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Belle Baker and Alex Thomas

In the Adelaide Hills Farmcast July Edition, Belle Baker looks at farming jobs Adelaide Hills lifestyle farmers should be planning for in the coming months. We’ll cover weaning your lambs and calves and how to avoid grass Tetany. This episode was recorded with Alex Thomas from #plantaseedforsafety – a rural social change initiative that puts health, safety and wellbeing front of mind.

And Pods talks with Ashley Davidson from Woodshield Posts about the benefits of using this certified organic fencing solution.

We hope you find this show helpful and welcome your comments below or email Belle or Pods at

You can play the episode, below, or search for Adelaide Hills Farmcast in your favourite podcast app, on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

Also, remember that each episode has chapter markers, so when you’re playing, you can skip to the next section easily.

00:30 Adelaide Hills Farmcast July Edition


03:07 Adelaide Hills Farm Almanac / Farm Calendar


  • The key factors in determining when to wean your lambs or calves is to ensure they are large enough and that you have immediate access to good quantities and quality feed. Growing stock will be on a rising plane of nutrition meaning they need an increasing amount of fodder to maintain their weight and to grow.
  • Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) have published a handy guide – you can read it here. And if you want to read some research on how heifers and cows on a rising plane of nutrition positively impacts pregnancy rates, there is a good article here.
  • Grass Tetany can be a real issue in high rainfall regions like the Adelaide Hills. In simple terms, it’s caused when magnesium levels get down to a critical level. It’s most common in lactating animals over 5/6 years old. There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of Grass Tetany including offering hay, a salt lick and ensuring there is a steady source of feed. Elders Rural has a short, informative article here, and MLA provide more technical details here.
Simmental Weaners


  • Post-emergent spraying continues
  • Its time to consider whether you’re going to fertilise your pastures. If you are, please consider booking your contractor now.
  • Winter is a good time to spread any old mouldy hay over bare patches in your paddocks. They should grow and fill in the patches.


  • Whilst your water sources throughout winter should be in good supply, continual run-off into dams can cause some contamination. It’s fairly easy to tell if you have a problem, your stock will be avoiding drinking it. If in doubt, we suggest you do a water quality test.

Productive Gardens

  • Have you finished pruning your roses and fruit trees?
  • I’ve had a wonderful package from Mr Fothergill’s so this month I’m planting Asparagus, and a thorn-free Blackberry, Red Current and Boysenberry Fruit Trees.

Links I mentioned in the Farmcast:



17:04 Farmcast Interview: Pods and Ashley Davidson talk about Woodshield Posts

Pods and I are big advocates of the Woodshield product. They are an untreated pine post encased in recycled plastic making them certified organic. We’re seeing an increasing number of clients using Woodshield and were thrilled when Ashley said he had time to drop in and talk with us.

Ashley Davidson, Woodshield Posts with Pods
Ashley Davidson, Woodshield Posts with Pods from Adelaide Hills Farm Services

27:06 Farmcast Co-host: Alex Thomas, Nairne

Our special guest this month is Alex Thomas, a “gal” from the bush who has drawn her life experience and professional experience together to become a passionate voice for practical farm safety.

Having had her dad fall victim to Q Fever from the feral goats on their station and then having become disillusioned with the workplace safety processes she worked with in her early career, Alex set her mission on influencing farming families and workers to change habits and attitudes and take a down-to-earth approach to being serious about safety.
Alex is now a sought after speaker and consultant, and in this episode she gives us a good introduction to her campaigns: #PlantASeedForSafety and #SaveALifeListenToYourWife.

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