FAQs

Got questions about how to go about selling or buying feed and fodder from intrastate, or even interstate? Our page of frequently asked questions is designed to help you during the process. We have consulted with government departments and other agencies to find the best responses to a wide selection of pertinent questions. The list is not exhaustive, and will be added to as we receive information / questions from buyers and sellers on our site.

General questions

What is fodder?

Fodder is any hay, straw, chaff or silage used for livestock feed or bedding.

I am considering agistment, where should I start?

A formal lease agreement is to protect you, the farm and the livestock on it. A lease or agistment agreement should include some of the following:

  • Length of agreement, option for renewal, period of notice for termination.
  • Fees payable (in advance or arrears). If there are outstanding payments will a lien (line of security) be taken over the livestock. Agistment rates are based on dollars per head per week.
  • Average stocking rate, minimum and maximum number of animals that you will allow to graze at any one time.
  • Are progeny included? If you agist cows and they calve, will there be extra fees?
  • Animal welfare requirements and responsibility, e.g. fresh water must be always available. Usually the agistor's responsibility.
  • Inspection of livestock, by whom and how often. This is usually the livestock owner's responsibility.
  • Infrastructure repairs and maintenance, e.g. fences. This is usually the livestock owner's responsibility.
  • Insurance, will the livestock need to be insured by the owner?
  • Indemnity agist owner of the livestock for costs and liability.
  • Vet call out and associated costs.

There are online agreements, which you might consider, otherwise ask your solicitor to draft something up.

Also your livestock agent is a good start in terms of knowing up to date rates and what is available.

Who do I contact to assist with hay/fodder production?

The Agricultural Contractors of Tasmania provide a booklet that lists contractors and the services they provide – go to www.agriculturalcontractorsoftasmania.com.au.

Why can’t I cut during a total fire ban?

In extreme circumstances, harvesting and use of equipment like movers and slashers may be banned dependant on the weather and the condition of the vegetation. The Tasmania Fire Service Act 1979, allows the Fire Service to restrict the use of many types of machinery that could cause a fire but they utilise this power carefully. If a type of machinery or equipment is banned, all restrictions are clearly identified in the declaration of the ban and are all widely advertised in newspapers, the TFS web site and social media.

TFS has a variety of brochures that help guide safe farming practices during total fire ban days and other severe fire weather. You can find this information at any of the TFS regional offices or on their web site at www.fire.tas.gov.au.

Who can I contact on nutritional advice?

An excellent point of reference is Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). To see their advice regarding nutritional information click here.

I’m in need of financial counselling – who do I speak to?

Rural Business Tasmania provide a really useful financial counselling service – to see more click here.

I am seeking emotional support – who can I call?

If you, or anyone you know in the rural community needs a bit of help we encourage you to contact Rural Alive and Well on 1300 4357 6283 or via their website here.

How can I find out about alternative and drought tolerant species?

A Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) study has investigated different pasture species that have a much better drought tolerance than others on the market. The main goal was to determine which perennial grasses and legumes would provide the best yield and best persistence in the low to moderate rainfall (500 mm) regions in Tasmania. Their work identified four alternative legume species and two grass species that could potentially provide very good persistence and exceptional drought tolerance for grazing. The four legumes are; Talish Clover (Trifolium tumens), Caucasian Clover (T. ambiguum), Stoloniferus Red Clover (T. pratense var, stoliniferum), Lucern x Yellow Lucerne Hybrid (Medicago sativa x M. sativa subsp. Falcate). The two grasses are Coloured Brome (Bromus colouratus) and Hispanic Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata var hispanica).

Even though perennial ryegrass is popular due to affordability and past reliability, it has insufficient drought tolerance in comparison to the species outlined in this study, and similar studies on drought tolerant alternate species. Due to the changing climatic conditions in Tasmania, looking for ways to avoid a further fodder crisis is imperative, and some of the best ways to do that is to consider alternative species. To read more about the grass species mentioned, please click here for Species for Profit PDF, an excellent guide for different species. To read the journal article, please click here.

Using the TasFodder website

Who do I contact if I have fodder to sell?

