Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health, Tasmania (firstname.lastname@example.org):
In the Tasmanian parlance there are more drippy noses than stiff Williams this morning (and definitely so the week before last when it was –13 at Liawinne). Widespread rain in the last week gives promise of an early spring. Despite my piss and moan about the cold, it has, in reality, been a very mild winter. Client's lambing paddocks are looking reasonable, and those lambing after September 1 should have requisite pasture quantities.
Although egg counts have remained pleasingly low, there have been some blowouts in weaner egg counts. This is not surprising. Because of the dry autumn weaner weights are lower than some years and the price of grain discourages excessive supplementation. So, with light weaners and some moisture the Trichs will seize the moment. Previously, I've mentioned "Smart Grazing" as a means of getting weaners through the winter. Only 3 clients practice it religiously, but to date their weaners have remained undrenched since being put on the Smart Graze paddocks in the late autumn. It really is worth considering, particularly on merino dominant places with a majority of perennial pastures.