May 2013 THIS ISSUE INCLUDES: KEEPING A MATE SAFE FACEBOOK C-DAX PASTURE METER

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1 Tassie Dairy News ISSUE Produced for the Tasmanian Dairy Industry by the TIA Dairy Centre, University of Tasmania Funded by Dairy Australia, DairyTas and TIA 10 May 2013 THIS ISSUE INCLUDES: KEEPING A MATE SAFE FACEBOOK C-DAX PASTURE METER Wet Soil Management Lesley Irvine, TIA Dairy Centre Damage to wet soils can reduce pasture growth by 20-80%, reduce pasture utilisation by 20-40% and reduce ryegrass tiller density by 39-54%. In addition, pugging damage results in less clover in the pasture, increased leaching of nutrients, more weeds in the pasture, uneven paddocks and stress on farmers and animals. The ways to reduce these problems by minimising damage to wet soils was the topic of a series of field days held in north-west Tasmania. The field days were held as part of the Dairy Smart project and were sponsored by Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management (CC NRM). Assessing the severity of the problem The actions taken to minimise the damage caused by wet soils depends on the frequency and severity of the waterlogging problem. Farms in which the soil is only waterlogged for short periods of time, or only small areas of the farm are affected, probably only need to consider grazing management options to minimise damage. Farms in which a large percentage of the grazing area is waterlogged through winter and into spring should consider infrastructure options such as drainage, feedpads and/or stand-off areas in addition to grazing management strategies. Grazing management strategies Aim to have good pre-grazing pasture covers (greater than 2200 kg DM/ha). This cushions the soil and reduces the amount of pugging damage. Achieve these covers through grazing ryegrass pasture at the leaf stage and the strategic use of nitrogen. Target grazing of paddocks that are less prone to waterlogging during extremely wet periods. Allocate day and night feeds separately. Allocate about 2/3 of the feed during the day and 1/3 at night. This reduces the amount of walking over the whole area. Feed out hay/silage on the fresh pasture prior to putting the cows in the paddock this will stop them following the tractor around and pugging the soil. To minimise wastage of hay/silage, feed-out along a fence line. Use on-off grazing. Research in south-west Victoria has shown that cattle can consume about 6 10 kg DM/ cow in 2-4 hours provided the average pasture cover is reasonable. After 2 hours of grazing, the cows had eaten about 70% of what they would normally consume in a 12 hour grazing period. After 4 hours, the cows had consumed 77-88% (only 77% was consumed from pasture that had a lower pre-grazing cover of 2120 kg DM/ha compared to 88% being consumed when the pre-grazing cover was 3100 kg DM/ha). Cows that are taken-off pasture after 2-4 hours can be stood on feedpads, stand-off areas, sacrifice paddocks, laneways, or in the dairy yard where they can be supplemented with hay or silage rather than feeding it in the paddock. Use back-fencing to reduce walking over areas that have already been grazed. Scott McDonald discussing the location of water troughs on feed pads at the Forest field day DON T keep on giving the cows larger grazing areas in an attempt to minimise damage, while this may work in the short-term, it will soon result in running-out of pasture to graze and ultimately more damage to the soil. Infrastructure options This includes drainage, stand-off areas and feedpads. Scott McDonald from the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) spoke at the fields days on the various infrastructure feed options from the lower cost hay/ silage feeders set-up in a paddock, to the mid-range concrete feedpads on which hay and silage is fed-out, to the top-end housed situations in which the majority of feed is brought to the cows. Scott emphasised that to justify building a feedpad, it really should be addressing a number of issues on the farm (rather than just one). These issues may include: Wet soil management Feeding large amounts of supplement Concerns over feed wastage Winter milking David Squibb from PGG Wrightson Seeds spoke on assessing the damage to soils and then options for improving pasture production from these areas. Severely damaged soil is best managed by cultivating and either putting in a crop or re-sowing directly to pasture. Areas which are not severely damaged can be improved by harrowing, rolling or using a smudge bar and then oversowing with pasture to increase density. More information about wet soil management is available on the Victorian DEPI website (www.dpi.vic.gov.au; click on the link to Agriculture then Dairy then Wet Soil Management ). The reason that these field days were only held in the NW region was because they were sponsored through CC NRM. We are currently determining whether we can hold similar field days in other regions. TASMANIAN INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE

