Resilience strategies for small landholders Part 3: Drought plans and maintenance feed requirements for cattle

This series of recorded webinars is focused on supporting small landholders during times of drought and the subsequent recovery processes. This is part 3 of a 5-part webinar series.

In this recording, Roger Sneath (Senior Beef Extension Officer, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) discusses the development of drought plans and the concept of having a strategy in place when faced with the challenges of dry conditions.

At what point do you make important decisions about the animals in your care?

Roger will also expand on what cattle feed requirements (for maintenance) you should consider when making these decisions. The topics discussed include:

1. Rain and pasture websites
2. Review drought plans
3. Feed budgeting
4. Drought options and tools
5. Feeding cattle
6. Holding breeder condition
7. Protein and energy supplements
8. Costing nutrients

You can watch the full recording or use the playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation.

33:00; published 18 May 2020 by FutureBeefAu.


  1. Dry season management
  2. Topics to be covered
  3. Australia’s variable rainfall
  4. Long paddock website and FORAGE
  5. CliMate website
  6. Drought decisions and review
  7. Making a drought plan
  8. Producer reflections on drought…
  9. Annual cycles and critical trigger dates
  10. Feed budgeting
  11. Drought options and tools
  12. Selling vs feeding
  13. Managing for variability
  14. Feeding cattle – how much do they drink?
  15. How much do they eat?
  16. Maintenance full hand feeding rates (as fed)
  17. Weaning information
  18. Estimated full feeding costs (425 kg breeder)
  19. Holding breeder condition
  20. Protein and energy supplements
  21. Costing energy and protein
  22. Fodder biosecurity (chemical, weeds, etc)
  23. Summary and take home messages

Download a copy of the presentation – Dry season management (PDF, 2.53 MB)

Other parts of the webinar series

← Resilience strategies for small landholders Part 1: Grazing land management and pasture recovery

← Resilience strategies for small landholders Part 2: Managing climate variability and the maintenance feed requirements for horses, sheep and goats

← Resilience strategies for small landholders Part 4: Duty of care to animals

← Resilience strategies for small landholders Part 5: When euthanasia is the best option

Additional resources

A new website has been developed to support small landholders – Animals in drought

Information on Dry season pasture budget: a guide for stocking rates

Information on Forage budgeting videos

Information on Beef business tools

Information on Dry season management of beef businesses

Information on Managing for dry years and drought

Information on drought and climate adaptation visit the Long Paddock (FORAGE) website