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Autumn 2011

Edition

8

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Looking into the weather crystal ball waging and winning the war on resistance Taking the sting out of parasites Post harvest: the need to get it right

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Autumn 2011

Edition

An Elders Magazine

CONTENTS

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6 general 3 4 5 6 9

Livestock & wool

News Elders supports the Australian Year of the Farmer A helping hand for flooded farmers Looking into the weather crystal ball Super-fine start to wool season

cropping 11 Diversity spreads the risk 15 Waging and winning the war on resistance 17 Getting strategic about your fertiliser tactics

20

horticulture

19 Cashing in on bullish markets 20 Taking the strain out of fencing repairs 22 Arthur celebrates his 56th clip with a clear profit 24 National network delivers crosscontinent benefits 27 Best-practice weaning provides calves a productive future 29 Taking the sting out of parasites 33 Demand livens up dairy export market

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36 New vigour for early season veggie pest control 38 Post harvest: the need to get it right 39 Watching grass grow

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Published by Elders Rural Services Australia Limited ABN 72 004 045 121 Cover photo by: Kondinin Group Printing: Lamb Print This Publication is produced on paper from sustainable forests and printed using environmentally friendly vegetable based inks by Lamb Print. © 2010 Elders Rural Services Australia Limited editorial and production support centres office: contact details: Publishing: services: 27 Currie Street Phone: (08) 8425 4000 General Manager, Marketing: Kondinin Group Mark Geraghty Adelaide SA 5000 advancemagazine@elders.com.au Marketing Manager Mailing Address: Websites: www.elders.com.au – Brand & Marketing Strategy: www.eldersweather.com.au GPO Box 551 www.advancemagazine.com.au Julie Williams Adelaide SA 5001 disclaimer. Elders Rural Services Australia Limited, its servants and agents, in publishing Advance are engaged in disseminating information and are not rendering professional advice or services. Statements made in this publication are the views of the authors only and do not necessarily represent the views of Elders or its editorial team, unless specifically stated. Elders, its servants and agents in the production of this magazine, make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents published in this document and specifically disclaim any implied warranties or fitness for any particular purpose and shall in no event be liable for any loss of profit or any damages, including but not limited to direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, exemplary, punitive or other damages. The entire risk of acting or omitting to act on reliance upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication, including the entire cost of all necessary remedies, is with those who choose to act on the whole or any part of the contents of this document and not with Elders, the Editor or their employees. No person should act on the basis of the contents of this publication without first obtaining specific, independent professional advice. AFSL number: 238042.

elders.com.au

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News

work coMMences on brAnch uPgrAdes

Fuelling Australia’s food policy Elders will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Australia’s future security, with Elders Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Jackman appointed to the National Food Policy Working Group.

Elders branches across the country will soon be sporting a new look, with facelifts already underway on branches throughout Tasmania.

The Working Group brings together 14 of Australia’s leading food chain stakeholders including representatives from the National Farmers Federation, Woolworths, CSIRO and others involved in the supply chain process.

The works, including a fresh coat of paint and décor modernisation, are set to ensure outlets reflect Elders role as Australia’s preferred provider of agribusiness services.

The Group will advise the Federal Government on issues and policies affecting the food chain and the development of a National Food Plan.

Elders General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Mark Geraghty said the refurbishment would further strengthen the already well-known Elders brand.

Representing the interests of farmers, Mr Jackman said the development of a national food plan was an important priority for Australia.

“Members of the Elders team are already easy to spot in their ‘pink’ shirts — and we want our branches across regional Australia, to be the same.

“Not only do our farmers need to feed Australia, but as a major exporter, they also have a significant responsibility to provide for the growing global population.”

“A streamlined appearance will ensure clients can spot their nearest Elders outlet, quickly and easily regardless of where they are in Australia.”

“We need to maintain Australia’s status as a net food exporter and as a self-sufficient country in terms of food production.”

“Once inside clients will find a comfortable and inviting atmosphere with the same service and expertise they have come to know from their Elders team.”

Others members of the National Food Policy Working Group, include: •

Michael Luscombe – Managing Director and CEO Woolworths

Michael Byrne – CEO Linfox Logistics

Dr Alastair Robertson – Deputy Chief Executive of CSIRO

Terry O’Brien – Managing Director Simplot Australia

Simone Tully – CEO of OBE Organics

Jock Laurie – President National Farmers’ Federation

Janine Allis – CEO Boost Juice

Kate Carnell – CEO Australian Food and Grocery Council

Nick Stace – CEO Choice (Australian Consumers Association)

Alison Watkins – Managing Director and CEO Graincorp

Jeff Lawrence – ACTU Secretary

Dr Peter Williams – Associate Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Wollongong

Elders on Twitter With more than nine million Australians now using social media, and Twitter in particular experiencing a 400 percent increase in the number of users, it makes perfect sense for Elders to use this micro-blogging site as another way to communicate with our clients and the wider community. During early February Elders started trialling Twitter, under the profile @EldersLimited and has so far tweeted about great sales results, the latest marketing promotions, and the progress of donations to the Elders Rural Flood Appeal. So, if you want to find out what’s happening in Elders, log onto Twitter and follow us – we’d love to have you as a ‘follower’!

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Community

elders supports the Australian year of the farmer excitement is spreading as Australia shapes up for 2012 — the Australian year of the farmer (Ayof). Joining in the festivities, elders is proud to announce its role as the Ayof foundation sponsor.

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he Australian Year of the Farmer (AYOF) will see a nation-wide, year-long program of activities and events aimed at highlighting the role of the Australian farmer and building the relationship between rural producers and all Australians.

“Elders understands the business of farming can be tough and often comes with little acknowledgement for the hard work involved.

The AYOF program will include enhancing the education of children about Australian primary production and also the education of urban families about the vital contribution farmers make to the nation.

“Despite environmental and other obstacles over recent years the resilience of farmers continues to shine through, and everybody in the community, whether they live in a city or the country, can take part in this year-long event and learn more about the critical role farmers play in securing our long term national food security and sustainability,” Mr Jackman said.

A focus of the AYOF will be to explain how products such as fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, grains, fish, meat, eggs, wool, cotton and timber are produced and the vital role farmers play in providing for our nation.

Chairman of the Australian Year of the Farmer and prominent New South Wales farmer Philip Bruem, welcomed Elders as the foundation sponsor.

The year will also promote the role of farmers as environmental managers who create and deliver sustainability through best-practice management. Elders Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Jackman said the AYOF was an important event not just for rural Australia, but for the nation as whole.

“We’re pleased to lend our support to an initiative that puts the efforts of farmers in the national spotlight.”

Elders joins a number of high profile people supporting the Australian Year of the Farmer initiative, including Elders ambassador Glenn McGrath and Commonwealth Governor General Quentin Bryce. As a long-time ambassador for the role of Australian farmers, Glenn McGrath, said he was pleased to be taking part in the AYOF. “It’s our farmers that sustain our way of life and help ensure the economic well-being of the nation. We should all be proud of our farmers.” “From developing innovative techniques to intelligently managing the land, Australia’s farmers are leading the world in the science of farming and sustainability.” A full calendar of Australian Year of the Farmer events will be announced in the lead up to 2012.

He said Elders’ reputation as a trusted advisor, supplier and agent for Australian primary producers made it a perfect fit. “The year will celebrate and focus on the essential role that Australian farmers and growers play in providing for our everyday needs. Elders will be a great source of knowledge and support in helping us to educate and build a greater connection between Australia’s rural and urban communities,” Mr Bruem said. Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 4

More information on the AYOF can be found at www.yearofthefarmer.com.au This website will become a portal for all activities associated with the year.


Community

A helping hand for flooded farmers

elders is assisting flooded-affected rural Australia get back on track with the elders rural flood Appeal.

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lders kicked off the appeal with a donation of $75,000. Rural Press joined in to promote the appeal through their rural weekly newspapers. With the appeal closing at the end of March, Elders Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Jackman is encouraging rural Australians to dig deep. “So far people and organisations connected with rural life across Australia have given generously to the Appeal, and with little time left to donate, I urge those that haven’t to make whatever contribution they can.” “The Appeal will deliver targeted assistance direct to farming families, to provide them with some of the support

they need to get their lives back to normal and their businesses back into production,” Mr Jackman said. Donations can be made in person at any Elders branch across Australia or directly to the Appeal by visiting elders.com.au/ruralflood-appeal. Funds raised will be distributed through the Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise FoundationTM, and Elders will have input on the funds’ application through an advisory committee.

for more information contact your local Elders branch

eLders rurAL fLood APPeAL grAnt APPLicAtions You may know or be a part of a local charity that normally helps farming families impacted by floods, but is currently struggling to source funding. Charities and not-for-profit organisations can now apply for a grant to use funding for a project or an activity that offers a benefit to communities rebuilding from the floods across eastern Australia. The Elders Rural Flood Appeal is administered by Community Enterprise FoundationTM, and is designed to: • Make better, targeted use of funds that are responsive to affected communities needs and aspirations. • Make sure highest priority needs are addressed first. • Identify long term community rebuilding projects for funding. how to apply Enquiries can be made by emailing foundation@bendigobank.com.au; visiting the website www.bendigobank.com.au or by phoning the customer help centre Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm on 1300 304 541. Or stop by your local Elders branch for more information.

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Weather

Looking into the weather crystal ball As much of eastern Australia gets on with mopping up after the record-breaking wet, we ponder what the weather has in store for farmers for the remainder of 2011 …

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f it was possible to summarise the past Australian summer one word would suffice, extreme.

weeks of the year. On the flip side, during 2010, south-west WA battled a 40-60% rainfall deficit.

Rainfall records tumbled across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and northern Western Australia as a combination of climatic factors delivered, in some places, devastating rains.

The flooding rain, particularly in the east, is linked to the La Niña weather pattern, the sister pattern of the drought-bearing El Niño system.

On the contrary for south-west Western Australia, the driest winter on record was followed by an even drier summer, leaving farmers with significantly downgraded yields and curtailed feed and water for livestock.

