Pasture recovery and livestock health will be hot topics at an upcoming field day in Tamworth.
North West Local Land Services' (NW LLS) land services team leader, Dale Kirby, said the recent rain had implications for livestock and producers needed to carefully consider their next steps.
"People have been confine-feeding for months and that shorter green pick is not particularly nutritious at this point - it's mainly water - so stock exert a lot of energy walking around trying to eat it but it's not providing the nutrition," he said.
"Producers probably should confine-feed for a while to make sure pasture gets to a bigger and more palatable size... it's nutrient-dense when it's bigger."
Mr Kirby said it would also give pasture the time they need to recover and reduce the risk of sickness in stock.
"We've been feeding a lot of hay and stuff and we're not sure what might have been in hay like emerging weed seeds because hay has come from a lot of different places," he said.
"Any of those new weeds that come up, there's potential that some of them may have a high nitrate level and that's an issue in itself... it can make stock sick.
"Emerging pastures, particularly, grasses, can have potentially high nitrite levels when there's fresh growth after an extremely dry period or after they've been stressed."
Other topics up for discussion are soil water profile and sowing selection and timing.
Producers probably should confine-feed for a while to make sure pasture gets to a bigger and more palatable size.Dale Kirby, North West Local Land Services
Fellow Gunnedah man, NW LLS senior land services officer, George Truman, will talk about grazing management and pasture recovery and cropping options - "what can you sow at the moment to encourage a bit of ground cover".
Other speakers include Callen Thompson (pasture response and recovery), Kate McCarthy from Narrabri, Tim Clarke from Warialda, Tamworth vet Heidi Austin who will discuss issues including animal health, toxic weeds and worm infestations.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will also be on the ground and will showcase on-site research trials on Lucerne density and how they have responded to the rain.
The field day will be held at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute on February 18. The bus will leave the Sustainable Farming Training Centre at 9.30am, and return at 12.30pm for lunch.
- For catering purposes, RSVP by February 14 to George Truman on 0427 505 040 or firstname.lastname@example.org