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Containment Ewe Case Study Videos

Methods of Feeding Ewes in Containment Pens

This video will hear from five different farmers located across the Barossa Valley, who are using a range of systems including, self feeders, trough feeding in and out of the pens, silage and total mixed rations with feed mixers. These farmers discuss the positives and negatives of each system

Improving Production Using Containment Areas

See the results from our three year MLA Producer Demonstration Site Project which followed a group of farmers through three years of containment feeding. 

BIGG Containment Ewes Results and Discussion Webinar Nov 2020

See the results and benchmarks from 12 different producers who contained ewes through summer 2020. Two producers also share their own experiences about the issues encountered and what they see are the opportunities for containing ewes on their property. This project is a Meat and Livestock Producer Demonstration Site Project.

A BIGG webinar run as part of the MLA PDS containment ewe project covering grazing pastures and stubbles over summer and tips for your ewes and rams pre-joining.

On-Farm Water Security Technology

Farmer Case Studies: Tank Level Monitors, June 2023

Hear from four different farmers who have installed different tank monitoring systems to improve on-farm water efficiency, save time, improve livestock health and reduce their own stress levels

Hear from local farmers who have implemented water innovation technologies including tank monitors, trough aeration devices and water quality monitors. This project is supported by the SA Drought Hub.

Seasonal Forecasting Webinars 2022/23

BIGG Climate Webinar, May 2023

Get an update for the coming season from DPI Vic's climate guru Dale Grey. 

BIGG Climate Webinar, October 2022

Get an update for the coming season from DPI Vic's climate guru Dale Grey. 

Soil Pit Demonstration Videos

Soil Pit Demonstration- Keyneton

The Keyneton site is a highly acidic soil and demonstrates how to perform an easy pH test. Its located in an unimproved pasture paddock which contains a small amount of perennial grass varieties. It provides a good demonstration of measuring the rate of soil dispersal, changes to pH through the soil profile and texture testing....these are all tests you can do in the field to test your own soils.

Soil Pit Demonstration: Flaxmans Valley

A high rainfall site, the Flaxmans Valley site is characteristic of our loamy sand soils which hosts a productive perennial pasture.

Soil Pit Demonstration- Local Soil Koonunga

This site is located in a cropping paddock with deep red brown soils, a fantastic example of the soils around the Koonunga area. The video demonstrates the differences of soil through the profile, the effects of a hard-pan and the 'in the field' soil tests that helps you measure different properties of your soil.

Soil Pit Demonstration: Moculta

This site is located in native grass pastures which have had very little soil intervention. The soil demonstrates a highly organic layer on the surface, with a huge layer of limestone underneath....something even the landholder didn't realise was there! It demonstrates a 'fizz' test to measure level of calcium carbonate in the soil and shows different levels of pH through the soil profile.

Soil Pit Demonstration- Local Soil Geology

Soil Guru, Brian Hughes, provides an overview of the local soil geology to help us understand how our soils were formed and how this is affecting our soils and pastures.

Soil Moisture Monitoring/ Weather Stations

BIGG's weather stations monitor local weather and soil moisture, this video demonstrates how local farmers are using the information. 

The weather and soil moisture data recorded by the Barossa Improved Grazing Groups weather stations located across the Barossa were first installed in 2013 and since then Peter Toome from TOIP Pty Ltd has been hosting this data.

In this video Peter discusses a series of graphs generated from BIGG’s Flaxman Valley station, which demonstrate the wide variability in annual rainfall and soil moisture at the site over the last six seasons.

Producers are increasingly accessing soil moisture and climate data recorded by on-farm weather stations. The Barossa Improved Grazing Group first established weather stations in local pasture paddocks in 2013 – in this webinar BIGG’s data will be used as an example on how it can be interpreted and used to assist farm decision-making.

Presented on 8/4/20 by well-known climatoligst, Darren Ray this webinar outlines:

- the current climate influences for South Australia
- the outlook for this season
- some background and evidence on climate change

Pastures and Soil Health

Through a three year Meat and Livestock Australia Producer Demonstration Site Project, Barossa producers have identified particular feed gaps and utilised different pasture varieties to fill these gaps so they can improve maximise their pasture production and livestock enterprise. With an increasingly variable climate, utilising any rainfall event to grow pasture ensure producers are making the most of opportunities and reducing risk. With three very variable seasons, this project demonstrated that even in the driest years, there are still opportunities that can be maximised. The video looks at three different pasture systems including a vineyard with perennial grasses, a cattle enterprise with 40 days grazing and silage from one paddock and filling summer feed gaps using lucerne.

Soil is a critical factor within our grazing production system. This webinar will broaden your understanding of soil health by providing an introduction to the chemical, biological and physical soil properties and the opportunities available to improve them.

