of their future. “In most cases it can be very tough due the extent of the dry times and the pressure on themselves and bank balances but farmers are the most resilient people I know, they have to be to survive in this industry,” he said.
Richard explained that droughts will come and go but during the current dry times it’s crucial to be very mindful of how farmers handle themselves and their farming operations, and should be focusing on things such as are feeding programs as economical as possible, does feed contain sufficient protein and energy and have an effective growth and dollar return balance.
“We will recover from droughts, but the efficient utilisation of feed protein and energy is crucial during the drought. Herd health during a drought is vital, control of internal and external parasites can mean the difference between weight loss and sustaining weight on low volumes of feed or high protein rations,” he said.
It also means your livestock are in the best possible health ready for when substantial rains return and they come out of the blocks as fast as possible when it comes to gaining weight and reproducing. “Watching livestock very closely will give you a good picture of what is required day by day, week by week and month by month. You should plan ahead for the next mating and to maintain some sort of ground cover to enable maximum pasture growth as fast as possible when it rains,” he said.
“We’re very much about hands on in the paddock with our clients and coming up with solutions for individuals and their operations. Asking as many questions as possible about the current situation is often a very good way of putting plans together for current and future sustainability,” he said.
Richard said that while we will recover from droughts, the efficient utilisation of resources and assistance is vital during tough times. “There are many avenues of support and assistance available to farmers, we are another who can help put it all together,” he said.