La Niña is a global weather phenomenon that has its roots in the Pacific Ocean. Cooler waters towards South America and warmer waters near Australia lead to a general flow of moisture over the country. La Niña effects are strongest over Eastern, Australia, in particular Queensland, giving rise to well above average rainfall and an increase in cyclone activity. The most recent La Niña system (and the related Southern Oscillation Index) is one of the strongest on record and its strength has been one of the reasons for the unusual amount of wet weather during the past six months.

Proof is in the numbers The statistics are very telling. Eastern Queensland received 800-1600mm of rainfall during the six months to February, equating to as much as 200 per cent of what that area would normally receive. Huge swathes of inland NSW and northern Victoria were also subject to swamping rainfall. In fact, parts of western NSW, SA and the Northern Territory had already received their annual rainfall by the first six

Strong La Niña pattern to subside

Typically though, by January and February, mature La Niña systems begin to break down and when they do, the moisture flow over eastern Australia slows dramatically. Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 6

Signature indicators of a weakening La Niña are already flagging the imminent demise of the system. Namely warming waters across the Pacific and weakening trade winds. But what does this mean for farmers? As La Niña continues to weaken during autumn, a slow return to average rainfall should occur for much of eastern Australia. By June, when the effects of La Niña are less pronounced, a return to average rainfall is predicted for Queensland, NSW and the eastern interior. Rainfall for Tasmania and Victoria should also return to average levels during autumn. Being more temperate, winter rainfall for these states will be at the mercy of the polar front to the south. Current long range forecasts suggest that average winter rainfall is most likely or perhaps a little below. Across SA a similar pattern of returning to average rainfall is predicted. The dry times (as is usual) are likely to continue through the west and south-west of WA through autumn. However, at present long-range forecasts


Weather

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suggest a much better winter than last year with close to average rainfall predicted. The winter lifeline will again heavily depend on just how close the fickle polar front gets to Australia, and as such the forecast at the moment is a little uncertain. Across the tropics the monsoon is still in full swing, fed by extremely warm oceans and the added moisture flowing from the east (think La Niña). A very soggy end to the wet season is expected and a few more cyclones are likely.

100 4 100 6 1012

Average and slightly higher temperatures Temperatures during the coming six months will be heavily influenced initially by the weakening La Niña and then by the anomalously warm oceans surrounding Australia (which will help keep the country generally warmer). With further cloud and rainfall over Queensland during the early autumn, it is likely days will remain cooler and nights slightly warmer. Towards winter, current long range models suggest that most of the east of the country will see temperatures coming in a little above average, both day and night. Towards WA and SA, initial indications suggest close to average temperatures.

Trying to establish the winter risk of frost at this range is unfortunately very difficult, but given the forecast for close to average temperature it could be inferred that we can expect a typical end to autumn and winter. A weather eye on the horizon It is also worth remembering that seasonal forecasts are just that, an outlook for the average conditions of the season — weather events that buck the trend always occur. So although all hints suggest Australia is heading towards something more akin to ‘normal’ during the coming months, it’s worth keeping a weather eye on the horizon for anything untoward.

More information: Elders Weather www.eldersweather.com.au Source: Weatherzone for Elders Weather

find the Answers @ eLders weAther To view the latest weather forecasts visit one of Australia’s most popular weather websites: eldersweather.com.au. The website draws on accurate and detailed information from a number of reputable sources including from independent forecaster Weatherzone, and the Bureau of Meteorology. Visitors to eldersweather.com.au can check on conditions and the latest forecasts for their local area by keying in their location name or postcode. Automated systems ensure Elders Weather provides real-time, local weather information and up-todate forecasts that are revised as conditions vary. Entering a location name or postcode into the ‘My Local Weather’ search box opens up a comprehensive seven-day forecast comprising maximum and minimum temperatures, the chance of rainfall, UV radiation forecast, frost risk, anticipated wind speed and direction at 9am and 3pm, relative humidity and recent rainfall and temperature data. There is also a three-month history of rainfall and temperature and year-to-date rainfall totals for each location.

historic rainfall and temperature information is also readily accessible. The motivation for developing the web-based weather information service, which went live during 2005, was to help producers make the best possible decisions and provide them with a trusted source of weather information.

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However, use of the site is not confined to producers or other rural people. It is used extensively by anybody with any interest in the weather.

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The site provides:

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• Radar and satellite images • Synoptic charts • Weather warnings • Recent and long-term historical weather information including maximum and minimum temperatures and rainfall • Temperature and humidity forecasts • Wind speed and direction

Clicking on the ‘Full [town] climatology’ link provides access to even more temperate and rainfall data. Long-term and short-term

• Dam levels

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The structure of the site, and the weather content Elders provides, is part of Elders’ long-standing commitment to providing farmers and people living in rural and regional Australia with the best tools and services to improve the productivity of their enterprises.

From there, one click will provide access to ‘current conditions’, a current synoptic chart and satellite and radar images.

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fLood gAuge

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• Barometric pressure • Marine reports and forecasts

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• Surf reports

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Rural business

super-fine start to wool season riding on the back of a successful 2010, wool prices look set to remain bullish during 2011, buoyed by strong demand, low production and a mostly positive 2010 growing season.

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s Australia’s most experienced wool broker and through our Elders Wool International business, Elders offers their clients the information they need to successfully market their clip — including up-to-the-minute market data and market trend analysis. commodity report Exports of greasy wool to Italy during July-October were 109 per cent higher than the same time during 2009. China’s demand for wool decreased slightly in the first half of the 2010-2011 season with only 70% of Australia’s wool exported to China. A small demand decline from China was offset by increases from India, the Czech Republic and Taiwan. Overall demand for Australian wool has increased, therefore leading to a higher price scenario. A large driver for the stronger-thanexpected market price has been the resurgence of Europe, Italy in particular. Europe was back in business having exhausted their stocks — the global financial crisis saw very little buying on their behalf during the past 12 months. With renewed confidence they began buying quite strongly which meant that the market hovered around the high 800 cents during August and September. It wasn’t until October that the Chinese jumped in as it appeared the market was destined to keep rising. Once the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) got above 900¢ it kept going to 1000¢ and it has only dipped briefly below the 1000¢ barrier once during late November. Today it sits above 1280¢. seasonal conditions In the wool growing areas of Australia, with the exception of Western Australia,

the 2010 conditions were much better than during previous years. This led to an increase in fibre diameter. Data for July– December 2010 revealed the average fibre diameter increased by 0.2 micron during this six-month period. There was an 8% increase in offerings of 15–18 micron wool from 2008–2009 to 2009–2010. In the current season the 15–18 micron wool offering is on average -11% compared to the same time last year — a major reason for the significant recent increase in fine wool premiums.

An increase in 19–23 micron wool is also occurring with current statistics showing an increase of 6%. This is likely to grow further as pastoral wools (20–23 micron) are shorn during early 2011. under the hammer The overall volume of wool sold at auction during the six months to the end of December increased by 3%, compared with the same period last year. A combination of increased production and growers’ willingness to sell at this level, rather than hold until the new year, pushed more wool through the auction system. A total of 850,000 bales were offered during the first half of the season and with a much lower pass-in rate it would be safe to assume that grower stocks have been depleted. The more favourable growing conditions also provided a significant increase in staple length, staple strength and yield. Vegetable matter has remained stable, however this is likely to rise during the next six months as the better growing conditions Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 9

experienced during 2010 lead to more burr and seed during summer. Longer staple wools are rapidly increasing with a large surge in the amount of wool tested above 105mm. While this has been a long term trend due to breeding and selection by growers in Australia — on average Australian wool has increased in staple length by 1% per year during the past 20 years — better growing conditions are exacerbating this condition. Production forecast The Australian Wool Production Forecast Report predicts a 2010–2011 production of 335 million kilograms greasy. This is equivalent to a total decrease on the previous year of -2.3%. The reduction is primarily due to the impact of seasonal conditions in WA and Queensland. Slaughter rates and live export numbers have decreased in all states, except WA, as growers look to increase sheep numbers. A substantial number of breeding sheep have been transferred from WA to the east coast — more than one million sheep in the past six months have been trucked across the Nullabor. currency impacts It is difficult to see the Australian Dollar weaken to a large extent, given the strength of the Australian economy, the demand for commodities and the high interest rates on offer in Australia. Recent history suggests a strong AUD does not necessarily translate to a fall in wool prices. In fact, over recent years, Australian wool has achieved some of its highest prices when the AUD has been at its strongest. for more information contact your local elders wool Manager.


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Cropping

diversity spreads the risk Planning for prevention rather than cure is the most effective and economical strategy for tackling costly crop diseases.

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timely and carefully planned cropping program, starting during the previous spring, is a vital step in minimising expensive yield reductions.

despite recommendations to growers to avoid sowing a cereal following a cereal crop or a canola crop following a canola crop.

Weighing up grain prices, rainfall outlook and overall enterprise risk is just the first step in pre-season planning. Just as important are sound crop rotations, based on an understanding of paddockspecific agronomic issues such as disease potential, weed-seed set and herbicide resistance status.

“Wheat on wheat has swung back in favour as many growers look to reduce their risk profile and boost their resilience to seasonal variations,” Jake said. Including a range of cereals, broadleaf and legume crops in rotations is a vital risk management tool.

conditions across much of eastern Australia during 2010. So adopting a crop rotation that includes a 1-3 year break between crops of the same species and growing more resistant varieties using disease-free seed treated with a registered fungicide seed dressing will be critical to reduce the incidence of many diseases. For example trial work has shown that wheat crops grown after canola can yield, on average, 20% more when compared to wheat-on-wheat rotations.

Producers need to balance profitability and sustainability and carefully spread their production risk, according to Jake McGuire Elders Agronomist, Albany Western Australia.

Rotations that include 25–30% break crops such as canola and lupins will reduce the impact of disease, weeds, pests, frost and herbicide resistance while improving soil health and water use efficiencies.

Growing back-to-back cereal crops can lead to a rapid build up of soil- and stubbleborne diseases such as take-all, crown rot, cereal cyst nematode, Rhizoctonia root rot, yellow leaf spot and Septoria. These can cause significant yield losses in cereal crops — a high incidence of Rhizoctonia, take-all or crown rot can reduce cereal yields by at least 50 per cent.

