Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 10, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 42 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2017
Mowing and raking
Big squares and rounds
All new machinery
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AUSTRALIA’S dairy sector, which had been see-
ing some positive signs on world markets in re-
cent months, following a very challenging period,
witnessed a setback in the latest rounds of selling
through the Global Dairy Trade.
Overall, at the forward selling event on Tuesday,
January 3, the GDT Price Index was down by 3.9
per cent but that was almost exclusively the result
of an over-supply of whole milk powder; the price
for which dropped 7.7 per cent.
Other product categories weren’t as badly af-
fected with butter up 0.5%, cheese up 1.4% and
skim milk powder (SMP) up 2.3%.
The outlook continues to be strong for SMP,
with contracts sold through to July 2017 all
showing pleasing rises in prices, up as much as
5.8% for supply in February, to average a 2.3%
improvement, on top of sound increases at previ-
Supply contracts through from February 17 to
July 17 for whole milk powder, however, were
quoted down -9.6%, -7.4%, -8.8%, -6.8% and
-6.5%, for the average reduction of 7.7% at the sale.
The latest global sales result follows an easing
in prices at the December 20 sales event by 0.5%,
on the back of some pleasing gains in the three
earlier sales for November 1 (11.4%), November
15 (4.5%) and December 6 (3.5%); still within a
generally improving trend in world prices from a
low point in August 2015.
Notwithstanding the latest easing, Rural Fi-
nance’s December 2016 Australian Dairy Up-
date claims the gains, towards the end of 2016,
were the good news that Australian dairy farmers
were looking for as the Global Dairy Trade Index
reached its highest point in almost two years at
the December 6 sale.
While the latest update contains some positive
news for the dairy industry, it also reports that the
recovery of the sector has proven to be a slow one.
National milk production is down by more than
10 per cent year-on-year, as is supply which has
recorded a reduction of around 10 per cent per
month since the turn of the 2017 financial year.
Dairy exports are also in sharp decline, with the
total value of exports for the third quarter of 2016
down 11 per cent on the same period last year,
and by more than 8 per cent in total year-on-year.
As something for the sector to consider in
2017, the report highlights the trade relation-
ship between the United States and Mexico, the
world’s largest milk producer and the largest im-
porter of US dairy products respectively.
A reduction in trade between these two coun-
tries instigated by the new US administration
would have significant implications, if the US
were forced to look to other markets for US dairy
General Manager Agribusiness for Rural Bank
and Rural Finance, Andrew Smith, said the funda-
mentals of the dairy sector remain sound despite
the volatility and challenges it continues to face.
“While skim milk powder prices have bounced
back this quarter, the Australian dairy industry
as a whole still faces significant challenges across
the board,” Mr Smith said.
“We are continuing to work with our dairy cus-
tomers to support them in managing through
this difficult cycle. The only constant in the dairy
industry in recent years has been volatility, and
2017 will be no different. However, we believe
the ability of Australian dairy farmers to manage
volatility will win through in the end.”
MOST old or naturalised perennial ryegrass
pastures contain fungal endophytes which can
produce high levels of alkaloids that can be toxic
Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer,
Robert Suter said the symptoms are collectively
called perennial ryegrass toxicosis (PRGT) and
cover a range of nervous disorders including
staggers, ill thrift, heat stress, scours and pos-
sibly lower fertility.
Serious outbreaks occur in high rainfall areas
across Victoria when big springs are followed by
a hot and dry autumn.
Dr Suter said in 2002 it was estimated 90,000
sheep and 500 cattle died from direct causes of
these alkaloids and a similar number from in-
The key indicators of high risk to animals (this
includes sheep, cattle and alpaca) were identi-
• A dominance of perennial ryegrass in the
pasture (with wild type endophyte)
• A big spring with high rainfall in spring-
summer that prolonged the length of the grow-
• This was followed by dry conditions in
March and high average maximum tempera-
tures in March (23C) and April (20C).
While the forecast for autumn is not currently
predicting hotter and/or drier conditions than
usual, much of Victoria has experienced abun-
dant spring growth.
