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Your monthly update on programs, projects, seasonal advice and more in the Western region

Preparing your rams to ensure you get bang for buck when joining 


Proper preparation of rams is key for maximising reproductive success when joining. Rams should be selected a minimum of two months prior to joining, minimising stress and allowing for acclimatisation. 

When selecting rams, you should consider:
  • Ram soundness — rams should be free of lameness, with firm, springy testicles. A scrotal circumference over 28 cm is desirable. 
  • Ram health, condition and nutrition — rams should be healthy, have a body condition at 3.5 at the time of joining, a high protein ratio fed diet for 50 days prior and be vaccinated with 6 in 1. 
  • Shearing or crutching — shear or crutch rams at least eight weeks prior to joining. Cuts from shearing may lead to fever, altering body temperature and affecting semen quality. 
  • Joining rate and time — rams should be joined at 1.5 % of the ewe flock plus one extra for mature ewes. Maiden ewes require a minimum 2 % plus an extra ram per mob.
  • Getting bang for buck — ewes cycle every 17 days, as such rams should be joined for a minimum two of these cycles (five weeks). Large joining paddocks or time of joining require adjustments to this time. 
  • Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV) — selecting low birth weight and higher lambing ease. This minimises lambing difficulties. 
For further advice on this or other reproductive issues, get in touch with our District Veterinarians: 
Last year we recorded a webinar on joining, titled 'Are your rams ready for joining? A recording of this webinar can be accessed via the LLS YouTube channel.

Aerial baiting for wild dog control to commence 26 October


Western LLS and landholders who are members of pest management groups and Western Landcare groups are set to commence the spring aerial baiting program for the control of wild dogs, foxes and feral cats. 

The program is scheduled to occur between 26 October and 21 November, with 1080 meat baits issued at a rate of 10 baits per kilometre along predetermined bait lines. The area covered through the program is from Enngonia in the north-east, to Broken Hill in the west, near Pooncarie in the south-west and to Mt Hope in the south-east. 

Following aerial baiting, ground baiting will be carried out from mid-November, with all baiting activities carried out under COVID-19 guidelines. To find out more, contact your local biosecurity officer, otherwise you can contact Western LLS via 1300 795 299 or
www.lls.nsw.gov.au.  


Ramping up collaring efforts for wild dogs  

After working through a number of challenges presented by COVID-19 restrictions, collaring efforts for wild dogs in a targeted area of the Western region got back underway in early September, with 46 traps currently being monitored by members of the project team, Professional Wild Dog Controllers and local landholders. 

Having collared seven wild dogs earlier this year, the project team are hoping to collar another 28 wild dogs over the next month or so. Of the seven wild dogs that were collared, two are still alive and continuing to provide data of their movements, with the five deceased wild dogs providing valuable data while they were alive.

Of the 30 feral pigs that were collared by the end of 2020, 25 are still roaming the landscape, with some of the initial data provided to landholders and stakeholders. The project team are looking to re-issue the five collars that were removed from the deceased feral pigs, with good numbers of feral pigs currently being free fed and monitored with cameras at trap sites to enable collaring in the coming days.


Landholders are reminded that if they trap or shoot a feral pig and find it has an ear tag, simply record the tag number and GPS location of the site and give your local biosecurity officer a call and they can tell you where it was first tagged.

More Western Tracks project information is available on the LLS website, otherwise contact your local biosecurity officer, or Western LLS on 1300 795 299. Image: Darren Marshall, Southern Queensland Landscapes, Grant Davis, Western LLS and Bruce Duncan, NSW Farmers, attach a collar to a feral pig. 

Deadline extended for the fish-friendly diversion screens project


Landholders who thought they had missed the opportunity to submit an expression of interest to receive funding support to install a fish-friendly diversion screen on their water intake can still do so, with the EOI process extended until 5 pm Friday 22 October. 

Click here to visit the LLS website where you will find further information on the project, the guidelines and conditions, the EOI form and can hear from a local landholder who has installed a fish-friendly diversion screen. 

If you have any questions please contact Kaye Gottschutzke, Senior Land Services Officer, on 0429 981 331 or
kaye.gottschutzke@lls.nsw.gov.au. This project is supported by Western LLS through funding from the NSW Government. Image: David Sickerdick. 

Feral deer monitoring to assist landholders control local populations


Landholders will soon have access to the latest, locally specific information on feral deer, with two monitoring sites currently capturing the densities and species of the pest animal in the Oxley and Louth areas.

Western LLS, who are working with landholders, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on this project, will host workshops to provide information to landholders on the findings, once the data has been downloaded and analysed from the monitoring cameras. 