TasFodder has been developed to connect you with farmers who need your fodder. Create your FREE ad now.

How do I share my ad?

You can promote your ad by sharing it on social media or via email.

To share on social media or email, scroll down to the bottom of your ad listing and click the social share buttons. Alternatively, you can copy your ad URL and paste it into a social media post.

Who do I contact if I am unhappy with my purchase?

As with any consumer purchase, your recourse if the product is not satisfactory is through Consumer Affairs. Contact them here.

How do I place an ad?

Placing your free ad with TasFodder is simple.

  1. Sign up for your MyTasFodder account
  2. Click on the orange "Create your free ad" button
  3. Fill in all the appropriate fields and click "Create your ad".

I am having trouble filling out the TasFodder form, who should I contact?

Send us a message here, or call (03) 6332 1800 for assistance.

Biosecurity

What can I bring in to the State?

You can bring in fodder from other states, such as hay, lucerne pellets, pellets and by-product, but they must be to standard and they must meet biosecurity standards.

Quality of feed must also be considered. If hay has any mould content it can be deadly for your livestock.

Are there any intrastate issues to consider with biosecurity?

Yes. Consider the area that the feed and fodder is coming from; and what pests and weeds may be in the area that could contaminate it, e.g. ragwort, thistles, Paterson's curse, common white snail). To read more about the white snail, click here.

Consider chemical residues. Ask for vendor declaration (commodity vendor declaration, fodder vendor declaration and by-product vendor declaration) so have written details of chemicals used, especially withholding periods if livestock are to be slaughtered.

  • Fodder Vendor Declaration - covers hay, silage, straw and stubble feeds
  • Commodity Vendor Declaration - bought or sold as stock feed
  • By-product Vendor Declaration - include fruit and vegetable wastes and crop processing by-products such as peel, pulp and stems available electronically (free to download) MLA website (here)

Suppliers do not legally have to supply a vendor declaration. If a supplier refuses to give you a vendor declaration, you can: source feed from another producer, have the feed tested for chemical residues, only feed the fodder to livestock that are not entering the food chain immediately. Withholding periods vary depending on the chemical and its level in the feedstuff. In most cases, withholding stock for 60 days will be enough.

Under no circumstances should ruminant livestock be fed restricted animal materials (RAM). That is, meat, feather, fish and bone meal. Feeding of RAM linked to bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). And don't feed swill to pigs. To read more from the DPIPWE website click here.

Feed out in identified areas that can be easily accessed and treated.

It is also a good idea to keep records (what fed and where) and monitor the area for signs of pests and weeds.

Inspect feed and fodder for signs of pests, weeds and other contaminants (single crop products e.g. oaten hay, lucerne easier to asses)

Feed and fodder should be securely stored so cats and dogs can’t contaminate with faeces --> toxoplasma and sarcocystis (cat), hydatids and sheep measles (dog).

What should fodder purchasers be aware of/ watchful for when buying intrastate (between municipalities / properties)?

Fodder purchasers should exercise good farm biosecurity and hygiene practices when purchasing fodder within the State. Where possible, purchase from a reputable source who you know to produce a quality product free of weed seeds, pests, diseases and other contaminants. Keep in mind whether you are purchasing fodder from an area with known weed, pest or disease risks that you do not wish to introduce to your property. An example would be buying hay from serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma) infested properties and importing this Weed of National Significance to your property.

Biosecurity Tasmania recommends giving preference to grain or crop-based fodder (e.g. Lucerne hay) over general paddock hay. General paddock hay can contain a wide range of weed species. Also, maintain records of fodder purchased and ensure vehicles are cleaned for transport of fodder products onto your property. On-farm, you may wish to consider storing and feeding out fodder products in a restricted area in order to minimise risk of accidental spread of weeds or other pests or diseases on your property.

What should fodder purchasers be aware of/watchful for when buying interstate?

Fodder imported from interstate is considered a high risk pathway for entry of unwanted pests, diseases and weeds. Biosecurity Tasmania regulates the import of fodder products into Tasmania under Part 2.16 of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania (Ed 2016), which details conditions on importing fodder as livestock feed and bedding with animals as well as bulk imports. Part 2.16 applies to any hay, straw, chaff or silage used for livestock feed or bedding.

