Following a record dry spell through spring and summer, increasing numbers of Barossa producers have been turning to confinement feeding to preserve paddock groundcover and increase NRM outcomes.
The Angaston Agricultural Bureau held its annual Hogget Competition at Keyneton Park on March 26, supported by Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, with the theme of ‘innovations in sheep feeders and trailers’.
After such a dry start to the season, groundcover in pastures has been essential to ensure soil stability when the season breaking rains arrived.
The Bureau showcased the work some of their producers have done in sheep feeding equipment at the Hogget competition last month, to show how simple it is to set up confinement feeding and improve the pasture conditions going into late autumn.
While recent rains may have helped in the short term, with dry spells becoming more and more common, these innovations will become more important in the future.
Keyneton producer Graham Keynes was one of those who brought along his feeding trailer to the competition.
“On our property we’ve set up a dedicated confinement block with troughs, and have been using our feeding trailer to feed while the pastures have been pretty bare over summer. This means we can protect the pasture, while ensuring the stock are healthy and getting adequate feed. It’s really important to us to ensure there’s groundcover in the paddocks so that the top-soil isn’t lost in the first big rain,” Mr Keynes said.