With a solid grass component to most local pastures, you might think that you don't have to worry about bloat this year.
While it is certainly true that bloat is a lower risk in general with clover being less predominant this season, we have still had cases of 'puffy' cattle, and deaths reported.
In reality, animals can die from bloat on any lush green pasture if it is eaten quickly enough!
If you are into technology, a free app has been developed with the aim of providing an early warning system of bloat cases in your area.
It has been developed as part of Charles Sturt University research into bloat in southern beef production systems and is available for iPhone users from the App Store, and possibly for Android users not too far down the track.
Once you have downloaded the app you can access a map which identifies postcodes where bloat cases have been reported, and the frequency.
If you have identified bloat in your own stock you can report this as well. As the data is reported on postcode, not property, your anonymity is maintained.
You can also set yourself up so that if a case is reported in your local area the app will send you a notification.
This prompt can remind you to have a closer look at your animals and consider enacting, or adjusting bloat preventative measures.
Obviously the app will provide better information as more producers use it to report cases.
You can download the free app at www.bit.ly/bloatalert or search for Bloat Alert on the App Store.
If you are uncertain whether you are having problems due to bloat, then please give us a call.
You can get in touch with us by calling the Central West Local Land Services Forbes Office on 6850 1600.