2 2 Tactics For Tight Times Update Lesley Irvine, Liz Mann & Mark Fergusson, TIA Dairy Centre Stuart & Karen Burr With this season coming to a close, Stuart and Karen are now looking carefully at what they do this season to avoid affecting next season. In the next few days a farm walk will take place on the milking area. The results from this will determine dry-off date and if supplements are to be reduced. Presently Stuart and Karen are very conscious that while cash-flow would be handy, if milking on longer affects next spring then it is not worth doing. With calving in mind Stuart has already worked out how to manage his calving cows and purchased the required feed. Previously Stuart has used oaten hay and lead feed pellets. However, this year as the oat crop was not as good, grass Figure 1 Operating costs on a per kilogram milksolids basis for Stuart and Karen Burr (original budget was based on producing 190,000 kg MS, this was revised to 175,000 kg MS part-way through the season). straw was purchased to fill the gap. On a cost per kilogram of dry matter basis the grass straw works out at 11 cents and oaten hay works out at 17 cents. However the grass straw has very low energy and protein, but it will work in feeding springing cows. On the farm, new pastures have been sown with various blends of ryegrass and clovers used on the irrigated areas and ryegrass, cocksfoot and red, white and bladder clovers sown on the dryland areas. Fertiliser has been applied at rates between 250 kg/ha up to 500 kg/ha depending on soil test results. Lime will also be applied based on soil test results. Mark Twose & Debbie Townsend While the farm owners (Brian McNab & Bev Swale) are confident that there will be a further step-up this season, the budget is showing that even without a step-up, there will still be a profit made on this farm. The aim is to fully feed the cows and they are currently being fed 7 kg grain, 4.5 kg DM silage plus 10.5 kg DM pasture. Current production is 1.84 kg MS. Table 1 Yield to date (YTD) to March 31, 2013 compared to actuals and budget for M Twose and D Townsend share farming for B McNab and B Swale Actuals YTD total Budget Totals $/kg MS Totals $/kg MS Totals $/kg MS 184 Cows milked ,000 Milksolids production, kg 88, , Grain, tonnes 443 $ 763,000 $ 6.36 Milk income, $ $ 401,199 $ 4.52 $ 683,264 $ 5.40 $ 66,500 $ 0.55 Livestock sales $ 14,969 $ 0.17 $ 15,000 $ 0.12 Other income $ 86,656 $ 0.98 $ 829,500 $ 6.91 Total cash income $ 502,824 $ 5.67 $ 698,264 $ 5.52 Expenses $ 214,000 $ 1.78 Supplement, $ $ 165,343 $ 1.86 $ 186,420 $ 1.47 $ 41,000 $ 0.34 Fertiliser $ 27,166 $ 0.31 $ 45,000 $ 0.36 $ 5,000 $ 0.04 Repairs & maintenance $ 5,125 $ 0.06 $ 5,040 $ 0.04 $ 24,900 $ 0.21 Other dairy expenses $ 63,081 $ 0.71 $ 43,700 $ 0.35 $ 284,900 $ 2.37 Total cash operating costs $ 260,715 $ 2.94 $ 280,160 $ 2.21 $ 544,600 $ 4.54 Cash operating surplus before finance & drawings $ 242,109 $ 2.73 $ 418,104 $ 3.30 Barry & Deb Chandler Barry & Deb are milking 530 cows, producing 1.35 kg milksolids per cow on a diet of kg DM per cow (4 kg grain, 7 kg DM pasture, 2-3 kg silage/oaten hay). Rotation length has been extended to 60 days and this will be taken out to 80 days over winter. Urea has been applied and will continue to be applied while the pasture is growing. Spending has been over budget on supplementary feed (budgeted on feeding 600 kg grain per cow, currently at 660 kg and expect to reach 850 kg by the end of the season). The decision was made to continue purchasing concentrates as a feedbudget showed that some additional feed purchases would be required and it was more cost effective to purchase concentrate for the milking cows than feed for other stock. The heifers have returned from agistment and they are a bit smaller than target which means they will need to be fed well over winter. Table 2 Yield to date (YTD) to March 31, 2013 compared to actuals and budget for B&D Chandler Actuals YTD Total Budget Totals $/kg MS Totals $/kg MS Totals $/kg MS 580 Cows milked ,101 Milksolids, kg ,374 $1,220,992 $4.86 Milk income, net $ $803,781 $4.49 $1,158,666 $ , Livestock sales $22,782 $ , , Other income $1,534 $ $1,387,512 $5.53 Total cash income $828,097 $4.62 $1,278,566 $5.03 Expenses $130,751 $0.52 Supplement $133,791 $0.75 $154,000 $ , Fertiliser $18,458 $ , , Repairs & maintenance $24,973 $0.14 8, , Other expenses $290,903 $ , $851,921 $3.39 Total cash operating costs $468,125 $2.61 $759,950 $2.99 $535,591 $2.13 Cash operating surplus before finance & drawings $359,972 $2.01 $518,616 $2.04 $ 544,600 $ 4.54 Cash operating surplus before finance & drawings $ 242,109 $ 2.73 $ 418,104 $ 3.30

