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6 Aberbaldie Road,
Walcha, NSW 2354
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Given the very dry year we have all endured, welcome rain in late February has caused many graziers to leap onto the tractor and sow forage crops, mainly oats at this stage, to provide some feed for animals over the late autumn, winter and spring. 

As the oat seed supply is running low, there are some other options for filling the feed deficit we are currently experiencing and will continue to suffer through the winter. 


Remove livestock from a paddock of improved pasture, fertilise with a nitrogen based fertiliser such as TUNZA Feed at 150 kg/ha or Urea at 80 kg/ha (prior to rain) and leave locked up for 4 weeks or more to allow the grasses to respond to fertiliser and rain before grazing. This takes a paddock out of action for less time than if a forage crop is to be sown. 


Sow a crop of Italian or annual ryegrass with fertiliser throughout March. Forage rape such as Winfred could also be included as a high quality addition. 


Sow a crop of straight forage rape for rotational grazing over the winter and spring.

Saleable livestock should be aimed at a market and you should manage the feed to ensure they meet the market. This may mean supplementing young growing stock with a bit of grain or finishing pellets even while grazing fodder crops to make sure they have the required finish and weight to meet the market specification in a timely manner.

Other management strategies including early weaning calves, selling small weaner calves and lambs, preg testing cattle and selling any not in calf and culling older cows and ewes.

Take advantage of the slightly better market conditions to remove any stock that are not productive.

Getting ewes into better condition prior to joining while the weather is warm is easier than waiting until the depths of winter when they are in late pregnancy to start or increase feeding. 

All these actions will help to reduce the load on pastures over the autumn and winter and ensure you are in a position to take advantage of any stock buying opportunities later in the season. 

Don’t forget to keep up the rain dancing! 

Rachel Rummery


Walcha Vet Supplies



The rain in February and March after the dry summer has provided ideal conditions for a widespread germination of a range of broadleaf weeds in native pastures, established improved pastures and newly sown pastures, particularly on the lighter soils or wherever the soil had bare patches.

Summer growing annual weeds such as Stinky Goosefoot or Crumb weed and Pigweed in established pasture are not of great concern as the frosts will tidy them up and they won’t have any negative longterm effects on the pasture if grass plant numbers are adequate.

Significant numbers of broadleaf weeds in newly sown pastures may be a concern to the establishment and survival of the pasture.

There are a number of herbicide options available that can be used on newly sown pastures and are safe on clover.

These include (but are not limited to):

Butress (2,4-DB)

Broadstrike (Flumetsulam)

Bromoxynil (8 week withholding period)

MCPA / Agritone

Igran (Terbutryn)

Jaguar (Bromoxynil + Diflufenican)

Tigrex (MCPA + Diflufenican)

It is important to know what weeds you are trying to control before choosing the herbicide.

Some of these herbicides can be mixed to get greater effect or to control a wider spectrum of weeds and they may need to be used with a wetter.

While checking the pastures it is important to check for insect damage, including earthmites as the weather cools down. Insecticides can often be mixed with herbicides to make the application more efficient.

Always check the label before spraying so you understand the withholding periods, rainfast time, weeds controlled, need for a wetter, compatibility with other products and any special instructions. 

The Agronomists, Rachel Rummery and Mick Duncan, are always available to come out and inspect pastures to help you make decisions about weed and pest control in pastures and crops.