“Making informed decisions about paddock selection and carefully planning rotations before sowing will help set crops up for high yields,” Jake said. “High yields and high prices per tonne are the key drivers of profitability. “The identification of potential weed, disease and nutrition issues as early as possible enables producers to take control, plan to limit risk and maximise opportunities and water use efficiency,” Jake said. Elders’ farm and paddock planning services, offered by experienced Elders agronomists, can help producers plan the most appropriate crop rotations in order to maximise returns. Feedback from agronomists indicate that rotations have become less diverse,

Growing a range of crop types and varieties will also diversify income streams and production risks as well as improve machinery and labour use efficiencies by spreading the workload during sowing and harvest. Vigorous legume pastures can provide a nitrogen benefit and reduce the nitrogen fertiliser requirements of the subsequent crops. Elders’ soil testing service can provide vital soil fertility information to help producers make informed decisions on fertilisers prior to sowing. disease risk – prior preparation Disease inoculum levels will be high going into the 2011 season as a result of wet Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 11

consider more than crop type But a break crop does not automatically provide a benefit — good agronomy is vital to break the disease cycle. “Many growers will be restricted by their choice of variety but where possible they should choose high-yielding varieties with good disease resistance, that may also attract a price premium,” Jake said. Growing more resistant varieties is not a substitute for good rotations and avoiding paddocks with a high risk may be more profitable in some circumstances. Using Predicta B® DNA soil tests prior to seeding helps identify soilborne pathogens that could pose a significant risk to future crops.


Cropping

increased the use of selective grass weed herbicides. Growing a diversity of crops allows herbicide groups to be rotated and the use of a range of weed control methods including selective, non-selective herbicides together with crop-topping and brown manuring. Rotations that include a pasture phase allow the use of a wider range of chemicals including non-selective knockdown herbicides together with strategic grazing and hay and silage production which can help reduce weed populations.

herbicide resistance Herbicide resistance to 11 herbicide groups has been found in about 35 grass and broadleaf weed species. This poses a serious risk to the long-term productivity of Australian broadacre cropping systems. Crop rotations are an important component of an integrated weed management strategy and can help minimise the potential for herbicide resistance. The adoption of no-tillage practices and more intensive cereal rotations has

Identifying herbicide-resistant weeds as early as possible through herbicide resistance testing can be a valuable tool when planning rotations, allowing producers to choose more appropriate crops and weed control options. Long term view Elders Agronomist in Yarrawonga, Victoria, Mathew Coffey says while it is important crop rotations are based on sound agronomy they also need to remain flexible to deal with seasonal variations, commodity prices and changing circumstances.

“Farming has some inherent risk but producers can limit their exposure to many yield limiting factors by planning early. This will enable more timely decisions and help to make the best decisions possible.” “With access to specialist Agriplanner software Elders staff work with the grower to develop a block-by-block plan which includes a documented operating budget and plan in terms of rotations, inputs and operations as well as projections of expected profits.” “They provide advice on all aspects of crop production including crop variety selection, fertiliser programs and weed, insect and disease control options,” Mathew said. According to Mathew it is important to remember that gross margins of break crops may not appear ideal when viewed in isolation. “The benefits need to evaluated as part of the whole rotation and farming system.” More information: Mark Pedlar, National Technical Services Manager T: 0408 423 875 E: mark.pedlar@elders.com.au

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Cropping

Waging and winning the war on resistance Grain growers are reminded of the importance of ensuring diversity and building alternate mode of action herbicides and non herbicide tools into their weed management programs, in order to minimise the development of further glyphosate resistance.

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ustralia’s reliance on herbicides for weed control, has earnt the nation the dubious title as the global home of resistance. According to Elders National Technical Services Manager Mark Pedlar, to delay the onset of resistance growers need to plan to include another active, such as paraquat, in their weed control strategy. “For example in a five year rotation, paraquat should be used during one of those five years to help quell the reliance on glyphosate,” Mark said. The resistance evolution According to Director of the University of Western Australia (UWA)-based Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI), Professor Stephen Powles, the high reliance on glyphosate and its use at sometimes low rates has been the catalyst for the evolution of glyphosate resistance in ryegrass and some other weed species. “Glyphosate resistance is occurring in many parts of Australia but currently is only in restricted areas and we believe that with diversity we can keep glyphosate sustainable for future generations,” Professor Powles said. “It is important to realise that glyphosate is the world’s greatest herbicide and farmers should do everything they can to ensure it remains working on their farm.” “To delay the onset of resistance growers need to plan to include diversity in their weed control strategies. This should involve alternative herbicides to glyphosate and any non-herbicide tools that can be incorporated that make economic sense,” Professor Powles explained. Paraquat is currently the only non-selective alternative herbicide to glyphosate for knock-down control in broadacre cropping. “We need to learn from our mistakes with glyphosate and use paraquat in a much more strategic manner. Paraquat

Considerations for your integrated weed management plan • Rotate herbicides with different modes of action (MOA). When you are onto a good thing — don’t stick to it.

resistance has been identified in some SA and Vic weed populations.”

• Develop a diverse crop rotation to allow different herbicide MOA and cultural weed control methods.

“Chemicals such as glyphosate and paraquat are far too valuable to be lost as weed control methods, so we need to look at ways of maintaining their efficacy.”

• Do not cut herbicide rates — always use full label rates. • Use a double knock where possible.

Professor Powles says to do this, herbicide diversification needs to be just one part of a holistic integrated weed management (IWM) strategy.

• Delay seeding date to maximise weed emergence and subsequent kill. • Increase crop competition.

“The good news is resistance can be managed with a weed management strategy that includes a range of weed control methods, as opposed to reliance on herbicides alone.”

• Use weed control methods, such as spray topping, crop topping, chaff carts, hay/silage and narrow windrow burning, that minimise the likelihood of escaped weeds setting seed.

Integrated weed management combines herbicide application with complementary control methods such as tillage, grazing and seed set care. Using several weed control techniques reduces the chance of weed species evolving resistance to any one approach.

• Employ vigilant seed cleaning methods.

“The aim of a long-term IWM strategy is be to drive down the weed seedbank, and minimise the evolution of herbicide resistance,” Professor Powles said. The resistance state of play A weed population is defined as resistant when a herbicide that once controlled the population is no longer effective. Sometimes an arbitrary figure of greater than 20 per cent survival is used. Populations of glyphosate-resistant ryegrass exist in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. In NSW and Queensland resistance has been documented in awnless barnyard grass and some NSW populations of liverseed grass have also exhibited resistance. Field experience and simulation modelling reveal that the likelihood of glyphosate resistance developing can increase substantially after a population has received about 15 years of glyphosate Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 15

• Ensure machinery is cleaned properly. • Develop a flexible and diverse strategy tailored to your individual farming enterprise.

Source: Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

applications without any other weed control methods. Professor Powles said resistance could also easily be spread as a result of seed movement. “Weed seed can be moved between paddocks or farms by livestock, machinery, crop seed, fodder, water and wind and care needs to be taken to ensure that glyphosate resistance is not spread in this way. ”

More information: Mark Pedlar, National Technical Services Manager T: 0408 423 875 E: mark.pedlar@elders.com.au


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Tackle WG 750 g/kg Chlorsulfuron For the control of annual (Wimmera) ryegrass and certain broadleaf weeds in wheat, barley, oats, cereal rye and triticale.

For more information, visit www.farmoz.com.au


Cropping

getting strategic about your fertiliser tactics effectively applying fertiliser, nitrogen and phosphorus, is an essential element of successful crop development.

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nowing the fertiliser needs of your crops and applying it at the most optimum time is the key to saving money and boosting crop health and performance. Elders Technical Specialist for Winter Cropping Graham Page says the first step is soil testing. “For phosphorus the general rule is to carry out soil tests once in the rotation or every five years, at a depth of 0-15 centimetres, across the different soil types of the cropping area.” “The main aim of any fertiliser application is to maximise dollars returned for the dollars invested. This is best achieved by knowing where phosphorus is lacking and applying it to those areas. “With today’s range of variable rate technology growers are much better placed to carry out strategic application, rather than blanket spreading, that wastes time and money.” “And because phosphorous is not mobile levels can be topped up at sowing and remain in the soil for rest of the season and for years to follow.” Following application, about 30 per cent of the phosphorus applied will be available for the following crop while the rest will be able to be utilised during following rotations. “A main imperative is not to dig into phosphorus reserves, so growers need to ensure levels remain consistent and reapply where soil test results deem it necessary,” Graham said.

nitrogen needs When it comes to nitrogen the trick is to supply crops with sufficient, but not excessive, amounts of the fertiliser. And to maximise efficiency and minimise waste growers need to target their applications to the season.

table 1 crop fertiliser requirements nutrient removed by kilograms one tonne of grain n P cereals Barley

20

2.7

Wheat

23

3

“Determine what a crop’s nitrogen needs are and then what nitrogen is already available in the soil, followed by how much nitrogen is needed, if any, to fill the gap,” Graham said.

Oats

17

3

Chickpeas (kabuli)

36

3.4

Faba Beans

41

4

Lentils

42

3.9

“Because nitrogen is mobile and can be lost from the soil by leaching or rainfall runoff, best-practice application involves intermittent spreading throughout the season.”

Lupins (white)

60

3.6

Field Peas

38

3.4

Common Vetch

49

3.8

“This way growers don’t need to ‘put all their eggs into one basket’ but can instead keep their eye on the season, and apply nitrogen when they feel confident it will be retained in the soil and therefore be of benefit to their growing crop.”