If you have experienced severe issues in the
past, it is worth considering now what you might
do to reduce the impacts this time.
These would include:
• Assess each paddock on the farm for the
risk of PRGT (knowledge of past effects).
• Identify which paddocks shouldn’t be grazed
by susceptible classes of stock (young sheep or
cattle or breeding ewes) in the high risk period.
If this is a high proportion of paddocks then
consider using stock containment areas for join-
ing ewes if spring lambing, and weaners.
• Limit time stock spend grazing high risk
paddocks; minimise seed head production and
access to seed heads.
• Ensure access to plentiful water with a low
risk of drowning.
Supplementary feeding on high risk pastures
is unlikely to reduce the risk, and may worsen
For the long-term, consider resowing pastures
with other pasture species (e.g. phalaris or fes-
cue) or other ryegrass cultivars that have animal
‘safe’ endophytes but still have persistence attri-
butes for the plant.
For more information go to http://ow.ly/mb-
The information in this article has been
sourced largely from ‘Management of perennial
ryegrass toxicosis’ authored by Kevin Reed and
John Webb Ware and published by MLA.
Perennial ryegrass toxicoses
is a potential summer risk
THE New Year started with a lighter than ex-
pected yarding of 369 head for last Wednesday’s
fat sale at Warragul.
Prices remained steady on the previous sale
for most categories.
Bullock, heifer and steer numbers still re-
main on the lighter side with condition mixed.
Lighter steers failed to fire and pulled their av-
erage back 10c, and vealer sold strong in the bet-
ter pens with only a few secondary pens on offer.
Last week’s yard average remained firm on
the previous sale at 320c/kg.
The two bullocks made to 269.2c/kg to aver-
age 269.2, while the 29 heifers made to 325.2c/
kg, up 18c, and averaged 315.8.
The 25 steers made to 330c/kg, up 15c, and
averaged 269.7, back 10, while the 313 veal-
ers made to 360c/kg, back 17c, and averaged
328.8, back 4.
On Thursday, the bull and cow sale saw good
competition force prices upward.
The 35 bulls topped at 291.2c/kg to average
9c better at 251.2c/kg.
There were 238 cows yarded with the top sell-
ing to 279.2c/kg, and averaging 6c up at 223.4,
with the yard average 4c up at 227.8c/kg.
Below is a list of prices supplied by selling agents.
2 Limo X I & G Parkin Thorpdale
370 360 1332
2 Limo X J Vicary Drouin
348 360 1252
1 Limo X P & H Hatswell Neerim East 380 358 1360
1 Red Angus E Lambourne Tyers
385 352.2 1355
2 Limo X K & L Young Ellinbank
405 352 1425
1 Char R Stipani Willung Sth
475 351.6 1670
6 Angus R & R Gray Torwood
478 326.6 1562
4 Simm X W Miller Rokeby
493 309.6 1524
16 Char P & S Gardiner Warragul
452 325.2 1468
7 Angus R & R Gray Torwood
436 315.6 1375
Export Heifers and Cows
2 Angus X D Stoll Buln Buln
565 279.2 1577
1 Limo N Rysko Mt View
680 277.2 1884
3 Char X M Romanin Warragul Sth 650 265.2 1723
1 Fleck R & C Monk Poowong
550 258.6 1422
1 Angus A & H Rhodes Darnum
550 243.2 1337
8 Frie M Romanin Warragul Sth
666 239.2 1593
1 Frie J Pratt Darnum
555 279.2 1549
1 Blonde S Granieri Warragul Sth 925 291.2 2839
1 Blonde C Bragagnolo Trafalgar
800 283.6 2268
1 Angus Stanvale Farm Neerim East 845 278.2 2350
1 Frie G & B Geary Longwarry Nth 985 264.6 2606
1 Frie Jayanal Longwarry
820 258.2 2117
Small first yarding at Warragul market
It’s a good thing that that it has been a good season in the paddock for local dairy farmers because the recovery in world prices has been
faltering in recent Global Dairy Trade rounds.
Dairy trending up despite 3.9% fall
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