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Western Queensland pastures will suffer from frost

Lydia Burton, Wednesday June 18, 2014 - 10:56 EST
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Rain followed by frost is the worst combination for pastures. - ABC

Rain followed by frost is said to be the worst combination of weather events for pastures.

Independent Livestock Nutritionist, Desiree Jackson explains, "the biggest damages of pasture quality or diet quality are spoiling rain and spoiling rain in conjunction with frost."

She says each property will react to recent rain differently, because of the varying amounts of grass on each property.

"For most properties it's likely that the rainfall will have done some damage.

"Where there is a little bit of green or signs of life in the stems of plants, then it might produce a bit of growth.

"However we need to think about how much growth is there actually going to be, in terms of being able to maintain animals and those animals having the ability to select all of that green feed."

Her advice is to get out in the paddock and take a close look at the plants and pasture.

"Look for things such as black spots forming on the leaves, because that is evidence of damage to the plants."

However as Ms Jackson explains it isn't always as obvious as black spots sometimes "the pasture looks a bit more bleached out."

She says landholders should check the pastures every few days following small amounts of rain.

"After checking the pasture a number of times I would be inclined to actually get an assessment of that pasture and look at the diet quality and then make decisions on what to do with the stock.

"We often think animals aren't affected by spoiling rain because we don't visually see any weight loss for a few weeks and then suddenly the weight loss seems to be quite rapid.

"Well in actually fact as soon as we do get that spoiling rain that's when weight loss will start to occur.

"The weight loss can be upwards of up to two kilograms a day depending on how badly the pasture has been affected."


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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