Canola

41

7

“Nitrogen really is a tactical input that growers can manage to their advantage in the shortterm, whereas phosphorus requires a strategic long-term approach to be most effective and efficient.” Senior Elders Agronomist in Cowra, New South Wales, Peter Watt says Elders agronomists offer valuable support in ensuring growers get their nutritive management spot on. “Soil testing is the number one requirement, but for more precise measurements we can Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 17

grain legumes

oilseeds Note: All figures are general in nature and will vary within individual systems, use as a guide only. Burning or removal of stubble will increase the nutrient removal rate of nitrogen and phosphorus and trace elements will remain but are more susceptible to erosion from wind or water.

also help with tissue testing and in-crop deep end nitrogen testing.” “From there our team of crop experts will help growers tailor their nutritive application to suit their rotation.” “Knowing the nutritive needs of the crops within the rotation is vital for all fertiliser decisions.” More information: Graham Page Technical Specialist for Winter Cropping and Horticulture – South T: 0428 844014 E: graham.page@elders.com.au


Livestock

Cashing in on bullish markets From saleyard selling to online auctions, Elders clients can make use of a variety of tools to competitively buy and sell livestock. Saleyard selling

Online auctions a plus

Saleyard auctions are either prime (also called fat) sales for finished livestock ready for slaughter, or store sales where most livestock is purchased by feedlots or other producers restocking their properties.

Elders is a major supporter and stakeholder in AuctionsPlus, an online livestock auction service accessible nationwide.

Prime cattle are sold on a cents per kilogram basis and must be delivered to the saleyards before a curfew, usually 4–12 hours before the sale. Most store cattle are sold on a dollars/head basis and have no delivery curfew. All sheep auctions are on a dollars/ head basis and there is no delivery curfew. Direct to the processor Elders is associated with key livestock processors across the country, which offers clients a variety of options for over-thehook (OTH) sales. OTH sales are carried out on an agreed cents per kilogram hot or cold carcase weight or via a pricing grid. The transfer of ownership takes place at the abattoir scales where premiums or discounts are given to the base price according to carcase attributes such as fat depth, meat pH, bruising and dentition. The vendor may also receive feedlot and carcase feedback. Nation-wide online selling network Elders Online Livestock Selling Service offers vendors and buyers a unique way to trade. Anybody can search the Livestock Online website for private sale listings, but producers must go through an Elders agent to add or enquire about a listing. Elders clients also have an advantage over other buyers when looking to buy livestock quickly. Their local Elders agent can set up an SMS or email notification service that alerts the agent as soon as suitable livestock have been posted for sale on the Livestock Online network. This alert is sent 48 hours before the listing is posted on the Elders website. The Online Selling Service allows livestock to remain on-farm until they are sold. The system is backed by Elders’ terms and conditions of sale. Normal commission is charged once the sale has been finalised.

There are five regular sheep sales and three regular cattle sales held each week, along with numerous ‘special sales’ which may relate to a specific breed, stud, region or agency. Before being listed, livestock offered on AuctionsPlus are assessed in detail by a registered regional assessor. The assessment cost is included in the agent’s commission. A catalogue-listing fee per head for animals sold or passed in is also charged. Detailed listings AuctionsPlus provides the prospective buyer with comprehensive information on each lot on offer, including: • General stock description • Assessor comments and credentials • Vendor comments • Stock history • Vet and health treatments • Freight contact and sale type The online catalogue, which includes detailed animal listings and photographs, is available to potential buyers from about 36 hours before the scheduled auction time. Selling can be based on dollars per head, c/kg liveweight or c/kg carcase weight. The buyer is responsible for all freight costs.The vendor will receive accurate feedback from the live assessments carried out prior to sale as well as kill sheet information for slaughtered livestock. Feedlots and forward contracts Elders’ strong relationships with many of Australia’s largest sheep and cattle feedlots means agents are continually looking to source a livestock across a wide range of specifications. Elders also own and operate Charlton Feedlot in Victoria and Killara Feedlot in New South Wales. Most of the cattle passing through these feedlots do so on Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 19

back-to-back contracts, offering clients a reward for consistent product. Forward contracts allow producers to lock in a price for livestock of set specifications to be delivered at a particular time in the future. The known price and delivery time allows for more effective cashflow management and budgeting. Elders forward contracts are now available to NSW, Victorian and SA producers for feeder cattle and limited number of OTH grades. Live export Elders International is one of the largest suppliers to the live export market, specialising in the export of cattle and sheep from Australia and New Zealand to all parts of the globe. All cattle exports to south east Asia are facilitated through the North Australian Cattle Company (NACC). NACC link supply of Australian feeder, slaughter and breeder cattle to demand throughout Asia, including the 100 per cent Elders’ owned Indonesian business, PT Elders Indonesia. Exports of sheep and cattle to China, Mexico, Middle East, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey are carried out by Elders International. Elders operates to world’s best practice standards at all stages of the live export process. Animal welfare is a particular priority, both in transit and beyond, with Elders providing technical support to overseas customers to ensure that livestock delivered by Elders perform at, or above, expectations. More information: Peter Cox, Livestock Coordinator (NSW) T: 0428 262 569 Scott Altschwager, Livestock Sales Manager (SA, Vic) T: 0408 806 194 Cameron Wilson, Livestock Sales Manager (Qld) T: 0428 657 334 Tim Spicer, Livestock Sales Manager (WA) T: 0427 812 194


Livestock

taking the strain out of fencing repairs one of the most laborious tasks after a flood is rebuilding fences. And a farmer’s main priority, will no doubt be to build a floodresilient fence that is both economical and easy to install.

e

lders, one of the major stockists of Waratah® and Cyclone® fencing products, is able to provide farmers with the support needed when making fencing infrastructure upgrades. Elders Technical Services Manager, Tony Wetherall, believes durable fencing can also be economical.

absorbs impacts and rebounds to retain the integrity of the fence. Longlife is also used throughout the prefabricated wire range on products such as Stocklock®, Stocksafe-T®, Stocktite® and netting, to provide a fast and effective fencing solution.

“The calculator provides a range of scenarios. Farmers then choose which best suits their needs, from an infrastructure and economic point of view.”

The recently released Waratah Ezypipe® stands out as a product worth considering when rebuilding flood damaged fencing. It has been designed for use with the Waratah Adjusta-stay® for a complete strainer system. Hot-dipped galvanised for superior corrosion protection, fast and easy to install, Ezypipe posts are capable of withstanding high pressure loads and may be safely handled by one to two people. It can also be anchored with GalStar posts to greatly improve ground holding capacity.

“Farmers, for example, may choose to initially outlay a little extra on high quality GalStar® steel posts, which are easier to install and hardier than their less expensive counterparts, in order to save on replacement costs down the track.

Another recent labour saving addition to the Waratah range is the Thumpa® pneumatic post driver. The Thumpa has been designed to fit the entire Waratah steel post range including MaxY, Extreme and Gripfast trellis posts.

“The last thing a farmer wants is to erect new fencing only to find it buckles under the first sign of pressure,” Tony said.

By using compressed air to power the unit, the pneumatic post driver is a powerful tool, reducing physical effort and increasing post installation per hour.

“Through Elders, farmers can access Waratah’s fencing calculator which provides estimations on planned fencing programmes and recommends the most effective and economical products for the job.”

fencing innovations Farmers now have more choice when it comes to fencing fit-outs Tony says. “Fencing materials and equipment have advanced beyond basic iron posts, timber strainers, wire and netting. Waratah provides a range of products for specific fencing needs and equipment for making labour intensive tasks easier.” Several innovative Waratah products can assist with fence rebuilding, including Longlife Blue® wire. Longlife™ protective coating provides maximum corrosion protection, which means replacing fences less often. Longlife High tensile wire also has a coil design, which makes it stronger than fence wire. It creates an effective stock barrier, Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 20

Further features adding to the practical benefits of the Thumpa, include a sturdy, powder-coated metal toolbox, reinforced gusseted handles and a durable electro-galvanised coating. steel posts Steel posts in the Waratah range include the GalStar MaxY®, and the GalStar Extreme®. Both posts offer farmers the consistent strength and longevity of high-grade Australian steel and hot-dipped galvanizing. These features provide high corrosion protection, and also extend the life of fence wires that come into contact with either post. The MaxY has the largest Y profile in Australia, is up to four times stronger than the Extreme post and is a great intermediate post or where pressure


Livestock

Waratah’s Thumpa® pneumatic post driver is designed to fit the entire Waratah steel post range including MaxY, Extreme and Gripfast trellis posts.

will be high, such as flood waters. Both posts are available in a range of sizes. flood plans for fencing There are a few key points to remember when planning fence construction in flood-prone areas. Where possible, have as few fences crossing waterways as possible. Fences that run parallel to the direction of a flood are less likely to be damaged. Fences that span channels and are at a right angle to the direction of the flow are more likely to suffer damage. Ideally, fences should be located as far back from the main channel or floodway as possible. The flow and velocity of a flood decreases with distance from the main channel. It’s logical therefore that more expensive or complex fencing sections should be located up slope and away from the main channel. The height of fences is another significant factor determining fence stability. The taller a fence, the less stable it becomes in a flood. Taking stock control into consideration, fences should be constructed with the least vertical height possible. Fence strength against floodwaters depends on spacing, depth and post type. Posts that are deep and well secured are less likely to be pushed over in floodwaters. Fencing is a complex and essential part of farming. Expert opinion and advice is important. “Elders agents are a great point of contact for discussing fencing and infrastructure needs. Many have extensive fencing knowledge or they can draw on the decades of experience from Waratah,” Tony said.

fLoodPLAin fencing – four obJectives 1. reduce fence resistance to flood waters One of the major sources of resistance to floodwaters is the in-line wire component of fencing. The number of wires and the type of wire can add to the resistance. Plain wire does not hold debris to the extent barbed wire does, and it offers less resistance to flood waters. 2. increase post resistance to overturning The greater the depth at which the post has been dug, the less chance there is of overturning. Soil at depth is usually drier, which can prevent the post being pulled out of the ground. 3. Maintain wire tension

More information: Tony Wetherall Technical Services Manager T: 0427 390 001

Maintaining wire tension promotes vibration which assists in minimising debris loads.

Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 21

Constructing adequate end assemblies and using high tensile wire that has more elasticity and higher breaking strains, works to maintain inline fence wire tension. 4. isolate high risk fencing sections Lengths of fence at high risk of flood damage should be isolated from the main fence. This can be achieved by stopping the main fence of the floodway using an assembly on each side. If the floodgate structure fails, the main part of the fence should remain intact. 5. timing of flood fencing works Ideally construction of flood area fencing should be undertaken in summer. Disturbed vegetation around the crossing should be reinstated prior to the following winter.


