Newsflash newsletter

Newsflash is our monthly email newsletter produced by our BetterBeef and BestWool/BestLamb teams in Victoria.

The newsletter contains:

  • news and articles on beef and sheep
  • industry information
  • technical updates
  • upcoming events
  • BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef producer group profiles.

Newsflash is funded by Agriculture Victoria, Meat and Livestock Australia and Australian Wool Innovation.

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Feature articles

These articles were featured in previous editions of Newsflash and can be downloaded here as well.

Preparing your cow herd for the calving season

East Gippsland cows have had a tough couple of years and are maybe in low condition score approaching the autumn calving season. Feeding cows is vitally important to achieve the right body condition for calving, rearing the calf and then to re-join 8 to 10 weeks post calving.

The key principle is to have your cows fit and healthy and not overly fat. Muscle strength, energy reserves and good nutrition are vital for cows to give birth and provide for the calf.

The target condition score for autumn calving is 3.0 on a scale of 1–5. Condition scoring is a very useful management aid to predict the body fat reserves of calving cows and estimate the nutritional requirements for the cow herd.

Read the full article:

Preparing your cow herd for the calving season
(WORD - 112.3 KB)

Preparing your cow herd for the calving season
(PDF - 111.0 KB)

Quality hay, how to get it

Making good quality hay in a year where above average rainfall is predicted for most of Victoria over spring will be a challenge. But sticking to some principles, it still should be possible, says David Shambrook Dairy Extension Officer from Agriculture Victoria in Gippsland.

Read the full article:

Quality hay, how to get it (WORD - 112.6 KB)

Quality hay, how to get it (PDF - 115.6 KB)

Managing dystocia in beef cows

Nothing is more disheartening as losing a newborn calf. Sometimes it is just bad luck, and sometimes you can intervene and save a calf.

Spring calving has now begun, and this information provides a timely reminder on the stages of calving and some management tactics that you can undertake to improve calf survival.

The calving process is divided into three distinct stages, although these stages may overlap, and uncomplicated calving will be observed as a continuous process.

Read the full article:

Managing dystocia in beef cows (WORD - 114.3 KB)

Managing dystocia in beef cows (PDF - 84.4 KB)

Effects of soil acidity on nutrient availability

Approximately 50% of the agricultural lands in Australia are considered acidic and most of those lands are in the high rainfall regions of South Eastern Australia including Victoria (NLWARA, 2001). Soil acidification is a natural process; however, it has been accelerated under high productive farming systems such as horticulture, dairying and grazing industries.

Soil acidity interferes with various soil processes such as nutrient availability, substance toxicity, and microbial activity. As a result, soil acidity can influence the pasture production and pasture suitability of lands that are continually subjected to soil acidification processes. In addition, acidity has the potential to create major off-site environmental issues affecting wider communities unless it is alleviated through adaptation of sustainable farming practices.

Read the full article:

Effects of soil acidity on nutrient availability (WORD - 216.9 KB)

Effects of soil acidity on nutrient availability (PDF - 316.6 KB)

Managing your bull team to maximise your herd fertility

Farmer with very dry field and hills in the backgroundThe bull is the genetic powerhouse of your herd, allowing genetics to be rapidly introduced. Without his delivery system no production could be achieved. Shane Thomson, Holbrook Veterinary Centre, poses the question 'Are you buying a bull for genetics or for fertility?' The answer he says is, '…calf production! As no genetics will be delivered if your bulls are infertile.'

Shane said, 'Bulls are an investment. If you have high breakdown rates resulting in low pregnancy rates, delayed conception patterns and bull wastage, the cost to your enterprise is severe.' Shane estimates that for each cycle that a cow does not fall pregnant, the resulting offspring lose $100 in value.

Read the full article:

Maximising your bull team to maximise your herd fertility (PDF - 833.1 KB)

Maximising your bull team to maximise your herd fertility (WORD - 796.9 KB)

Page last updated: 05 Jan 2021