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Farmanco Facts - December 2023

Farmanco Facts, December 2023 articles: Crop Insurance: What are your Choices?; Maximising Yield Looking at Photothermal Quotient; Buyer Beware: Biosecurity Case Study of a Footrot Incursion; and Sheep Tips for Tough Times.


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Key Points for December:


Crop Insurance: What are Your Choices?

Ben Curtis (Farm Management Consultant)

  • Be organised and prepared to apply for insurance early next season.

  • Self-insurance is about choosing to take some of the risk of a crop loss on yourself. It does not necessarily mean no crop insurance.

  • Self-insurance does not suit everyone. Consider ways to minimise the risk of losses if you do self-insure.  


Some Farmanco clients have found it difficult to get crop insurance this year as insurers have met their quota in some locations.


Maximising Yield Looking at Photothermal Quotient

Mark Lawrence (Agronomist)

  • Cool, high light conditions around flowering are important to maximise the yield of cereals, which is part of photothermal quotient (PTQ).

  • Heat stress and terminal drought are also important considerations when looking at PTQ and optimising yield.

  • Longer season spring and winter crops may help when trying to target the optimal PTQ flowering window in certain ag zones.

  • Mowhawk is a new winter wheat with Scepter background.


Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia trials over the last few years have shown the importance of getting cereals to flower in the optimal window to maximise grain fill. Much of this relates to the photothermal quotient (PTQ).


Buyer Beware: Biosecurity Case Study of a Footrot Incursion

Mike Monaghan (Farm Management Consultant)

  • Buy direct from properties with a known health status.

  • Inspect the feet of animals before buying.

  • Ask for a Sheep Health Statement.

  • Treat livestock returning from agistment as you would purchased livestock.

  • Keep newly introduced stock separate from existing stock for as long as possible and examine their feet regularly.

  • Maintain livestock-proof boundary fences to prevent stray sheep from entering your property.

  • Apply these principles to other diseases (e.g., Johne’s), and other livestock systems (e.g., cattle).

  • Don’t buy blind into your own clean mob, particularly from higher-risk regions.

  • If symptoms present, report to DPIRD and test.


This case study shares the unfortunate 2023 experience of Farmanco clients, who are passionate about sharing their biosecurity learnings … It represents a hindsight review of a near-miss operational risk event.


Sheep Tips for Tough Times

Greg Easton (Farm Management Consultant)

  • Plan

  • Conditions Score 3.0 Ewes

  • Rams

  • Mate more than 11 weeks after shearing

  • Lamb outside of seeding

  • Pregnancy Test

  • ASBVs

  • Seed Pastures

  • Dual-purpose crops

  • Annual Pasture Mixes

  • Barley Straw

  • Reduce Workload

  • EID

  • Shearing

  • Stocking Rate & Carrying Capacity

  • Contractors / Labour / Agents


The current price being offered for sheep will require some consideration about the scale and management of your sheep flock. Now is not the time for complex management options for the sheep flock.



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