Livestock

Arthur celebrates his 56th clip with a clear profit A passion for Merino sheep production and an eye for market movements, drive statesman producer, Arthur Wicks in his pursuit of continually strong clip returns.

A

fter more than 50 years in the industry, Arthur Wicks, Dunedoo, New South Wales knows a thing or two about growing and selling wool — including that market swings don’t last long. With that wisdom under his belt, Arthur was quick to cash in when wool markets took an upward hike during the end of 2010, changing his typical February selling date to November. The change of tack saw Arthur’s 24 bales make an average $1414 per bale (1010 cents clean). The end result was 34c clean above the market on the day — a result Arthur was thrilled with. Arthur has been selling his wool clip with Elders for more than 50 years. He is the third generation to sell through Pitt and Sons (which was later bought by Elders), with his father and grandfather being loyal clients. Arthur sold his first wool clip in Newcastle with Pitt and Sons during 1956 and has remained a loyal client to the Elders network. Elders District Wool Manager Scott Thrift, joined Arthur at the Newcastle Premier Wool Sales to see his 56th Elders-sold clip go under the hammer. Scott said Arthur’s eye for market movements definitely paid dividends. “Arthur sold 24 bales during 2010 but on average sells 70 bales of wool each year with Elders. He was very pleased with his November sale and was a long way in front of his February 2010 result.” “If the market is rising it is always a good time to sell. You can never pick the peak in a market, particularly the wool market. And once a market starts to fall and you’re trying to sell, you never know how far it will

Dunedoo wool producer Arthur Wicks, sold his 56th consecutive wool clip with Elders during November at the Newcastle Premier Wool Sale. He is pictured here with Elders District Wool Manager Scott Thrift

fall before it reaches the bottom,” Scott said. Breeding objectives A career-long breeder of medium-wool Merinos, Arthur currently runs 1000 sheep. He believes the Haddon Rigg bloodline is the ‘best fit’ for his business. “The Haddon Rigg sheep do well on the light Dunedoo country. They provide the wool production and carcase traits I’m looking for and I am easily able to find markets for my older cast-for-age ewes,” Arthur said.

Conservative stocking resulting in reduced pasture pressure, has allowed Arthur to increase his wool cut from four kilograms to 5kg per head, while maintaining an average micron of 20.5–21. Arthur has reduced his breeding ewe numbers from 1000 to 450 in response to recent poor seasons and a desire to Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 22

downscale, as a result of his age. Arthur also runs about 350 wethers, which are shorn a couple of times before being sold in the meat market through the local saleyards. Client loyalty Consistent excellent service provided by the experts within the Dubbo Elders branch and the Newcastle wool technical team has ensured Arthur has remained a loyal client to Elders. “If a company does the right thing by me I remain loyal and stick with them,” Arthur said. Arthur thanked Elders for their commitment during good times and bad and said he always appreciated the opportunity to work with the Elders team. More information: Scott Thrift District Wool Manager T: 0417 660 260 E: scott.thrift@elders.com.au


Arthritis cripples your profits

Vaccinating your ewes pre-lambing can protect your lambs from Erysipelas* arthritis, which can cause lameness, painful and swollen joints and depression, all of which lead to hefty production losses. Economic modelling has shown that vaccination with Eryvac® makes economic sense. Protecting your lambs from Erysipelas can improve your profits by up to 85 cents per DSE in prime lamb flocks and 59 cents per DSE in wool flocks.1 So stop Erysipelas arthritis crippling your profits and protect your flock with Eryvac®.

For more more information informationtalk talktotoyour your Pfizer local Elders branch. Sheep Product Specialist on 1800 335 374.

*Erysipelas is one of a number of causes of arthritis in sheep.

1. Graham Lean & Associates (2009). Cost benefit analysis of Eryvac in commercial sheep flocks. Pfizer data on file.

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Livestock

National network delivers cross-continent benefits The Nullarbor Plain was the highway to greener pastures for thousands of sheep during 2010, as eastern states producers looked to build numbers and take advantage of the dry conditions in the west.

E

lders nationwide network of livestock and wool sales staff were instrumental in matching eastern livestock requirements with WA destockers, and despite the trying times, creating a win-win for farmers on both sides of the country.

Supporting role

Elders National Livestock and Wool Manager, Chris Howie said Elders expertise at a local, regional and national level provided producers with contacts they otherwise would have struggled to find.

“We now operate across three zones: West — covering WA, South from WA Border to Wagga encompassing Tasmania and North incorporating NSW, QLD and NT.

“During 2010 eastern producers contacted their local Elders agents looking to source more sheep. Immediately their agent was able to tap into the knowledge of their Zone Livestock and Wool sales managers and match this with the WA sale staff and the local knowledge of WA branch agents.” “Invariably, within a short-time, a deal was done and a semi-trailer was on its way east. Eastern states’ graziers and farmers were able to access stock not available locally, and WA destockers were able to hold firm on price.”

Recognising the advantage of having a wide network of livestock and wool sales managers to support local branch sales staff, about two years ago Elders introduced a new service structure.

“Each zone has a livestock and wool manager, under which there are wool and livestock sales managers. The sales managers are given a specific geographic area and travel across their patch supporting branches and sales staff as well as providing information about orders and requirements from other areas,” Chris said. “Rather than being stuck in a city head office, our livestock and wool sales managers are out and about sharing their industry knowledge, and in the case of 2010, matching buyers with sellers.” It’s the job of these managers to know what’s going on in their respective markets, Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 24

not just on a zone level but on a national and even international level, and to impart this knowledge to branch agents and producers, providing depth to the service offered by Elders. Making the connection The movement of sheep from the west to the east is just a one example of how this structure is so effective. On a day-to-day basis, the Elders’ network helps source sheep and cattle for trade avenues such as processors, feedlots, restockers and live export. Access to thousands of farmers across the country means Elders can offer consolidated numbers and as a result provide producers with access to markets such as leading supermarket retailers for slaughter animals and to international buyers of wool. “The key is providing a common sense, economically-viable solution for as many clients and customers as possible,” Chris said.


Livestock

“Invariably one part of Australia is dry and producers are looking to destock, while others are enjoying a good season and are looking to build numbers. All parties want to achieve the best sale and purchase price. “It’s the same with supplying processors — they have a very large investment in plant and staff and cannot afford to be short on supply with domestic and international orders to fill — it’s all about supply and demand, and finding a solution where everybody wins.” Mentoring tomorrow’s livestock leaders “Elders livestock sales managers have practical operational livestock and wool experience which cannot be learnt out of a text book. “Many of these managers have been with Elders from the start of their careers, and they have literally lived and breathed their respective markets,” Chris said. “Sharing their knowledge is a significant part of Elders livestock and wool service structure, which includes a component of training for junior and new Elders livestock and wool representatives.” “Mentoring in areas such as auctioneering and saleyard operation is provided. Even training in the common sense components of being an agent such as where to stand when visiting a shearing shed,” Chris said.

Elders make sourcing stock ‘unbelievably simple’ Elders livestock agent in Bordertown, South Australia, Kym Lovelock sourced between 12-15 truck loads of sheep – cross-bred lambs and ewes — from Western Australia for his clients.

According to Chris, Elders’ national network is like a system of arteries each supporting each other for the one, shared goal — in this case, to find the best deal for the producer and a supply solution for the customer.

“Because of the opposite season on either sides of the country, we were able to buy sheep from WA for between $20–$50 cheaper than if we were attempting to buy them from within South Australia — that’s including freight.”

“It’s all about providing a depth in the services we offer. Through our national network, producers know they can access the inside industry information they need to stay a step in front.”

“And because of the demand for sheep in the east I definitely wouldn’t have been able to find the volume clients were looking for if I’d only had access to local stock.”

“And while they’re getting on with the job of farming, our team is exploring new opportunities and developing new innovations, to further drive Australia’s livestock and wool sector.”

Kym said the Elders network was invaluable in doing the necessary deals.

More information: Chris Howie National Livestock and Wool Manager T: 08 8425 4486 M: 0408 842 331 E: chris.howie@elders.com.au

“It was all about building relationships and establishing trust and because we were dealing Elders agent to Elders agent there was already that implied goodwill. “Every load we received was to the expected specifications, but prior to that many of the WA agents provided photos of the sheep on-farm so my clients had full transparency over what they were buying.”

Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 25

One of Kym’s clients, Alex Hay sourced 1600 sheep from WA and said the process was unbelievably simple. “We bought 1000 cross-bred lambs and 600 5.5 year old Merino ewes from WA.” “I contacted Kym and it was as easy as him using his contacts to find the sheep. The whole process was unbelievably simply, I certainly didn’t loose any sleep over it. “We were able to view photos of the sheep and the WA agent provided us with a thorough description of the stock. “We were also really impressed with the condition of the sheep when they arrived.” Alex said he was confident he wouldn’t have been able to find the numbers he wanted if he was constrained to South Australian markets. “Particularly not for the reasonable price we were able to obtain them for. And because of the market they have already increased in value.”


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Livestock

Best-practice weaning sets up calves for a productive future Elders’ best-practice weaning program not only guides producers on correct weaning procedures but can also result in price premiums of up to $25 per head.

T

he management of young animals throughout the weaning process has a lifelong impact on the future production of the animal.