3 Keeping A Mate Safe Lesley Irvine, TIA Dairy Centre This season has been challenging, and stressful, for many farmers in Tasmania. Through the Tactics for Tight Times project, Dairy Australia has provided funding to assist farmers in managing these challenging conditions. Support is continuing through the Taking Stock assessments in which a consultant will visit individual farms and work through the current position of the farm and develop a plan to move forward (contact DairyTas on if you are interested in this free service). There are also a number of other organisations that provide support in challenging times. These include the Rural Financial Counselling Service (www.rfcstasmania.com.au; phone ) and Lifeline (www.lifeline.org.au; phone ). Another support service is Rural Alive and Well Inc. which is a not-for-profit organisation delivering community wellbeing in southern Tasmania but they also have resources available on their website that may assist. In their January/February issue of the RAW newletter (available on the website), the organisation included some information on how to keep a MATE safe: Monitor your mate s behaviour - Are they acting differently or strangely? Watch for warning signs. Alert: stay watchful. We all have bad days. However, if your mate shows two or more warning signs, they may be at risk of depression. Talk to your Mate - Ask the question: ARE YOU ALRIGHT? the only way to check if they are ok is to ask. Engage with your mate - Encourage them to seek help, visit a doctor or speak to a counsellor. Offer to get them some assistance; it may be all it takes to keep them safe. In a blog written by Alison Farleigh (talkingfarleigh.blogspot. com.au) she emphasised the benefits of getting time away from your own farm. Alison used a discussion group as an example, but it also applies to social or community events: Caring effective Farm Discussion Groups can be so supportive when farmers are going through a hell of a time. Now is the time NOT to miss your Discussion Group day. Go looking for workable solutions. Go so you realise that everyone else is struggling too & that you are NOT alone. Go so that you get off your own farm for a few hours. Go just for the laughter! Take a neighbour or farming friend to your group meeting (even if it is only once). Introduce them to positive caring people in your group. Have a laugh together, talk about possible help the group might offer, talk solutions & next steps looking forward. Your group can help your district recover quicker. If you are the facilitator don t allow the group to get into negative think and negative talk. Talk about the Rugby, AFL, Hurling, fishing and the Grand Prix as well as cow condition and pasture covers. If you go to your Farm Discussion Group meeting and Bill isn t there?... ask if anyone else has seen Bill? Who spoke to Bill recently...is he okay? Don t encourage drinking binges but go for a talk over tea or coffee. If Andrea doesn t show up either?... has anyone rung her to see if she is okay? Take good care of your mates! When you get home... ring Bill... ring Andrea to make sure they are both okay! Don t allow your mates to isolate themselves it s dangerous right now! It s important... Take good care of your Mates! For a list of resources, check-out Alison Farleigh s blog or The Blokes Book What Are The Warning Signs? The following is a list of signs that people might give in order to communicate their distress to others when they are feeling anguished and overwhelmed. These physical changes and behaviours are indicators that a person might be thinking about suicide. The signs that are strong indicators that a person may be thinking about suicide have been underlined. It is most likely that a suicidal person will display a combination of these signs rather than one single sign. Observable signs (physical changes and behaviours) Physical changes Loss of physical energy Loss of interest in personal hygiene or appearance Major changes to sleeping patterns too much or too little Loss of interest in sex Sudden and extreme changes in eating habits either loss of appetite or increase in appetite Weight gain or loss Increase in minor illnesses Behaviours Unexplained crying Emotional outbursts Alcohol or drug misuse Uncharacteristic risk-taking or recklessness (for example, driving recklessly) Fighting and/or breaking the law Withdrawal from family and friends Quitting activities that were previously important Prior suicidal behaviour Self-harming Putting affairs in order e.g. giving away possessions, especially those that have special significance for the person Writing a suicide note or goodbye letters to people Continued on p. 4 How To Ask R U OK? Connection is good for us all, so reach out to someone you care about and ask them, Are you ok? You don t have to be an expert to support someone going through a tough time. You just need to be able to listen to their concerns without judgment and take the time to follow up with them. Below are some simple steps to start a conversation. 1. Ask the question, Are you ok? Start a general conversation; preferably somewhere private Build trust through good eye contact, open and relaxed body language Ask open ended questions What s been happening? How are you going? I ve noticed that... What s going on for you at the moment? You don t seem like yourself and I m wondering are you ok? Is there anything that s contributing? 2. Listen without judgement Guide the conversation with caring questions and give them time to reply Don t rush to solve problems for them Help them understand that solutions are available when they re ready to start exploring these How has that made you feel? How long have you felt this way? What do you think caused this reaction? Continued on p. 4 3

