Home' Smart Farmer : June 2011 Contents June 2011
16 SmartFarmer •
By MALCOLM SUTTON
OW flow bypasses will be
installed on dams across the
Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges
even if they are not metered, under
a proposed Water Allocation Plan
for the region.
South Australian Murray-Darling
Management Board presiding mem-
ber Sharon Starick said it would not
prevent farmers from filling their
dams, just make it take longer dur-
ing periods of low flow to ensure
that a minimum 85 per cent of sur-
face water flows are maintained for
"Low flow bypass means the dam
will take a little bit longer to fill and
spill," she said.
"All licensed dams will be
required to be put on a low flow
bypass, and all stock and domestic
dams of five megalitres or greater,
will also be required.
"It's about making sure the low
flows are coming back into the sys-
tem because the dams actually stop
those low flows."
The plan proposes meters and
licensing for all water storages used
for irrigation or intensive farming
purposes, while stock and domestic
dams remain exempt.
Farmers will be able to continue
drawing "reasonable" amounts of
water from dams and bores for stock
and domestic use, but it may not be
possible to install new dams if envi-
ronmental allocations and water
resources for other farmers are
Mrs Starick said the plan also pro-
vides for water allocation trading
between users, although there will
be some limitations between surface
and groundwater and trading would
not be allowed in or out of the
Angas Bremer zone.
Carryover of up to 10 per cent of
annual allocations will also be
allowed from one year to the next
under the plan.
The EMLR WAP is open for public
consultation until August 5, 2011.
• Need to know more?
visit www.samdbnrm.sa.gov or order
copies and supporting information by
calling 08 8532 1432.
Environmental flows take priority
South Australian MDBNRM Board
presiding member Sharon Starick says
farmers will play an active role in
maintaining healthy environmental
flows in the Adelaide Hills.
Take care in approach to lambing
WELL, the cold weather caught us early this year
and while most areas are full swing into lamb-
ing and calving it is usually this time of the year,
mid to late autumn, that we either are setting
up ewes for lambing, or we are having problems
with pregnancy toxicity in ewes that are just
about to lamb.
It's the time of year when most of our produc-
tion pressures call for magnesium and calcium.
The animal's ability to keep up with the demand
is often very difficult, but we try pretty hard to
get some supplementary forms of key nutrients
into our stock.
Palatable magnesium and calcium products
with lots of Vitamin E have proven to be, as we
always knew they would, a very valuable tool in
pre-lambing and lactating ewes. These key nutri-
ents are required equally in cattle but we often
supply a much higher dose rate of phosphorous
in products for cattle, particularly in winter.
Calcium and magnesium are the two critical
nutrients that are in less than ideal amounts
available to the ewe and cow during the critical
last trimester of pregnancy.
The requirement by the ewe and cow for calci-
um during late gestation virtually doubles from
the time of mating, and it is very important that
the key ratio of calcium to magnesium is
adhered to for good animal health. Excessive
calcium intake is to be avoided, particularly old
salt and limestone mixes that throw out critical
The addition of a high quality soluble carbohy-
drate base will complement magnesium uptake
by the animal - carbohydrates are required at
specific levels to aid magnesium metabolism.
Vitamin B1 or thiamine is also included in the
better class of stock licks and total mixed rations
as an essential carbohydrate metaboliser.
Vitamins A and E along with selenium are also
critical nutrients during late gestation, and low
levels of these nutrients are associated with
poor reproductive performance, lowered smooth
muscle function and retained placenta. It is
important to note that selenium is passed from
the placenta to the unborn foetus during late
gestation, and if a selenium or Vitamin E defi-
ciency exists, then this will almost certainly
cause white muscle disease.
Stimulation of certain functions including
enzyme activity and vital Ph control often
depend on the type of hay used. Look to the
better quality cereal hays that have high levels
of soluble carbohydrates, like oaten hay.
A few things to remember:
•Keep on eye on body condition, maintain it
by feeding grain or other food supplements in
the last 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. Don't let fat
animals lose weight quickly - that will equal
•Feed Cal Mag supplements where required
for 3-4 weeks prior to lambing and calving and
continue during lactation.
•Eliminate the use of urea-based products at
this time, particularly when you have plenty of
•If you are still 4-6 weeks off lambing, vacci-
nate ewes with annual booster of clostridial vac-
•Watch maiden ewes closely this year, lots of
feed around usually causes lots of trouble with
dystocia (lambing or calving difficulties).
•Drench with Vitamin E for added smooth
muscle function six weeks before lambing or
•Feed plenty of hay.
•Be prepared to feed some grain during lacta-
tion this year to compensate for cold weather.
Keep the dam in good condition and well fed
to lower the environmental impacts.
• Need to know more?
Contact Ross Waller 0427186943
with ROSS WALLER,
Livestock production consultant
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