Elders’ best-practice weaning program is designed to provide calves with the best start to life and to arm buyers with confidence when buying young cattle. The benefits of this unique, certifiable weaning program are fast being realised with one company offering a $25 per head premium for certified Red Star weaner cattle. A collaborative approach The Elders’ best-practice weaning program was developed in conjunction with Livestock Central, a leading provider of ruminant nutrition, production and project management services. The weaning program is based on one of the many Elders Livestock Management Solutions (ELMS) protocols delivered and supported nationally by Livestock Central and Elders. The ELMS package of training, livestock management and producer support

programs aims to provide producers with greater control over the productive and reproductive potential of their livestock, largely by improving their feed conversion efficiency. Each ELMS protocol targets a key production point in an animal’s life and is supported by workshops, consultation with trained Elders personnel, direct access to the Livestock Central technical team and written material, such as ELMS technical notes. Leaving mum Research by the Cooperative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies (Beef CRC) has shown yard-weaned cattle can grow up to 21 per cent faster in a feedlot than paddock-weaned cattle of a similar age and breeding. While this has not always translated into a premium, there is a growing recognition from feedlotters and backgrounders of the benefits of seeking out and making repeat purchases of yardweaned cattle. Yard weaning results in quiet, easy-tohandle cattle that are used to human interaction and are therefore easier to manage and maintain weight throughout weaning. Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 27

What ELMS has to offer The ELMS Weaning Protocol has been designed to improve weight gain (through weaning and beyond) in sheep and cattle, enhance lifetime feed conversion efficiency and minimise losses from disease and parasites during weaning. A Beef CRC study revealed in feedlots the sickness levels of yard-weaned cattle were almost 20% less than their paddockweaned counterparts. The weaning protocol can also improve ongoing wool production in stud and commercial sheep flocks. According to Elders Dairy and Animal Production Segment Manager Brian Walker, the cattle weaning protocol recommends supplementary feeding calves with hay, ELMS pellets and ideally some grain, during yard weaning and for the following 21 days. “The ELMS weaning pellets have been specifically designed for the program and are critical for developing the rumen and helping to maximise future feed efficiencies.” “Hay needs to be provided in the yards and to supplement pasture in the paddock as necessary. A cereal grain can also be mixed


Livestock

with the pellets to provide extra energy and protein if needed.”

Commanding a premium

To address potential disease and parasite issues at weaning, the ELMS weaning protocol recommends two doses of clostridial vaccine (4-6 weeks apart), single doses of Vitamin ADE and Vitamin B12 and a mectin (ML) drench for weaners.

The increased value of Certified Red Star weaners has been recognised by one of Australia’s largest agricultural companies, Sundown Pastoral Company (SPC). The company, located in the New England region of northern New South Wales has a projected finishing capacity of about 80,000 head each year.

“And when weaners are prepared for sale, the ELMS transport protocols become applicable, with relevant products available such as the ELMS Travel and Yard concentrate pellets and Prime Mover liquid supplement,” Brian said. Star quality Cattle weaned according to the ELMS weaning protocol can be eligible for Red Star Weaner Certification, provided they meet all compulsory program requirements. The Red Star Certification program was developed by Livestock Central to assure buyers the cattle they were buying had been weaned and prepared for sale using the best stress management, animal health and nutritional technologies available. To qualify for Red Star Certification, two of the compulsory requirements include animals to be weaned a minimum of 28 days prior to sale, and trained to eat pellets (or ‘imprinted’) by their dams prior to weaning.

“In recognition of these advantages, SPC offers breeders the ability to forward contract to SPC with a $25 per head premium paid for all Certified Red Star weaners, which more than covers the costs associated with the program.”

According to SPC’s general manager of beef production Matthew Monk, the company uses Elders to source preferred Certified Red Star weaners to include in their finishing operation. “Certified Red Star weaners offer professional backgrounders, such as SPC, healthier cattle that suffer less transport shrinkage and adapt faster to conditions upon arrival.” “Red Star weaners display superior performance and greater consistency in both the paddock and feedlot, with their higher feed efficiency translating into feed savings for SPC.”

During the minimum of four days spent yard weaning, the calves need to be taught to feed from troughs or bunks. They should also be fed a Red Starapproved weaning concentrate while yarded and for a further 21 days after weaning. Yarded calves need to be handled using low stress techniques and be administered with the ELMS transport liquid to further reduce stress and to provide essential nutrients. These transport products must also be fed prior to the cattle being transported. A Red Star Weaner Certification application needs to include NLIS identification information for individual animals, signed Red Star program vendor declarations, and proof of purchase, such as tax invoices for all compulsory treatments.

More information: For more information on Red Star weaning, please contact your local Elders branch or Rob Bell from Livestock Central T: 0427 613 931 E: robert@livestockcentral.com.au

Yard weaning promotes quiet, easy-to-handle cattle which have been exposed to vehicles, people, yards, watering and feeding facilities and work area noises. Working calves through yard facilities during weaning will save time and effort when handling the cattle in the future. Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 28


Livestock

Taking the sting out of parasites Keeping a lid on parasite numbers not only makes for a happier, healthier herd, it can also save producers significant expense when it comes to drench costs and the labour needed to administer it.

I

ntegrated pest management (IPM) practices can decrease producers’ reliance on drenches and vaccines; assist in the timely identification of diseases and ultimately reduce stock losses, according to Elders’ Technical Services Manager — Livestock and Wool, Robbie Neale. As the name suggests IPM is a holistic approach to managing pests on-farm using a combination of methods including medicinal products and strategic pasture management plus applying a good knowledge of animal health and behaviour patterns. Drenching and droving According to Robbie combining drenching with the movement of cattle to lower risk pasture can maximise the benefits of drenching by reducing re-infection with lifestage 3 (L3) larvae. “Alternative grazing with sheep and cattle also has beneficial effects for worm control in both species as they share only one species of worm — small brown stomach worm (Ostertagia ostertagi).” “Knowing the disease cause is vital to shape an effective response. Faecal egg counts are useful to identify non-visible (subclinical) symptoms, allowing producers to take corrective action early to limit losses.” Robbie says waiting for the symptoms of pest infestations to appear before treatment can result in significant stock losses. “Symptoms can include weight loss, reduced milk yields, poor conception, low calving and weaning rates and retarded post-weaning growth. Infestations are typically quite high by the time such signs

According to Elders’ Technical Services Manager — Livestock and Wool, Robbie Neale it is only necessary to drench adults showing signs of parasites (determined via faecal egg counts) and bulls before and after mating.

are noticed and any treatment thereafter could be ineffective.”

Producers in doubt of the signs of a pest infestation should seek assistance from a veterinarian before implementing a management plan. Pesticide tolerance Integrated pest management also plays a role in slowing the development of drench resistance. The principles of IPM, including administering correct drench dosages, less frequent drench administration and Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 29

strategic pasture management, are all practices that will help extend the longevity of drench efficacy. Using a variety of chemicals, as opposed to relying on one mode of action, can also reduce resistance woes. “Producers should use products targeted to the appropriate parasite and aim to maintain flexibility in their drenching regime to accommodate seasonal changes and unusual weather,” Robbie said. Susceptibility to parasites Cattle vary in their susceptibility to parasites according to their age, sex and previous health record.


Livestock

“It’s therefore good practice for producers to have a handle on how these factors influence an animal’s health and their potential risk of pest infestation,” Robbie said.

“Young cattle are more susceptible to parasites than adults. As cattle age their immune response strengthens. “An animal’s health status will also affect its ability to withstand a parasite attack. Not surprisingly cattle in poor condition will have a weak immune response.” “Poor nutrition during unfavourable conditions such as drought is the most common cause of stress, which in turn increases an animal’s susceptibility to parasites” Introducing cattle to a new grazing environment can also increase the risk of infestation. “Newly-introduced animals will be particularly susceptible to parasites until their immune system adjusts to the new conditions. This may take several months and producers need to keep a close eye on such herds.” Working against worms Drench application and timing will have a larger impact than the brand used when it comes to effective worm control. “By two years of age most cattle have strong immunity to worms and as a result, adult cattle require less frequent treatment,” Robbie explained. “It is only necessary to drench adults showing signs of parasites (determined via faecal egg counts) and bulls before and after mating.” “An animal’s immunity will decrease when stressed such as during drought or at its first calving. Monitor parasite challenges and strategically drench when required.” “A cost-effective drench program will focus less on adults and more on cattle between weaning and two years of age.” Ostertagia and Cooperia

Ostertagia have an inhibited stage that enables them to form nodules in the stomach lining when pasture conditions are unsuitable.

Help cattle and your community

Larvae populations build up from late spring and peak during late summer. The nodules resume their development during autumn following opening rains with autumn being the most prevalent period for development of infective larvae stages.

Producers purchasing 15 drums of selected cattle drench from Elders between February–May 2011, will receive an Elders donation of $500 to be directed towards a local registered sporting club, community group or charity organisation of their choice.

Before selecting a drench consider the herd’s susceptibility to inhibited Ostertagia as efficacy at this stage varies. Cooperia are the main worm of 2-12 month old cattle. These animals start to develop strong resistance to re-infection from six months of age and by 12 months only a small number of Cooperia can establish. Cooperia are potentially dangerous in early weaned calves or in herds where calves are heavily stocked. However in most situations Cooperia are not a serious threat. Cooperia is the limiting parasite for the macrocyclic lactone (ML) drenches.

Producers can either purchase all 15 drums themselves or band together with friends and neighbours to reach the 15 drum target. To be eligible, producers must be Elders’ clients and purchase the drench through their Elders account, paying for it during the promotion period. More information: For more information speak to your local Elders representative or visit: W: www.elders.com.au/yourcattle

Barber’s Pole worm Barber’s Pole worm (Haemonchus placei) is found in high rainfall areas, particularly in coastal areas. They suck blood from the lining of the abomasum causing blood loss and anaemia. Heavy infestations result in a lack of stamina, pale gums, conjunctiva, bottle-jaw and weakness. The risk period occurs from spring-autumn when conditions are warm and moist, with disease most commonly occurring during late summer to early autumn. Worm treatments Strategic drenching and worm-free pastures can improve weight gains during the first spring after weaning by up to 60 kilograms per head. Three drench classes are available for treating cattle roundworms — macrocyclic lactones (ML), benzimidazoles (BZ) and levamisole. Drench directory Macrocyclic lactones (MLs)

Small brown stomach worm (Ostertagia ostertagi) is the most prolific roundworm in temperate Australia.

MLs offer exceptional efficacy against internal parasites, particularly for all stages of Ostertagia, for which they offer the best persistence of all drench classes.

While in the intestine, adult parasites mate and lay eggs that are expelled in faeces. The eggs hatch in dung pats and swim onto pasture where they are eaten by grazing cattle.