4 Continued from p. 3 What are the Warning Signs Conversational signs Escape I can t take this anymore No future What s the point? Things are never going to get any better Guilt It s all my fault, I m to blame Alone I m on my own no-one cares about me Damaged I ve been irreparably damaged I ll never be the same again Helpless Nothing I do makes a bit of difference, It s beyond my control Preoccupied Talking about suicide or death Planning for suicide Feelings Desperation Anger Worthlessness Loneliness Disconnection Sadness Shame Powerlessness Isolation Hopelessness Responding to warning signs Speak up if you are worried. Talking to a friend or family member about their suicidal thoughts and feelings can be extremely difficult. But if you re unsure whether someone is suicidal, the best way to find out is to ask. Sometimes people are worried that they might put the idea of suicide into the person s head if they ask about suicide. You can t make a person suicidal by showing that you care. In fact, giving a suicidal person the opportunity to express his or her feelings can provide relief from loneliness and pent-up negative feelings, and may prevent a suicide attempt. Ways to start a conversation about suicide: I have been concerned about you lately. I wanted to check in with you because you haven t seemed yourself lately. Questions you can ask: How can I best support you right now? How long have you been feeling this way? What you can say that helps: You are not alone in this. I m here for you. I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help. Assess the risk If a friend or family member tells you that he or she is thinking about suicide, it is important to evaluate the risk. Those at highest risk in the immediate future, have the intention to end their life, have a specific plan, and the time frame and means to carry out the plan. If the person is at high risk of suicide, seek immediate help by calling 000 (police, ambulance), or with their permission take the person to hospital. Know where to go for support Find out what services are available. This should include local emergency services, community health services and hospitals. Keep a list of contact details and times when the services are available. You can look up local services at The suicide callback service is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week on and will provide help in a crisis and free counselling sessions for those who are thinking about suicide, concerned that someone they know is thinking about suicide or for those who have been bereaved by suicide. Continued from p. 3 How to Ask R U OK? 3. Encourage action Summarise the issues and ask them what they plan to do Encourage them to take one step, such as see their doctor What do you think might help your situation? Have you considered making an appointment with your doctor? Would you like me to make an appointment or come with you? 4. Follow up Put a note in your diary to call them in one week. If they re desperate, follow up sooner Ask if they ve managed to take that first step and see someone If they didn t find this experience helpful, urge them to try a different professional because there s someone out there who can help them How are things going? Did you speak with your doctor? What did they suggest? What did you think of their advice? You ve had a busy time. Would you like me to make the appointment? Dealing with denial? If they deny the problem, don t criticise them. Acknowledge they re not ready to talk Say you re still concerned about changes in their behaviour and you care about them Ask if you can enquire again next week if there s no improvement Avoid a confrontation with the person unless it s necessary to prevent them hurting themselves or others It s ok that you don t want to talk about it but please don t hesitate to call me when you re ready to discuss it. Can we meet up next week for a chat? Is there someone else you d rather discuss this with? What if I can t speak to them faceto-face? Use the same 4 steps above and talk to them over the phone Avoid calling from a noisy place or whilst traveling If they re in a rush, make a time to call them back Remember that they can t see your face, so it s important to verbally indicate your support I wanted to call up and have a chat to you about how you re going. Is now a good time? It sounds like you re busy or in a rush. When is a good time to call you back to have a proper chat? Can I use social media? Social media is a great way to share personal tips and information on coping strategies and wellbeing tips (visit our facebook.com/ruokday for examples) Send positive messages but avoid publicly commenting on how someone s coping Encourage a conversation over the phone or in person by suggesting a time to catch up Think carefully before posting or sharing content. What may be appropriate face-to-face could be misinterpreted online. If you re wondering how the comment might be interpreted, it s probably best not to send it and to give them a call instead. 4

