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Get the farm ready for Christmas and enjoy a stress free festive season

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and a bit of pre-Christmas planning could make for

a stress free festive season for farmers!

“With less than four weeks to go till Christmas, it’s not just trimming the tree and ordering the

ham that farmers need to take into account,” said Sue Street from Central Tablelands Local

Land Services.

Meatworks and saleyards will shortly be closing for their annual Christmas shut down period.

Without the option of selling stock during the closure, sheep and cattle producers need to

check they have sufficient feed on hand for livestock, whether that’s grass in the paddock,

grain in the silo or hay in the shed.

“Think about your livestock numbers, and how much feed you have available to maintain

animals in a healthy condition until markets reopen in the New Year,” advised Ms Street.

“Now might be a good time to bring stock into the yards, condition score them and draft off

any animals suitable for sale either via the saleyards or direct to a processor before the

abattoirs close for the holidays.”

Stock agents are also likely to be taking a break over Christmas. Contact them as soon as

possible if you want advice on meeting market specifications and negotiating the best price

to get animals off farm before the end of the year.

Water supplies are also an important issue to consider as the summer weather warms up.

Make sure bores and troughs are working well and if dams are likely to dry up, start planning

now on moving stock to paddocks where there is a safer water source.

“It’s important to remember that livestock will increase water consumption significantly in

warm weather. Making sure stock also have access to shade and shelter from the heat is

also essential to meet basic animal welfare standards.

“It’s been a stressful year for most landholders due to the dry conditions we’ve experienced

in 2018,” said Ms Street.

“Farmers who start planning ahead now, will be in the best position to enjoy some much

deserved rest and family time over Christmas.

“If you know you’ve taken care of your land and their livestock, hopefully you’ll be able to

enjoy Christmas without any extra worries.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services is holding Beat the Heat stock water workshops in Cumnock and Eugowra on Tuesday 4 December and Euchareena on Wednesday 5 December, to advise on livestock water quality and quantity requirements over summer.  Check out our events page for details.