Persistence is important when cattle need to be returned to contaminated environments during autumn, winter or early spring. For example, spring-born calves weaned during autumn. Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 30

Benzimidazole drenches (Bzs) The BZs offer high efficacy against adult and immature Ostertagia. The majority of BZs are administered orally. Oral drenches usually cost about one-third less than ML drenches, which could be sufficient to cover the extra labour costs involved with oral drenching. Fendendazole and oxfendazole are more effective then albendazole against inhibited Ostertagia, with trial results suggesting they can remove up to 85 per cent of inhibited larvae. Levamisole Levamisole is available as a pour-on, oral and injectable product but its efficacy against inhibited Ostertagia larvae is low. The product is highly effective against adult worms in calves less than one year old that have acquired worms during autumn and winter. For 15-18 month old cattle it is 50-80% effective. Levamisole can be cost effective for the treatment of spring-born (July-October) autumn-weaned (March-May) cattle that have not ingested inhibited Ostertagia.

More information: Robbie Neale Technical Services Manager E: robbie.neale@elders.com.au


When you consider the facts, there’s only one tool When you consider the facts, there’s only one tool you should use to stop the spread of leptospirosis you should use to stop the spread of leptospirosis and control clostridial diseases. and control clostridial diseases. Ultravac®® 7in1 is the only vaccine with a claim for the Ultravac 7in1 is the only vaccine with a claim for the prevention of shedding of leptospires when used prevention of shedding of leptospires when used prior to natural exposure. Prevention of shedding prior to natural exposure. Prevention of shedding is vital in stopping the spread of this important is vital in stopping the spread of this important disease within your herd and to you, your family disease within your herd and to you, your family and workers. It is also the only vaccine with a and workers. It is also the only vaccine with a proven claim to keep the unborn calf safe and proven claim to keep the unborn calf safe and sound from leptospirosis. sound from leptospirosis. So when you really think about it, Ultravac®® 7in1 So when you really think about it, Ultravac 7in1 is the only product that ticks all the boxes. is the only product that ticks all the boxes.

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Prevents reproductive tract Prevents reproductive tract colonisation* colonisation* Calves can be vaccinated from Calves can be vaccinated from 4 weeks 4 weeks

*caused by Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo *caused by storage Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo **provided instructions are followed **provided storage instructions are followed

Health. Performance. Growth. Health. Performance. Growth. For more information talk to your local Elders branch. For more information talk to your Pfizer Cattle Product Specialist on 1800 335 374. For more information talk to your Pfizer Cattle Product Specialist Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd. 38–42 Wharf Road, West Ryde NSW 2114. on 1800 335 374. Pfizer Australia Ltd. Wharf Road, West Ryde PAL0341 NSW 2114. ABN 50 008 422Pty 348. ® 38–42 Registered trademark of Pfizer. ABN 50 008 422 348. ® Registered trademark of Pfizer. PAL0341


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Livestock

demand livens up dairy export market the live export trade for dairy heifers is proving a profitable option for Australian producers with demand forecast to outstrip supply for some time yet.

A

ustralia’s disease free status and Elders’ reputation for delivering a reliable, quality product has helped drive international demand for cattle in a number of markets including China. And the good news is, this demand is likely to continue across most market segments for the foreseeable future. During 2009-2010 Elders International exported a total of 55, 000 dairy heifers including more than 25,000 Australian heifers, making it the world’s largest exporter of breeding cattle. Elders not only has a reputation for reliable supply but also as a provider of high quality, high performing healthy breeding animals. Operations Manager for Elders International, Scott McDouall said Elders’ place in world agriculture meant it was well positioned to capitalise on global market opportunities, such as the demand for dairy breeding animals. “Elders International has a truly global presence and a great understanding of international agriculture, the opportunities for Australian livestock in the global marketplace as well as the different social, cultural and religious beliefs practiced around the world. “This knowledge and experience is backed by a nation-wide network of dedicated livestock specialists who work closely with

dairy producers on a daily basis to supply a broad range of live export markets,” Elders International prides itself on having a wide range of livestock specifications available to dairy producers. These specifications cover a variety of ages, weights and breeds of purebred dairy heifers for a wide range of export markets.

Specification flexibility allows Elders to work with producers of all types of dairy cattle while also offering competitive pricing and delivery terms backed by a team of livestock specialists and 14 days guaranteed payment terms after delivery. servicing the lucrative chinese market Increasing affluence in China is boosting the demand for dairy products and driving live dairy heifer exports to unprecedented levels. Australian cattle are keenly sought after for their disease-free status, adaptability to the varying Chinese climate as well as their ability to meet the high milk production requirements of importers. “The Chinese market is predominantly looking for young commercial Holstein Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 33

Operations Manager for Elders International, Scott McDouall says dairy farmers can increase their profitability and spread their market risk by producing dairy heifers for the export markets such as China.

heifers weighing 220-350 kilograms and also a small proportion of registered heifers,” Scott said. “However we recently negotiated and delivered the first ever full shipment of Jersey heifers to China. We are hopeful that this will continue into the future.” While China is the largest market at present, there is strong demand from other countries such as Pakistan, Russia, the Middle East and Turkey for Holstein, Jersey and cross-breed dairy heifers. Let elders do the organising Scott says farmers keen to sell into the Chinese market simply need to nominate their cattle to their local Elders representative. “Elders International will then organise an experienced buyer to select their animals


Livestock

as well as collecting the required pedigree information (NLIS tag, dam and registered sire identification). All the farmer needs to do is ensure the yarded cattle are healthy (drenched, vaccinated, no ringworm or warts and dehorned) and fit for export.” Elders handle the remaining requirements including ensuring cattle meet strict Chinese import protocols. This involves organising on-farm blood tests and property clearance declarations from State veterinary authorities. Once the protocol requirements have been met the cattle are delivered to registered quarantine premises across the country where they are held for 30 days.

While in quarantine the cattle undergo additional blood tests as well as various protocol treatments such as drenching and vaccinating. Elders also invests significantly in products such Bovilis MH, which when administered in a two-shot program helps ensure animal health is not compromised during the export process. safe travels Investing in specially designed livestock vessels, such as the MV Torrens, provides Elders complete control over the export process from the farm gate to the end customer. Elders International also has access to a range of charter vessels of various shapes and sizes to provide shipping flexibility. Air shipments of up to 500 cattle are also possible as part of Elders’ regular livestock charter flights departing from Melbourne and Sydney to a variety of international destinations. “Elders has an impeccable track record when it comes to sea and air transport which is built on a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of animal production, health and welfare,” Scott explained.

Thank you Australia! You continue to demand our Firefighter pumps ahead of all other portable high pressure pumps – and you know why – dependability! Right from the Australian Made pump to the genuine Honda engine, you get the best!

“We aim to be the exporter of choice for both Australian producers and importers throughout the world.”

Demand the Best – Demand Davey. Available at your local Elders branch.

Day after day...

Year after year...

For your local Davey dealer call: 1300 367 866 or visit: davey.com.au

Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 34

More information: Scott McDouall Operations Manager Elders International T: 0438 834 281 E: scott.mcdouall@elders.com .au


Horticulture

new vigour for early season veggie pest control A revolutionary new crop management system is set to change the way vegetables are grown in Australia.

c

alled DURIVO®, this unique soil-applied insecticide provides long-lasting protection against an army of grubs, aphids, thrips and other pests in early season vegetable crops.

Agronomist testimony

Its manufacturer, Syngenta, says a single treatment will protect young plants for up to 40 days, eliminating the need for up to eight conventional foliar or leaf sprays.

“This is an excellent tool for vegetable growers because it offers broad spectrum control in various crops,” Brian says.

Besides its excellent insecticidal properties, DURIVO produces a visible vigour effect in young plants, allowing them to express their full genetic potential. And best of all, it is applied in miniscule amounts at or before planting, minimising the risk of exposure for non-target species, workers and the environment. Vegetable growers throughout Australia are reporting excellent results, even under the heavy insect pressure experienced in Western Australia over summer. how it works DURIVO is registered for the control of key Lepidoptera, chewing and sucking pests in brassicas, fruiting vegetables and leafy vegetables. The two active ingredients are taken up by the roots of seedlings and are then translocated upwards throughout the plant. Sucking and chewing pests then ingest the active ingredients during their normal feeding behaviour. Affected insects become paralysed, cease feeding within hours and then die within a day or two. The active ingredients also produce a well-documented vigour effect, with treated plants having noticeably more foliage and enhanced root systems.

Accredited Elders agronomists, such as Pakenham senior agronomist, Brian Brewer, are at the vanguard of the adoption of this technology.

“Instead of a grower needing a shed full of chemicals to control different pests in different crops, a single product can do the lot. “Even better, the seedlings can be treated in the nursery, so they don’t have to worry about chemical application or rainfastness. “It allows growers to produce vegetables with minimal chemicals, improving everything from safety for the grower through to safety for the consumer.” Brian predicts the long-lasting protection provided by DURIVO will save growers hundreds of hours each year. “In one of my trials, it provided effective control of Diamondback Moth for four weeks, which represents a saving of four or five foliar sprays,” he said. “We observed Diamondback Moth and Cabbage White Butterfly eggs on some plants early on in the trial but we went back to the same plants a week later and found they hadn’t been damaged at all. Application alternatives DURIVO can be applied as a planting hole treatment in the field immediately before or after transplanting or more typically, as a seedling tray drench in the nursery. Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 36

Boomaroo Nurseries operations manager, Ian Willert, says DURIVO will provide growers a ‘technical edge’. “Growers don’t want to be spraying chemicals every week – they’re looking at new technology that lasts longer in the field and reduces their spraying footprint,” he says. “DURIVO fits that need exactly. “Until now, growers just haven’t had access to that kind of residual and flexibility in a single product.” Boomaroo, which supplies almost 300 million seedlings to vegetable growers throughout Australia each year, conducted several trials last year with outstanding results. “We were really surprised by how it covers such a wide range of pests in so many different crops,” Ian said. “As a seedling raiser, growers expect us to present an even, healthy line of plants that’s ready for transplanting and capable of meeting its genetic potential... seedlings that will grow on and achieve maximum marketable yield. “DURIVO provides this sort of technology and Syngenta provides the technical support they want.”

More information: Sean Richardson Syngenta Portfolio Manager - Potatoes and Vegetables T: (02) 8876 8415 E: sean.richardson@syngenta.com


The revolution is here!