5 The World Of Facebook Wonderful, Or A Waste Of Time? Alison Hall, TIA Dairy Centre Does it feel like everyone you know is on Facebook? Been wondering what they are all talking about? What s the point of it all? Or do you want to be a part of it, but are not sure how to start? The world of social networking can be a daunting place if you re not familiar with it, but Facebook is quite simple, and fun, to use once you start. Facebook is the largest online social networking site, with over one billion users worldwide. Facebook allows people to interact, share photos, and find and connect with people. In addition to social purposes, many people also use Facebook for business purposes and networking. An increasing number of businesses will link users to a Facebook page to find more information. Knowing how to use Facebook for business has now become a major part of online marketing strategies, and is a way to reach many more potential customers. How to make a Facebook account: Step 1 Register your profile on Facebook. The first step is to get on the internet, and go to www. facebook.com. The first screen should look like this: To create your account, enter your details in the boxes name, address and password. Your password must contain a combination of letters and numbers. Then click sign up. A confirmation will be sent to the address you used to join you will need to verify your by following the link sent to you. Now you can access Facebook and find your friends online. This can be done at this step using your address list, or at a later stage. Click skip if you d like to find friends later. Step 2 Enter profile information If you ve added friends, or skipped the step, the next thing to do is to enter your profile information. This includes things like your current city, employer, hometown etc. If you logged out before filling in your profile, when you log back in there will be an edit profile link under your name on the left hand side. This will take you to the section where you can edit your profile information. Step 3 Upload a profile picture This can be a photo from your computer, and helps friends recognise you if they are looking for you on Facebook, and helps to personalise your page. You can come back and edit any of your profile information at any time, by clicking the link edit profile underneath your name on the left hand side of the screen. Once on this page, click the edit button next to any of the sections to change your information. You can also choose to make information only available to certain people. For example, if you don t want people to know your birthday or phone number, when you click on the edit button for that section another box will appear. On the right hand side there is a drop down arrow next to each category if you click this arrow, you can choose to make this information available to yourself only, friends only, or public. If your Facebook page is a private one, you may choose to have your phone number only visible to yourself. If you are a consultant, for example, and you are using your page to attract customers, then you may want to make your phone number public. It is important to note that if something is public, then anyone and everyone who looks at your profile can see this information. Once you have edited something, click the save button at the bottom of the box. Once you have finished updating all the sections, click on the done editing box. Step 4 Exploring the Facebook toolbar and tabs The blue toolbar at the top of the screen lets you navigate through Facebook. Use the Facebook button on the left hand side, or home button on the top right, to return to your Facebook homepage. This is called your News Feed, and displays stories about your friends, such as when they add friends, post updates or write on a friend s wall. The amount of information displayed about a friend depends on their privacy settings. You can customize the amount of news that you receive about a particular friend in your News Feed. On the left hand side of the screen, under your News Feed tab, there are a number of other tabs you can access. These include a Messages tab, where you can send private messages to friends or multiple friends, much like . To send a message, click new message, type in the friends name or select from the list, then type and send your message. The Events tab will show upcoming events you have been invited to by friends, as well as birthdays, for the current day as well as coming months. These will also appear at the top of your screen on the right hand side, so when you log into Facebook you can see what is on today, or whose birthday it is. The Photos tab is where you can add photos of your own. You can publish these to your Timeline (so they will appear in your friends news feed), or add them without publishing them to your timeline. Step 5 Checking out your profile The next thing to explore is your profile and timeline. To access this, click on your name that appears in the blue toolbar, at the top right of your screen. You can view your Continued on p. 7 5

