Farming in autumn involves clearing gutters and soil testing. Here are ten things to do around the farm this autumn.
1. Establish bait stations to control mice and rats that move inside looking for winter food and shelter.
This article from agriculture.vic.gov.au raises some interesting points such as;
- “Mice will sample all foodstuffs available within their range and may not return to a particular feed type for several days. This information is important when determining the type of material to be used as bait, where to place the bait and how often to change the type of bait.”
- “Before committing resources to mouse control, it is important to confirm numbers present to warrant the control cost. It is generally recognised that 200 mice per hectare can cause significant economic damage.”
CSIRO research officer Steve Henry commented that “the 2017 crop was a difficult one with a lot of frosts and it was a wet harvest, so farmers were pushing to get crops off and that led to a fair bit of grain being left on the ground.”
2. Review best practices for the autumn sowing season.
It is a good idea to answer questions like;
- What is growing there now?
- What has been growing there in the past?
- What seeds may be in the soil?
- What is the herbicide or fertiliser history?
3. Deal with capeweed emerging with the autumn break.
Capeweed, a broadleaf species is a competitive plant that can also cause nitrate poisoning. Management tactics are discussed in GRDC’s The Common Weeds of Cropping – The Ute Guide.
4. Clear gutters as soon as the autumn leaf drop is finished for the most efficient rainwater harvest.
5. If the weather allows, sow long season/winter wheat varieties from mid-April to May.
6. In swampy areas, treat livestock – cattle and sheep – for liver fluke.
According to this guide, the recommended treatment for autumn is;
“…a drench that is effective against early immature fluke – triclabendazole. In cattle, there is the added option of products containing the flukicides nitroxynil and clorsulon in combination. The efficacy of this combination against all stages of fluke is similar to that of triclabendazole. This treatment controls clinical disease and reduces pasture contamination.”
This article from agriculture.vic.gov.au also discusses ways to control liver fluke.
7. Conduct a soil test to determine whether lime will need to be applied and how much.
These articles answer some of the FAQ about lime and soil:
8. Prepare a clean paddock for after lambing and calving to allow time for worm resistance to build up before weaning.
9. Sow mid-season wheat varieties from May into June.