New DURIVO速 from Syngenta will forever change the way you grow brassicas, tomatoes, lettuce and other vegetable crops. Applied at or before transplanting, just one treatment protects seedlings against Lepidoptera, chewing and sucking pests for up to 40 days! DURIVO protects and energises right from the start, allowing plants to perform to their full genetic potential unimpeded by insect pests. The end result is healthier, stronger crops that deliver higher marketable yields at the finish. For further information please call the Syngenta Product Advice Line on 1800 067 108 or visit www.syngenta.com.au

Available at selected Elders stores.

DURIVO is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. All products in upper case are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. AD11/021


Horticulture

Post harvest: the need to get it right fruit and vegetable growers are reminded not to underestimate the effect post-harvest practices have on produce quality and as a result, market value.

P

ost-harvest is a critical stage in the journey from paddock to plate for Australia’s fruit and vegetables, according to Dr Jenny Jobling, an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Sydney and a recognised industry expert on post-harvest practices.

to ensure it arrives in the market in good condition.”

“I think there’s a feeling out there that what growers do post-harvest won’t make a difference, whereas this really isn’t true,” Jenny explained.

“Measure the core temperature of the product, the cool room temperature, pallet airflow circulation, and the temperature inside delivery trucks.

“A product only has a finite shelf life. Implementing sound post-harvest practices goes along way to optimising shelf life length.”

“Many growers assume the cool chain is working correctly but is it really?

Jenny says every task in fruit and vegetable production counts towards improving shelf life including choosing the correct plant variety, growing in the right season, harvesting at the optimum time, precooling, storing at the correct temperature, correct packaging, and minimising any physical damage. Presenting well “It’s important to ensure product arrives at market in a saleable condition – if your product’s the worst quality on sale, it’s the last to be purchased,” Jenny said. “People get paid the highest price when there’s the lowest supply and that’s often on seasonal shoulders, which is when the product is usually growing under some degree of climatic stress. “That product is already being challenged by difficult environmental conditions and so it’s even more important for growers to follow correct post-harvest procedure

feeling the heat Jenny says measuring temperature through the post-harvest period is critical, coupled with good hygiene, clean washing water, and careful packing.

A supporting role Elders’ agronomist, Jason Blackwood, Gatton, Queensland, specialises in lettuce and broccoli production. He is a part of an expansive network of Elders agronomists, who take nutrition management and control of pests and diseases very seriously.

Jason says while his focus is on in-crop management, postharvest management is just as important.

“As electricity prices increase, there are also real cost savings to be made by people taking this procedure seriously by checking that cooling is as efficient as possible.

“Inputs leading up to harvest can be costly, especially if post-harvest measures are not taken to ensure the product remains saleable,” he says.

“Effective and efficient cooling uses less energy and will save growers money.”

“Our production window in the Lockyer Valley is predominantly during winter so product is transported off-farm and into cool storage, as soon as possible.

the complete package “Prevent physical damage by preventing bruising, package to correct weights and with the correct plastic film. Always use registered chemicals at the correct rates. Consumers are becoming increasingly intolerant of any breach of chemical residue specifications,” Jenny said. “Post-harvest fungicides and sanitisers play a very important role in the process of delivering the perfect product that people have come to expect. “If people use the correct registered postharvest fungicides, sanitisers or waxes responsibly and appropriately then we can minimise any problems for consumers in relation to breaches of maximum residue limits (MRLs).” Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 38

“Our major influences are nutrition and pest and disease control, so we’re in the field each week monitoring crops and their growth.” “Elders agronomists are in partnership with growers throughout the entire crop production cycle to ensure their businesses are sustainable now and into the future.”

More information: Jason Blackwood Agronomist, Gatton Queensland E: jason.blackwood@elders.com.au


Horticulture

watching grass grow former sydney basin vegetable farmers, perplexed by poor returns, have made a rapid switch to turf production, and elders has been there to support the transition.

d

uring the past 18 months alone, Elders’ sales in this region of Hydro Complex® compound fertiliser have converted from a vegetable farm/tree plantation dominance to 40 per cent of product now being applied to turf farms. Elders’ agronomist at Windsor, Nick Gray, says there has been a real shift in operations on Sydney Basin farms, from traditional machinery and hard chemicals to technology adoption for improved efficiencies, changes in enterprise mix, and the use for more consumer-friendly chemistry. “There are now so many turf farmers in the Sydney Basin that competition is heating up and they’re looking at new ways to set themselves apart.”

“Turf production has developed from household use turf to include niche varieties such as those used for sports grounds and golf courses.” “We’re starting to do a lot more work with these farmers by providing them with new fertilisers and chemicals. “During the past couple of years I have seen farmers move away from the traditional use of chicken manures, and switch to using more compound fertilisers. “As a truckload of Hydro Complex® comes in to us, it goes straight back out to growers and we’re struggling to keep up with the growing demand.” Nick who has worked for Elders in the Sydney Basin region for the past six years says while urban sprawl has impacted on farming area to a small degree, the big change has been in enterprise.

“We’ve got a lot of turf and vegetable farms being sold to horse people for polo grounds and horse studs,” he says. “Some of the other areas are traditional greenhouse areas but the price of land in western Sydney has gone through the roof so a lot of the traditional farmers are moving out into central west NSW, the central coast and to the north coast as well. “The vegetable market has been a fairly stagnant market in terms of pricing so during the past 10-15 years, we’ve seen the transition to turf. “A lot of turf is being grown in Sydney and transported to Victoria and South Australia where they haven’t been able to grow it due to water restrictions. “Where the NSW growers were once quiet in winter, they’re now flat out year-round servicing other states.” Softer chemicals such as Senator® are now more popular among growers, in response Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 39

to growing consumer demand for less chemical use. Syngenta Crop Protection is about to release a new pre-emergent herbicide, Barricade®, and Elders is co-organising information days about the new product, during March. “I can see the quality of the product that growers are growing will be a big focus from here on in. Growers will want to ensure fewer weeds, and will be interested in using softer herbicides to ensure their product is safe to the end user,” Nick said. “Elders is also focusing on production and is helping growers to turn-off their turf far more quickly so they can go from two cuts a year to two and a half.”

More information: Nick Gray, Agronomist – Windsor, NSW T: 0419 182 215 E: nicholas.gray@elders.com.au


An Elders Magazine

CALENDAR wagin woolorama (wA) March 11&12

northern territory cattlemen’s Association conference, katherine (nt) April 1

sA Merino field days, burra (sA) March 21&22

Mountain calf sales, omeo (vic) March 15&16

Ausveg 2011 — national convention and trade, brisbane (QLd) April 14–16

royal easter show, sydney (nsw) April 14–17

Agfest, Launceston (tAs) May 5–7

SUBSCRIBE HERE If you have enjoyed reading Advance, why not subscribe. Subscription is free to Elders clients. To subscribe email advancemagazine@elders.com.au or submit an online form at www.advancemagazine.com.au

best wishes to glenn and sara! Elders congratulate Elders Brand Ambassador Glenn McGrath on his recent marriage to Sara Leonardi. Glenn and Sara tied the knot in a low-key private ceremony at their Sydney home during November 2010, surrounded by a handful of family members. We wish the happy couple a long married life together.

gLenn McgrAth coMing to A town neAr you! • March 15–17 — Elders Mountain Weaner Sale — Omeo, VIC • March 17 — Macquarie Pastoral Dinner, Sydney • March 21–22 — National Poll Dorset Conference — Wagga, Wagga, NSW

• March 25–28 — Charity cricket match — Carnarvon, WA

Advance/Autumn 2011/#8/elders.com.au 40


nEw gEnEration ration ZolviX. worMs don’t stand a chancE.

introducing thE nEw orangE drEnch class, thE first nEw class of shEEp drEnch sincE thE 1980’s.

kills >99.9% s of worM

XAVIER_24640_10/10

With its unique mode of action, zero resistance2 ZOLVIX offers unparalleled levels of worm control and certainty. This season, use ZOLVIX as part of your drenching program and boost your productivity3 now and into the future.

References 1. Kills > 99.9% of barbers pole, small brown stomach and black scour worms. A pooled analysis of the efficacy of monepantel, an amino-acetonitrile derivative against gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep. Hosking et al., Parasitol Res (2010), 106: 529-532. 2. Zero Resistance – no monepantel resistant nermatode populations exist in the field. 3. “The production costs of anthelmintic resistance in sheep managed within a monthly preventive drench programme.” Sutherland, I.A.1, Bailey, J.2 and Shaw, R.S.1 1AgResearch Ltd., The Hopkirk Research Institute and 2Novartis Animal Health Australasia. ZOLVIX contains 25 g/L monepantel, a member of the Amino-Acetonitrile Derivative (AAD) class of anthelmintics. ZOLVIX® is a registered trademark and OPTIMUM™ is a trademark of Novartis AG, Basel, Switzerland. For full product details contact NOVARTIS CUSTOMER ADVISORY LINE on 1800 633 768 TOLL FREE between 8.30am and 5.30pm E.S.T. Monday to Friday. Bleed line Novartis Animal Health Australasia Pty Limited, ACN 076 745 198, 54 Waterloo Road, North Ryde NSW 2113.

EvEry flock, EvEry yEar

To find out how to benefit most from ZOLVIX contact your local Novartis Worm Control Advisor on 1800 ZOLVIX or visit your local Elders branch.

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“Move not, unless you see an advantage.” Sun Tzu – The Art Of War

up d n u o R AX M r e w Po

The leading advantages of Roundup PowerMAX®: • Protection from the rain in just 30 minutes, so you can keep spraying, almost until a storm hits • Gets in faster to deliver the best weed control guaranteed • Avoid costly re-sprays • Superior surfactant loadings

NUF6090Redhanded

• More than 40 registered tank mix partners Nothing works harder. For further information visit nufarm.com.au/rounduppowermax or your local Elders branch Roundup PowerMAX is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC used under licence by Nufarm Australia Limited. *Nufarm No Worries Warranty: 100% product replacement for performance failure when used in accordance to the label.

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ro t n o C Weed

Elders Advance Autumn  

Elders Advance Autumn 2011 Magazine

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