6 Pasture Measurement at TDRF Tom Snare, TIA Dairy Centre The TIA Dairy Research Facility (TDRF) at Elliott has a long history of pasture measurement. In recent times, pasture measurement has changed from a farm walk using a rising plate meter to a farm ride using the C-Dax Pasture Meter. This article outlines our experience with the C-Dax Pasture Meter. What is the C-Dax Pasture Meter and how does it work? The C-Dax pasture meter is an electronic device that is trailed behind an ATV. The device consists of a sled to the rear of which is fitted a height sensor. The height sensor consists of 18 infrared light beam emitters on one side and 18 infrared light detectors on the other. When the device is towed across a paddock, the pasture breaks the light beams and an average height is calculated with respect to how many beams are broken. This is then converted by the indicator console into an estimate of pasture cover in kg DM/ha. Advantages of the C-Dax Pasture Meter It s fast! The C-Dax can be towed at up to 20 kilometres per hour. This means that we are able to measure the average pasture cover in the 71 paddocks that make up the milking area at TDRF in about 2 hours. Recording of data is quick and easy, with the average height being stored by the console and uploaded directly to FarmKeeper via Bluetooth connection. This means that no manual data recording or entry required. Thousands of measurements per paddock. The C-Dax takes 200 measurements per second. This means that literally thousands of measurements are taken in each paddock. The standard technique for measuring pasture mass with a rising plate meter is to take 50 measurements along each transect. The measurements collected by the C-Dax pasture meter are several orders of magnitude greater than this. Super simple. The indicator console is very simple and intuitive to use. Issues that we have faced with the C-Dax Pasture meter Be wary in the wet. In general the sensor system is trouble free however in wet conditions there is the tendency for mud and or grass to stick to the glass covers of the sensors. This in turn creates artificially high readings. We have found that dirt builds up on the sensor from either direct spatter as the sled bounces along or from seepage down the sensor of mud/water flicked up by the ATV tyres. The more problematic of these two is the mud and water seepage down the sensor glass. Mud and water tends to build up between the main frame of the sled and the sensor assembly. This then runs down the glass screens and blocks the beams. Care must be taken to ensure that this area remains clean. High cover lodging = under estimation. We have found that the C-Dax pasture meter does not accurately read high covers in excess of 3500 kg DM/ha. In these cases the grass tends to lodge between either side of the sled frame and give an artificially low reading. While in theory well-managed pastures should not get beyond 3500 kg DM/ ha, in practice this can be difficult to manage particularly in spring and therefore care must be taken to ensure that obviously wrong readings are corrected. Poor tracking when traversing. When traversing slopes the sled has the tendency to drift down hill onto the track of the down slope ATV wheel. This in turn gives a false reading due to the measurement of grass flattened by the ATV tyre. To manage this it is advisable to drive only directly up or down steep slopes to ensure that the sled tracks directly behind the bike and if crossing a slope is required do so at such an angle that the sled is not following in the wheel track. Pastures aren t pastures. Accurate calibration of the pasture meter as with the rising plate meter relies on having relatively consistent pasture composition across the grazing platform. Many factors affect the drymatter mass of a given pasture at a given height and time. These include species and cultivar morphology, whether the site is irrigated or dryland, the effect of season etc. This in theory means that the drymatter estimation equation should be modified to account for each of these situations. In reality however, with the current data collection/processing technology, this would over complicate the process and void the efficiencies of using the C-Dax. We currently use just one estimation equation year round and make intuitive adjustments e.g. the annual ryegrass is much more erect than the perennial and so it reads much higher however it has a much lower tiller density and particularly later in the season lower drymatter production. Seasonal adjustment of the estimation equation may create a better fit with varying seasonal drymatter percentages. Vehicle Sensitive Setup. Pasture meter sled adjustment is vehicle specific. The angle of the sled is relative to the height of the tow ball and changes with different vehicles. We have set our pasture meter sled to have a clearance height of 25mm at the leading edge when attached to the ATV. Changing the towing vehicle without adjusting the sled clearance will result in significantly different readings. For consistency it is recommended that the pasture meter should be used with one designated vehicle. Efficient operation To get the most out of the C-Dax it is important to spend some time plotting the most efficient path across the farm. To begin with at TDRF the pasture ride took 4 hours to complete. This was because it was necessary Continued on p. 7 6

