The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries is urging flood-affected livestock producers in the Riverina, central west and north west to follow some important steps to prevent livestock from succumbing to potentially fatal pests and diseases as flood waters recede.
NSW DPI beef specialist, Steve Exton, said the first step for cattle producers was to check fences, as stock were often boxed into a small area or isolated after flooding.
“Once you know where your stock are, feed becomes the key, especially if they are cold or wet,” he said.
“Calving herds are at a particularly high risk, with higher feed requirements and the potential for calves to be isolated from their mothers.
“Hay or silage is the preferred feed for cattle, but you need to make sure it is not mouldy.
“If buying in feed make sure it is fit for your purpose, and preferably, get a vendor declaration.
“The provision of clean water is often overlooked following floods. There may be plenty of water about but it could contain anything, so ensure cattle have access to clean water.
“Problems with bloat or pulpy kidney are likely after a flush of growth, particularly with warm weather. You will need to manage for bloat and vaccinate for pulpy kidney.”
Last week's heavy rain and widespread flooding saw cattle supplies at NLRS reported sales drop by 23pc in NSW, after the Wagga cattle sale was cancelled and the Forbes sale reduced from a usual 1500 head back to 100 head.
Despite wet weather in Victoria overall supply to market actually increased by 24pc in that state, as producers looked to take advantage of the improved prices, the NLRS reported on Friday. Despite flooding in the Goulburn Valley, Shepparton still offered a slightly larger yarding, while markets in Gippsland were 20-40pc larger.
"The rain had the effect of further boosting restocker demand, with the rain fostering further optimism in livestock producers," MLA reported in its weekly NSW cattle summary.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator closed 4.75c higher for the week on 395.25c/kg cwt last Friday afternoon.
The trade steer indicator slipped 1c to 208c and feeder steer prices averaged 6c higher on 208c/kg lwt. Heavy steers were firm on 189c and the medium cow indicator finished 1c higher on 148c/kg lwt.
More detailed information for livestock producers dealing with floods is available from the NSW DPI by clicking here.