This 2020, the prospects for New Zealand and Australian lamb crops are promising. The year’s “decent outlook” for lamb production is brought about by the current demand from China and tariff-free export to the European Union. The holiday on the levy to the UK is seen to remain in effect until a UK-EU trade agreement is reached, which is why farmers and lamb processors are encouraged to make the most of this development.
Elizabeth Berry, a vet at Animax Veterinary Technology, offers some advise on how farmers can maximize their lamb yield, especially during grazing. She relays that several factors differentiate a good outcome from a great one, each factor no less important than the other. According to Berry, farmers need to constantly monitor ewe and lamb health and take note of lambing percentage, and efficiency converting grass into growth. However, Berry also warns that these factors can be held back if trace element status is not at par.
For pre and post lambing, Berry says the critical elements that should be present in the soil are selenium, iodine, and cobalt. On some farms, producers might also want to watch out for their copper levels. Says Berry, “if just one is lacking, this can impact on health and performance.”
What farmers can do to address the onslaught of these risks is to apply micronutrients made specifically for the purpose of improving lamb health and overall optimum production. Berry reports that more farmers have turned to leach bolus technology for the best results for their lambs.
From the Animax Tracesure range, farmers get the advantage of a 180-day “trickle charge” or leaching bolus technology. This process is unique to Animax and designed to slowly release trace elements at a consistent and regulated rate. Berry further says that timing is important, therefore, flexible, so the application happens about four to six weeks before the lambing period. Repeating the leaching bolus process after six months results in the best lamb yields possible. Farmers needing assistance on this can get in touch with any of Animax’s livestock specialists for free advice.
Elizabeth Berry further notes that good business is derived from the best lambs and ewes their farms can provide. Therefore, a sound business strategy would mean taking advantage of the lifted EU tariff barrier to getting as many lambs in their fold into the best health possible.