AWB helps out with stockfeed options

29 Jun, 2006 07:00 PM
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WA farmers in desperate need of access to grain feed requirements can now purchase wheat from the AWB National Pool.

The new initiative was set up to help farmers affected by the dry start to the season and will allow growers to purchase grain from the AWB National Pool through their local Landmark office.

The system was in place last week with grain available for pick-up from designated CBH receival sites.

AWB WA state manager Paul Ryan said the move was kicked off after the company received a large number of inquiries from growers through Landmark officers.

Mr Ryan said in particular, there was a high demand for feed wheat.

"We've got plenty of grain ready for farmers to cover this shortage and whatever we can spare we will make available at this critically important time of the season," he said.

AWB National Pool manager David Johnson said the wheat sales system was a proactive move to provide growers with easy and convenient access to grain stocks.

"AWB has had a number of inquiries from WA growers looking for feed grain options," Mr Johnson said.

"We have made grain stocks available directly to growers in the past, and have moved to be proactive in setting up a system for this season that is easy for growers and for administration by the National Pool," he said.

Direct sales to growers will be limited to a maximum of 100 tonnes per week per grower, to ensure genuine growers have access to stocks at reasonable prices.

The minimum purchase tonnage will be 25 tonnes.

Growers looking to purchase grain stocks have been advised to contact their local Landmark office.

Landmark staff will advise of grain availability and price or help with advice on other stockfeed options.

Landmark pasture and livestock agronomist Sam Taylor said in the initial stages, grain feeding needed to be treated with caution, as animals that were not accustomed to grain in their diets, were at risk of acidosis or grain poisoning.

Mr Taylor said acidosis occurred when sheep and cattle were introduced too rapidly to grain, and the sudden change in diet led to an overproduction of lactic acid due to rapid fermentation of starch in the rumen.

"An introductory period is required when adding grain to the ration, to allow the rumen bacteria which will break down the increased amount of lactic acid to build up," he said.

Landmark has a team of animal health specialists who can advise farmers on the safest way to add wheat to their livestock rations.

Growers or traders seeking larger wheat tonnages can still buy wheat from the National Pool through the weekly tender system which is administered by KPMG.

Growers seeking assistance with this process can contact AWB's domestic trading division, through AWB's regional team of grain marketers.

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