Presented by organic and biological agriculture consultant and trainer, Tim Marshall, and covering:

• Methods to increase soil health- chemical, biological and physical
• Basic principles of soil health
• Alternatives to traditional fertilisers
• The use of biological inputs to improve soil health
• Increasing organic matter and the benefits

This project is supported by Ag Excellence Alliance.


Across two below average years, learn about how different livestock producers maximised their pasture production to fill feed gaps and increase the number of grazing days on their property.

These results come out of the three-year Meat & Livestock Australia’s Producer Demonstration Site, Maximising pasture in a variable climate

Presented by BIGG technical facilitators, Georgie Keynes and Jackson Adams, covering:
• Finding and utilising alternative feed sources in a dry year
• Benefit of spring sown brassicas
• A flexible pasture to fill the summer feed gap
• Hay and grazing using perennial grasses
• Annual ryegrasses for grazing and silage for cattle
• Utilising early forage cereals to increase lamb growth rates

Brought to you by Meat and Livestock Australia and Barossa Improved Grazing Group (BIGG).

Although pastures are greening, soil moisture levels are still very low. This webinar will help you develop strategies to optimise dry matter production to ensure we make the most of our pastures through the winter and help set up spring feed.

Presented by Agribusiness Consultant Simon Vogt this webinar will provide:

• An understanding of the relationship between plant requirements, leaf emergence rates and pasture growth
• Measuring and predicting pasture growth
• Allocation of pasture on a dry matter basis relating to livestock requirements
• Strategies to optimise pasture production in the months ahead

Containment areas can offer a practical and beneficial opportunity to provide supplementary feeding for livestock in times of low soil moisture and pasture growth.
Presented by nutrition and livestock specialist Hamish Dickson (AgriPartner Consulting), and covering:
• Benefits for livestock, soils and pasture
• Successful and practical design
• Feeding considerations
• Livestock requirements

Pasture quality is declining, how do we ensure our livestock continue to meet their production needs?
As the season warms up and soil moisture continues to drop, the pasture quality is declining. Careful monitoring to ensure livestock are in the right condition is critical now, particularly when preparing for joining to make sure they reach their productive potential.

Presented by nutrition and livestock specialist Hamish Dickson, and covering:
•Condition scoring and measuring livestock production
•Setting and achieving livestock production targets
•Matching pastures with livestock requirements- and how do we manipulate this?
•Planning for the season ahead


Looking at the current seasonal forecast what opportunities are there for maximising your livestock production system to get the most out of it. In addition, what challenges may be coming our way and how can we best prepare to minimise the impact.
Presented by nutrition and livestock specialist Hamish Dickson, and covering:

  • Feed budgeting to make the most of the current climatic conditions
  • Pasture options to boost production
  • Setting achievable production targets for sheep and cattle

This project is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia; and the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board through the NRM levies and funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Pastures are a critical component within any livestock grazing system. Make sure your pastures get the best start to the year with good preparation and planning.

Presented by leading South Australian agronomist, Greg Mitchell, it will cover seasonal specific, timely issues relating to perennial and annual pasture establishment and management. It will provide tips, refreshers and an important list of things to consider for preparing your paddocks for the year ahead to make sure you make the most of opportunities and are on track for producing perfect pastures.

Other Projects

BIGG received a 25th Anniversary Landcare grant from the Federal Government to set up a demonstration site to compare how effective different plant communities are at stabilising watercourse banks.

The selected location is a winter stream which runs into the North Para that gets extremely boggy in winter months. BIGG is trialling four different options to see which will most effectively improve bank stabilisation. The site has been planted with the different vegetation systems; native grasses, shrubs and ground covers, hardy reeds and rushes, and a control area with restricted stock access.

Supported by the Barossa Improved Grazing Group, Fiona and Ian Koch travelled to the US in 2015 with an AW Howard Trust study grant. Since they returned they have expanded their use of poly-cultures, summer cropping and guinea fowl to improve the productivity of their farm and better manage their natural resources.

The Barossa Improved Grazing Group (BIGG) looks at how local producers are managing and recovering pastures damaged during the 2014 Eden Valley bushfire, 18 months after the fire.


The Barossa Improved Grazing Group (BIGG) looks at how local producers are managing and recovering pastures damaged during the 2014 Eden Valley bushfire.


Barossa farmers learnt more about increasing their capacity to produce productive pasture and improve their natural resource management activities. Members of the Barossa Improved Grazing Group attended the Winter Pasture Farm Walks which included demonstrations on the RAPPA, a time saving electric fencing unit which can increase a farm's capacity to rotationally graze and utilise pasture feed more productively.