Fodder as livestock feed or bedding for transport to Tasmania

Fodder cannot be used for livestock feed or bedding during transport of animals to Tasmania except in special circumstances such as transporting horses with dietary/GIT disease history. Pelletised feed is permitted entry for livestock feed during transport.

Bulk fodder imports for use/sale in Tasmania

Fodder products may only be imported to Tasmania under a pre-approved agreement or conditional exemption granted by DPIPWE. You can apply for a conditional exemption by submitting an application form available on the DPIPWE website to the email address on the form:

Other specific Import Requirements (IRs) may apply for products coming from certain areas on the mainland. For example: IR 12 for Pea Weevil; IR15 for Red Imported Fire Ant; and IR25 for Green Snail.

What are the procedures that Biosecurity Tasmania follow when assessing imported fodder?

As fodder can only be imported with pre-approval from DPIPWE, an informal risk assessment is completed on the product based on information supplied by the applicant prior to import. Applicants need to show that the fodder they wish to import is at very low risk of being contaminated with pests, diseases and weed seeds in particular. Certified freedom from weeds, pests and diseases is preferred but not always possible. Additionally, certified freedom from Annual Ryegrass Toxicity is necessary where applicable.

Biosecurity Tasmania inspects fodder imports upon arrival. Biosecurity Officers will look for any contaminants, including soil, as well as any declared pests, diseases or weeds.

Are there any biosecurity procedures that fodder sellers should put in place on their own farms when having trucks or different people on their property?

Suppliers or sellers of fodder in Tasmania should exercise good farm biosecurity and hygiene, just as recommended for purchasers of fodder. Insist upon and check that only clean vehicles enter your property, and confine visiting vehicles and people to certain areas where possible to minimise the risk of spread of invasive pests, diseases and weeds. Loading fodder for transport over hard stand surfaces can also minimise risk of spread of some invasives. Monitor fodder storage and distribution areas for signs of new weeds or other pests. Seek advice from Biosecurity Tasmania if you suspect a new pest has established.

What happens when imported fodder breaks regulations?

Fodder imported in contravention of Part 2.16 or any other Import Requirement of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania will be held by Biosecurity Tasmania and either re-exported or destroyed at the importer’s expense. Likewise, any imported product that is found to be infested with a declared pest, disease or weed will be destroyed.

Remember that it is an offence to import declared pests, diseases and weeds into Tasmania. It is also an offence to transport anything containing viable declared weeds within the State.

What weeds should I be looking for?

In particular, the weeds to be most aware of are; ragwort, thistles, Paterson's curse. To see a detailed and easy to navigate list on unwanted weeds click here.

Who do I contact if I do find a (threatening) weed?

Contact DPIPWE here.

To report a biosecurity issue through agriculture.gov here.

Transport

How do I safely secure my feed or fodder for transport?

The Australian Fodder Industry Association has developed a special fact sheet on how to best transport your feed or fodder. You can download it here.

 If I can cut it but can’t move it, who do I contact?

Finding a source of feed or fodder is just one step in the process. Getting it back to your property is the next. TasFodder’s transport page showcases providers who are prepared to transport, and in some cases cut and transport, your feed and fodder. The list is not exhaustive, and will be updated as more providers come on-board.

Allan Lord Holdings – Smithton

Allan Lord: 0417 556 280

Kurtis Grey – Smithton

0428 562 718

Peter Jones – Scottsdale

0409 542 128

Ned’s Livestock – Winnaleah

Kent McPherson: 0408 134 127

Southfork Transport – North Scottsdale

Tom Brown: 0488 523 135

Whitehouse Transport – Burnie

Russell Whitehouse: 0428 513 614

Edwards & Son – Boat Harbour

CH Edwards: 0407 877 549

D A Edwards Propriety Limited

Dean Edwards 0427 587 634

State Wide Ag Services

Scott Williams: 0407 814 590

Creswell Transport

6362 4700

Donations in Extreme Dry Conditions or Drought

Why are droughts or extreme dry conditions not considered or treated the same as emergencies?