Click here to read more about this project on the LLS website. The images below come from the cameras in the Louth area, which to date have captured feral deer and other pest animals including feral cats and feral pigs. 
    

Farming Forum on Mice — recording now available


Did you miss the NSW Government's Farming Forum on Mice? It was filled with some great information about spring mouse populations and how to tackle them, particularly leading into harvest. 

Click here to view the recording which is on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website, which contains other resources and information relevant for mouse control. 

Support still available for communities impacted by the mouse plague

The NSW Government's support package to help landholders, small business and households manage the mouse plague is still available. Click here to visit the NSW Government website to find out more about the rebates that are currently available. Image of mouse track, NSW DPI.

Got a project with us? Time to submit your photo and report


Landholders that have an incentive project with Western LLS that requires annual photo point monitoring are asked to get out in the paddock and take photos for monitoring month.

A letter with instructions and a recording sheet for monitoring month will be in the mail by the end of October, however landholders can complete this job now via the below options: 
  • click here to complete the form electronically 
  • click here to download a hard copy of the form to submit
  • complete the annual photo point monitoring form and send a copy to monitoring.month@lls.nsw.gov.au
  • drop the form in at any Western LLS office (call 1300 795 299 to ensure it is open) or post to 'Monitoring Month' PO Box 363 Buronga NSW 2739
We ask landholders submit their report as soon as is practical and thanks to those that have already done so. If you have any questions contact your Western LLS Case Officer, or Senior Admin Officer, Sam Field on
0427 256 501 or
sam.field@lls.nsw.gov.au

Monitoring month is a requirement of the funding contracts between landholders and Western LLS and is a requirement between Western LLS and its funding providers. Image: Brian Dohnt and Dennis Stewart in 2018. 

NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project update


The NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project is continuing to work through the approvals process, with local landholders, Recognised Aboriginal Parties and Traditional Owners, and stakeholders, continuing to play an important role. 

While COVID-19 restrictions are continuing to impact the ability of the project team and contractors to advance some aspects of the project and get on-ground along the proposed alignment, work on the approvals process remains the focus. In the coming months, the project team will continue to operate within all COVID-19 restrictions and the NSW Government's Roadmap to Recovery, with the health of landholders, community members and staff the highest priority.  

Welcome Jean Holley

At the end of September, Jean Holley was welcomed to the project team in the role of Business Performance Officer. In this role, Jean will be providing support to the project manager, Justin Schick, as well as coordinating many of the administration and governance tasks for the project. 

For landholders and stakeholders, you will come to know Jean as the friendly voice on the end of the phone who can assist you with your enquiries for the project. Please join us in welcoming her to the project. 

Click here to get the latest information on the project via the LLS website. If you have any questions or would like a member of the project team to give a presentation to you and your group, contact the project team on (02) 5852 1215 or wilddogfence@scs.nsw.gov.au.

All the best Trent! See you in mid-2022


At the end of September, our District Veterinarian, Trent McCarthy finished up with Western LLS having accepted a secondment position with NSW Department of Primary Industries, specialising in aquatic biosecurity. 

Trent has been a very popular member of our team and has formed strong relationships with many of the landholders and stakeholders within the Western region. We wish Trent all the best for his time with NSW DPI and look forward to welcoming him back at the end of his secondment which is scheduled for July 2022. 

We are currently progressing a recruitment opportunity for another District Veterinarian to join our team and hope to have further details in our November edition of Western Life. 

Before we go...


We're hiring a Customer Service Coordinator

We are currently recruiting for a Customer Service Coordinator. This is a full-time permanent position that involves supervising and coordinating a team of customer service and admin staff across the Western region. This is a fast-paced role that requires experience working in a professional front-facing administration and customer service environment, as well as proven experience supervising a team. Want to know more and potentially apply? Click here to view the role description and submit your application via the I Work For NSW website. To speak with someone about the role, contact Kathryn Vandenberg on 0437 962 024. 

Apply now for the Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks Program

Landholders have just over a month to submit an EOI to undertake projects to protect valuable ecological sites and improve native fish habitat under round one of the NSW Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks Program. Other eligible activities include off-stream stock watering points, control of exotic woody weeds, minor erosion control works, revegetation and river re-snagging to protect native fish and contribute to a healthier river system. Click here to submit an EOI and get further information about the program. Round 1 EOI close 19 November 2021. 

Until next time...


Thanks for reading this edition of Western Life. We would appreciate it if you promote this through your networks, and if it has been forwarded to you, be sure to subscribe so you automatically receive it.

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Western Local Land Services 
Web: www.lls.nsw.gov.au
Free call: 1300 795 299






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