7 Continued from p. 5 profile picture and cover picture here, or edit them, as well as view your timeline, general information, photos and friends. These all appear in tabs underneath your cover and profile picture. Your Timeline is where anything you have posted on your wall or a friends timeline, appears. This includes status updates, photos, and events and so on. To make a status update, a box will can be seen on your timeline, and it will say what s on your mind? You can write in here anything you like, and it will appear on your friends newsfeed and on your timeline. You can also add photos and life events here. People will often write updates about what they did that day, what they are currently doing, put up holiday photos, and update friends on what s on their mind, share news stories and so on. The options are endless! Use the Friends tab to view your friends, find friends, add new friends and invite people you know to join Facebook. Friends are people who can see your status updates, access your profile and receive news feed updates about you. Many people approve friend requests for people they know in real life. If someone wants to add you to their friends list, you must approve them before they can access your profile. If you add someone as a friend, they must also approve you before you can see their profile information. Another great way to stay in touch with your Facebook friends is the Facebook chat function. What next? This is just an introduction to how to get you set up on Facebook, but there is a lot more to see and do, and options to explore. More information can be found by reading this article - some of this is a little out of date as Facebook has changed its layout since it was written, but there are good instructions on how to add and remove photos, remove friends, and change your profile privacy. This last section is important if you don t want everyone to able to access your information. Facebook on smart phones If you have a smart phone, download the facebook app (click on the App Store icon on your phone and search for facebook). The app is free and makes it easier to check your facebook page from your phone. TIA Now On Facebook In addition to a new website (www.tia.tas.edu. au), TIA now has a facebook page which can be accessed from the TIA website or found at www. facebook.com/tasinag. You can also follow TIA on Twitter for the latest on what is happening. Information on how to set-up a Twitter account will be included in the next newsletter. Quote: Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do - John Wooden Assess Your Feed Situation Lesley Irvine, TIA Dairy Centre This season has been challenging in more ways than one, including that of feed supply. And, even though there has been some rainfall this autumn, pasture growth rates in many regions have still remained low. If you haven t already done so, it is a now good time to assess your feed situation as there is still time to put plans into action. To assess your feed situation, you will need to: Measure the average pasture cover on your farm. Know (or estimate) pasture growth rates for the next few months. Average pasture growth rates for many regions are available on the TIA website but these are only averages and need to be adjusted based on what is actually happening with the seasonal conditions in your area. Know the amount of supplement you have available to feed. Know the numbers of different classes of stock that you have to feed, and what their feed requirements are. Once you know this information, you can put it into a feed budget to forward predict and then test some options such as nitrogen applications to increase pasture growth, feed purchases, agistment, or strategic culling of poor performers. More information about feed budgeting, feed budget templates and some example feed budgets are available on the TIA website (www.tia.tas.edu.au). If you have any questions about these resources, please contact me on or edu.au or speak to your local Dairy Smart Feedbase and Nutrition group facilitator if you would like them to demonstrate feed budgeting in one of the group meetings. Continued from p. 6 to enter/exit each paddock via the laneways. This meant opening and shutting 2 gates between each paddock which is time consuming. Inter-paddock gates created significant time savings, allowing us to exit one paddock directly into the next. Another trick that we use is to lift the inter-paddock fence wire and ride under it. This is by far the fastest method however it is only possible where the inter-paddock fence is single wire and the wire is sufficiently slack so as to stretch over the ATV. The installation of end gates in most paddocks and riding under fences has reduced the time required to ride the farm to two hours. Recommendations for use The C-Dax pasture meter is a tool that makes pasture cover assessment fast, however it is not a total solution for pasture management decision making. We think that the role of the C-Dax pasture meter is to allow an assessment of the pasture feed base in a time efficient manner. Data collected by the C-Dax in combination with visual leaf stage appraisal provides a more solid basis for sound decision making. 7