Droughts come and go slowly and they are a prolonged, abnormally dry period when the amount of available water is limited. In Australia drought can be managed as a normal business risk over extended periods. Farmers are encouraged to adopt self-reliant management approaches, as they are in the best position to develop agronomic practices and business strategies to suit their particular needs and enterprises.

For strategies, tools and tips on how to manage during dry conditions visit www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/seasonal

What is the best way to help primary producers experiencing extreme dry conditions or drought?

If you wish to donate towards fodder to help primary producers experiencing financial hardship because of the dry conditions, cash is the most helpful donation as it allows those impacted to buy exactly what they need.

The Rural Relief Fund accepts donations of money to help support farming families, with priority given to both family and animal welfare.

Where can I go for help in sourcing fodder and feed during dry conditions?

TasFodder links buyers and sellers of fodder and feed and provides a free, year-round online registration service that aims to help farmers find alternative sources of fodder and feed.

Where can I find out about places and arrangements available for agistment?

Livestock agents, rural real estate, Tas Country or social media platforms are a good place to start.

What options are there to help manage stock in dry conditions?

Monitoring water and calculating feed and water requirements for livestock is important, along with strategies to manage stock in dry conditions. See Dry Conditions Tips and Strategies on the DPIPWE website for more information.

What is the best value fodder to buy in times of drought or dry conditions?

Feed quality in any year is highly variable. There are many informative resources available online to help you make a decision about the available alternatives that best suit your needs. See the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture’s publication ‘Feed tests can save money’ and other resources under the ‘Feed and Fodder’ heading on the Dry Conditions Tips and Strategies webpage.

An agricultural consultant or the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture may be able to provide advice on what to consider with your stock.

I am unable to purchase feed and fodder, where can I go to for help?

The Rural Relief Fund provides financial support to farming families, with priority given to both family and animal welfare.

Free financial counselling is also available through Rural Business Tasmania or phone 1800 88 FARM (1800 88 3276).

Mental health support is available through www.rawtas.com.au or phone 1300 HELP MATE (1300 4357 6283)

I am concerned about animal welfare, what should I do?

People who own, manage or otherwise care for animals are responsible for their welfare. For more information, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania.

Accessing Fodder in Emergency Situations

What is an emergency?

Both ‘emergency’ and ’disaster’ are commonly used to describe any event that endangers, injures, damages and/or destroys life, property and the environment, and which requires a significant and coordinated response from one or more emergency management organisations, for example police, ambulance or fire brigade.

What is the best way to help feed livestock and animals in emergency-affected communities?

In general, the best way for any member of the public to help after any emergency is to donate money or vouchers for the purchase of goods and services supplied by businesses in the affected community. This not only allows people to identify and meet their most pressing needs, it also helps to stimulate recovery in the local economy.

In Tasmania, Rotary leads the coordination of community-based activities for the collection of publically donated fodder and feed (and donations of money to purchase fodder and feed) for the appropriate distribution to animals on emergency-affected properties. To make a direct donation of fodder or feed in an emergency, please contact Rotary Tasmania by email.

Why does Rotary coordinate the emergency fodder and feed relief for animals in Tasmania?

Rotary Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the provision of emergency fodder and feed relief for livestock, domestic animals and wildlife in February 2016.

The MOU recognises that, as a service club organisation that encompasses around 1450 members in 47 clubs in most areas of the State, Rotary is well-equipped to provide support for community recovery initiatives after the immediate danger of emergency and disaster events has passed. Rotary call their coordination program “Rotary Fodder Relief”. It is for livestock, domestic animals and wildlife.

Where can I get advice on animal welfare issues during an emergency event?

For advice on animal welfare before, during and after an emergency event, you can download information from the Biosecurity Tasmania Animals and Bushfire webpage.

What do I need to know when feeding and watering livestock after a bushfire?

Some important tips for feeding and watering stock in the days and weeks following the destruction of pasture by a bushfire are available on the Biosecurity Tasmania website.

A great range of helpful resources for farmers and landowners is also available online through the Agriculture section of Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) website, including information about Bushfires on Farming Properties.

© Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) 2017. All rights reserved.
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