Goyder Council’s agriculture conference, ‘Farming Conversations – A Focus On The Future’ was held last Friday and proved to be a useful resource for local farmers.
The event had guest speakers from the CSIRO and Elders, and provided an opportunity to speak with industry experts about animal nutrition, managing finances during drought and the benefits of virtual fencing.
Mayor Peter Mattey OAM commended the event as having “worked well” with a “reasonably wide range of speakers”.
“It [was] a lovely opportunity for people… to get together.”
Emma Shattock, a Livestock Production Advisor with Elders, was a speaker at the event and focused on how farmers could maximise pasture recovery and production, along with the benefits of early weaning of lambs.
Shattock explains her talk was aimed at farmers “coming off a low feed base… and looking at the implementation of different grazing strategies.”
She also examined ways to improve reproduction rates and lamb survival for the region.
“Early weaning is a pretty important strategy to keep lambs moving forward and allow ewe recovery in time for spring.”
For those who were unable to attend the conference, she encourages the benefits of long-term strategies. “Planning ahead is really important. Get an idea of what feed levels you’ll need to carry your stock through, and then buy some of that feed as early of possible, around harvest and hay cutting time.”
Another valuable resource is the Lifetime Ewe Management program run by Rural Industries Skill Training (RIST), which is “heavily subsidised by AWI.”
“It’s a course that’s been running nationally for 13 years and one of the most successful extension programs in the sheep industry.”
She described the event as a “well run conference… a real credit to the council.”
With 50 farmers from the area in attendance it’s expected there will more forums to come for the Goyder district.
Photo courtesy of Barb Button, Goyder Council. Pictured: MC Cr Jane Kellock and Mayor Peter Mattey OAM with presenters Dr Rick Llewellyn (CSIRO), Emma Shattock (Elders) Duncan Redman (Dare to Dream Mentoring) and Deb Purvis (Robinson-Sewell Partners)