8 Update fromdairytas Board DairyTas is the Regional Development Board for Dairy Australia in Tasmania. The Board funds and coordinates research and development activities for the dairy industry in Tasmania to improve the industry s productivity and sustainability. For more information contact DairyTas Executive Officer Mark Smith, phone , or view the website at Taking Stock - Update We are still offering dairy farmers the opportunity to register for Taking Stock, which provides a free and independent review of the dairy farm business and options for the season. Taking Stock helps a dairy farm family assess their cash and profit position and look at the farm budget, identifying cost saving options, calculating pasture consumption, managing debt and your balance sheet and understanding additional support services that can be accessed, including counselling and health services. Interested dairy farmers should contact DairyTas on or to register. Nutrient Management Field Days The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has undertaken a nutrient mapping and budgeting project with 20 dairy farmers in the Meander/Deloraine and West Scottsdale areas. The project commenced in October 2012 and has been funded through DairyTas from NRM North, Caring for our Country initiative and individual farmers. Workshops to present an overview of the results will be conducted at Dairy Plains Hall in Meander on Tuesday 28th May and on the farm of Bob and Chris Bush, Koomeela Road, West Scottsdale on Wednesday the 29th May, The activities between 10am and 3pm will include a light lunch and discussions with fertiliser advisors, soil and pasture researchers and industry representatives. The workshops are open for dairy farmers, advisors, agronomists and industry representatives. However, numbers are limited. For more information, please contact Stephen Ives (TIA) on or To book your place, please contact Sharlie Gibson (DairyTas) on or by Thursday 23rd May. Transition Cow Management Farmer Workshops Dairy Australia will be holding Transition Cow Management Farmer Workshops in Smithton on the 5th June and Deloraine on the 6th June, Transition cow management is one of the most significant advances in dairy nutrition and production over the past 20 years. For many Australian dairy farmers who are yet to implement a successful transition feeding program, it provides a major opportunity for improving cow health, milk production and reproductive performance. This workshop is for farm owners, managers and people working with dairy cows on transition cow programs. Dairy Industry Events Calendar May to August 2013 May 2013 June July 2013 May/June: Dairy Smart Feedbase & Nutrition Groups present Heifers on Target TIA, each day from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., lunch provided. May 21 Leo Phelan, 188 Bankton Rd, Dairy Plains May 22 Neil & Leanne Innes-Smith, 348 Huetts Rd, Edith Creek May 23 Barry & Kathryn Forsyth, 429 Maurice Rd, Trenah May 24 Marrawah Hotel May 27 TIA Dairy Research Facility 210 Nunns Rd, Elliott May 14: CN Dairy Smart Business Group TIA (closed meeting) May 22: Dairy Smart Agribusiness Professional breakfast TIA, East Devonport from 7:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. May 28 & 29: Nutrient Management Field Days - TIA and DairyTas, each day will be from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., lunch will be provided. May 28 - Dairy Plains Hall May 29 - Bob & Chris Bush s, Koomeela Rd, West Scottsdale May 29: North-West Dairy Smart employee group TIA, Brian & Margaret Nichols, Bass Hwy, Smithton from 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. May 31: North-East Dairy Smart employee group TIA, Cox Family farm, 249 East Maurice Rd, Ringarooma from 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. TIA = Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture June 4: NE Dairy Smart Business Group TIA (closed meeting) June 5 & 6: Transition Cow Management Farmer Workshops - Dairy Australia with Steve Little and Pip Gale, Smithton and Deloraine. Venues and times tba June/July/August: Dairy Pre-Employment Training - Skills Institute. Venues and times tba June 12: Devonport Dairy Smart Feedbase & Nutrition Group (including Heifers on Target ) at Gary & Bev Carpenter s, South Riana from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. June 12 & 13: People in Dairy Business Retreat - Dairy Australia, Cradle Mountain, to be confirmed June & 24: Animal Health Days DairyTas, each day will be from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., lunch will be provided. June 19 Derwent Valley June 20 Dairy Plains June 21 Smithton June 24 North-East July 2, 3 & 4: Animal Welfare Compliance Training - TSI, DPIPWE and DairyTas. Venues to be confirmed July 11 & 12: TFGA Policy Forum, Dinner & Field Trip July 30: Fonterra Farmer & Industry Meeting - Deloraine DairyTas Board TSI = Skills Institute Tassie Dairy News is provided free to all Tasmanian dairy farmers and is funded by Dairy Australia. For more information, please contact a TIA Dairy Centre adviser, phone or Electronic copies of this newsletter are available at Disclaimer: This publication has been prepared for the general information of dairy farmers in Tasmania. TIA and the University of Tasmania do not accept any liability for damage caused by, or economic loss arising from reliance upon information or material contained in this publication.

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