North Coast Local Land Services' district veterinarian team is warning local cattle producers about an increase in the number of cases of plant poisonings in livestock in recent weeks. Plant poisoning usually occurs when cattle are introduced to unfamiliar surroundings containing toxic plants or when other feed is scarce, and animals go in search of the green pick.
The viability of Australia’s biggest tea grower is under threat following a year of extreme weather that has decimated crops. Two severe frosts, followed by a prolonged dry period over the past 12 months, have decimated the Nerada tea plantation in Far North Queensland, wiping out nearly 50 per cent of the black tea yield, the company has revealed.
Five months after the unprecedented flood which turned parts of north west Queensland into a vast inland sea, producers are being asked to count the cost of the disaster. Graziers and producers from across the north are being asked to provide estimates of stock and infrastructure losses, as well as the support services which they accessed in the wake of the flood.
ABARES says its own analysis, based on industry estimates, places the number of cattle producers lost as a result of severe flood events in northern Queensland in late January and early February 2019 at 600,000. It also notes that recent saleyard data indicates that demand for young cattle for restocking is high in northern Queensland.
Pemberton potato grower Brett De Campo has ploughed in 120 tons of perfectly good potatoes this month and has given another 30 tons to a Busselton dairy farmer for cattle feed. He expects to walk away from another 120 tons before his harvest ends in mid-May, because of a glut in the market that has worsened since industry deregulation in 2016.
Sorghum has taken a hard hit, with farmers forced to bale some crops for feed. The ongoing drought conditions saw cropping greatly reduced around the region and staggered planting and harvesting. Agronomist Jim Hunt said crops planted in October suffered from low soil moisture and the summer heat while those planted in late 2018 missed the worst of it.
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