Helping landholders manage drought

Hunter Local Land Services Agricultural Extension team visiting an Upper Hunter property recently. Photo supplied
Hunter Local Land Services Agricultural Extension team visiting an Upper Hunter property recently. Photo supplied

The NSW Government is committed to working with producers, communities and industry groups to help ease any impacts of the drought conditions in the Hunter region.

Since decent rain failed to fall in winter 2017, Local Land Services (LLS) has been actively working with producers across the Hunter region to help them manage their livestock and properties during these difficult times.

“We are here to help landholders with practical and useful on-farm advice on management issues that they are currently faced with because of the dry conditions,” Hunter LLS general manager Brett Miners said. 

We have been working closely with landholders across the region to help with assessing pasture conditions and stock management, assessing animal health and welfare concerns, issuing roadside grazing permits, Travelling Stock Route agistment and assistance with pest animal problems.”

Hunter LLS has been running non-stop control programs, assisting landholders in drought affected areas to remove pest species, especially wild dogs and pigs.

More than 1,000 pigs have been controlled by the Hunter LLS team in the Upper Hunter since the start of January 2018.

“More than 400 landholders have attended our drought management events across the region in recent months.

We are committed to providing links to support services and advice to our ratepayers on issues from water management, to early weaning, handfeeding advice, current animal health concerns and mental health support,” Brett said.

LLS District Vets have been attending weekly cattle sales across the Hunter, monitoring animal welfare and providing support to landholders. They are also assisting with property visits to help producers manage their herd in difficult conditions.

“We are also working with the Rural Resilience Program to deliver a series of Drought Family Farm Gatherings across the region, helping farming communities connect with each other and important services.

Hunter LLS has also offered delayed payment plans to ratepayers affected by drought conditions in the region, during the current rate period.

“We are linking expertise with the landholders and tailoring our delivery options to the needs and challenges faced by producers across the Hunter region,” he said.

DroughtHub on the DPI website is the first place to visit for landholders looking to understand the support measures available to them from both the State and Australian Government.

To keep in touch with regional events and activities coming up across the Hunter region, landholders should visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au/hunter