With farmers struggling through drought, the Victorian Government’s sheep and beef drought-feeding books have gone virtual, alongside a range of online management tools to help farmers respond to the tough conditions.
Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes launched the books as a set of online practical tools, now available in farmers’ pockets through the Agriculture Victoria website.
The books have been a feature of the government’s meat and wool services since the 1980s, and the digital update allows quick access to practical tools for farmers as well as recommended resources to use in conjunction with the information, like EverGraze, Grazfeed and useful spreadsheets.
The website provides image libraries of pasture and grazing crops to help farmers estimate the value of what stock are eating, as well as supplement and ration-choice information, hay bale weights and the energy and protein requirements of various cattle and sheep classes.
Climate information, water management and information about unusual feeds are also available, so farmers can calculate dam storage capacity and stock water requirements, as well as learning about the key climate factors that influence Victoria’s seasons.
While the information has been available in the past, the new digital update puts all these resources in one place, able to be updated as weather conditions change, and farming research and technology evolves.
■Farmers can access the new Feeding Livestock information at: www.feedinglivestock.vic.gov.au