Newbie questions

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3 years 2 months ago #553860 by Moome
Newbie questions was created by Moome
Gotta start somewhere :)
Appreciate any help on the following:
I have 2ha in Northland newly purchased and am looking to start regen ag.

Do I let the neighbour run stock to keep the grass down or build it up for winter?
Suitable electric fencing unit suggestions? Considerations?
Beef breeds for beginners? How many should I run for 2ha? Should I expect to pay for winter feed?
Where do you buy stock from and how do you go about selling stock? Transport etc.
Crop seeding. I think I will need about 50kg of seed for 2ha. Can I over-sow or should I drill-seed? If so, can you hire them?
I get the fencing off part and daily rotation but i imagine I would also need a long hose and trough for stock water?

A lot of questions here but any help would be appreciated.

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3 years 2 months ago - 3 years 2 months ago #553861 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Newbie questions

Moome wrote: ...I have 2ha in Northland...

  1. Do I let the neighbour run stock to keep the grass down or build it up for winter?
  2. Suitable electric fencing unit suggestions? Considerations?
  3. Beef breeds for beginners? How many should I run for 2ha? Should I expect to pay for winter feed?
  4. Where do you buy stock from and how do you go about selling stock? Transport etc.
  5. Crop seeding. I think I will need about 50kg of seed for 2ha. Can I over-sow or should I drill-seed? If so, can you hire them?
  6. I get the fencing off part and daily rotation but i imagine I would also need a long hose and trough for stock water?

  1. What's your preference? If you have Kikuyu as a dominant species, there's no "building up for winter" because that's not how you manage Kikuyu. Do you have a nice neighbour with some animals?
  2. Usually depends on how long your fences are. You won't need a very big unit for 2ha. We now have an orange one from a G company with a really crappy but expensive remote control.
  3. We all have our prefences. Most important for a small block is temperament, then attractiveness as animals to look at which includes condition, growth rates, colour - if you care, etc. etc. On 2ha you're not going to have many. Generally a loading ramp (attached to yards) makes your life a lot easier. You can homekill for meat, send to the works, send to local sale yards, sell on trademe, etc. You must register in NAIT and ensure they're tagged, if you have cattle. (The registration costs nothing and is required by law.)
  4. Stock sales, private purchase, trademe if you dare, local farmer ... But don't have cattle unless you have access to yards or have built a small set yourself. You don't want to have to shoot a sick animal because you have no way of restraining and treating it.
  5. Two hectares you over-sow it by hand, broadcast. It's easy and will barely take you an hour. But again if you have Kikuyu, you have to manage that first. Drilling, you'd get a contractor. First you'd want to ensure the fertility of the soil is right, i.e. soil test to see how it is currently, then address anything that's deficient for good plant/animal health.
  6. Yes to water. If you're going to have stock there in the long term, set up a system using alkathene pipes and proper troughs, to save messing around forever.

Did I mention Kikuyu? What's in your pasture now?
Last edit: 3 years 2 months ago by Ruth.

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3 years 2 months ago #553862 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Newbie questions
Welcome to the forum and thanks for the questions. With farming, as with life, there are no hard and fast facts, but only opinions, some based on bad science, some on good science, and all on experiences that we have had.
So, my opinions, for what they are worth.
1. Compared to USA, Australia, and other parts of the world, most beef and sheep farming in NZ is done by what I think is already regen ag. Most beef and sheep farmers in NZ do not use much artificial nitrogen but we rely on clover to naturally supply nitrogen for grass growth. Also, we do not do much ploughing, which depletes carbon from the soil. And, NZ naturally has about 5 times more soil carbon in our pastures than other countries. But we do have shortages of specific minerals that other parts of the worlds pastures are not short of, like phosphate, sulphate, calcium, cobalt, selenium and others.
2. Northland has areas that are high in some toxic minerals (like mercury) and low in others (like iron and copper). I personally would be taking soil samples to to test for these as well as whether the soil ingredients are right for optimum pasture growth. Go to your local Farmlands store to get the information about getting this done.
3.What is the fencing like? Sheep need considerably better fencing than cattle do, but cattle need stronger fencing. Both need the wires to be very tight, or to be netting. Cattle can be kept in with one electric fence wire, sheep and goats can't.
4. What is the water supply like? Cattle need much more water than sheep do and they need more water than goats. When each are milking they need much more water.
5. With yards, cattle need different yards than goats than sheep. We could use our sheep yards for goats by raising the height of the rails. But when we put the cattle into them they smashed the rails, so we had to build cattle yards. Do any of the neighbours have yards that you could pay them to use?
6. 2 hectares of effective pasture can run about 5 cattle or 20 sheep if the soil is properly fertilised to grow pasture. You might not have to buy feed in if you can make and store hay in spring, and save autumn pasture for break feeding over winter.
7 Remember that Northland pasture is likely to cause Facial Eczema in ruminants (sheep, cattle, perhaps goats) when the conditions are suitable for that fungus to grow. Also, pasture fed animals, especially young animals will likely get gastro-intestinal worms which will need to be drenched against. Some of these kill very quickly, but mostly it is a slow death.
8. I have used the Sale Yards to buy sheep and cattle. Mostly now though I ask neighbouring farmers if they have any animals that they can sell me. Remember that animals that are quiet with the person they know will likely not be quiet with you until they know you. Remember that every entire male anything (ganders, roosters, rams, goats, bulls, stallions, jacks, stags. boars) are unpredictable and are likely to want to play games involving head-butting, kicking, biting when you least expect it. Never have a tame entire male, and always castrate one that you raise from birth.

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3 years 2 months ago - 3 years 2 months ago #553863 by Moome
Replied by Moome on topic Newbie questions
I was not aware of NAIT. Will get on that. As for the grass, I don't think it is Kikuyu but I would like to plant a diversity of grasses, legumes, forbs etc.
A lot of practical advice, Thank you!
We settle on the property in a month so I will be able to provide better pictures etc.
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Last edit: 3 years 2 months ago by Moome.

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3 years 2 months ago #553864 by Moome
Replied by Moome on topic Newbie questions
Excellent advice with some local knowledge. Thank you. I am hoping to stay away from fertilizers and chemicals as much as possible but there will be a transition period until I get the right combination of pastures. Thank you for the farmlands tip. I will get onto that.

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3 years 2 months ago #553865 by Moome
Replied by Moome on topic Newbie questions
This is exactly the advice I was after, thank you!

I would like to achieve something like this - glenlandsfarm.co.nz/regenerative-farming/

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3 years 2 months ago #553866 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Newbie questions
Dry at yours! The green stuff will be Kikuyu.

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3 years 2 months ago #553868 by Moome
Replied by Moome on topic Newbie questions
Yup, planning to remedy. Has just been grazed for years I think.

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3 years 2 months ago #553869 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Newbie questions

Moome wrote: I am hoping to stay away from fertilizers and chemicals as much as possible but there will be a transition period until I get the right combination of pastures. .


Hi There, it's fantastic you have found this site and are asking questions! Out of all the LSB sites available online these days, this one beats the others, hands down. Very sensible folk on here with experience, not just ''I heard/someone said'' type replies.

Your line above caught my eye and it concerned me enough to respond. May I suggest you should consider reading matter on the subject of fertiliser. It doesn't have to be synthetic at all, and here in NZ we are fortunate enough to have a variety of choices to hand, but best you read up on how you want to improve your soils.

Here are some links to things we have found of interest:

brownsranch.us/

www.qlabs.co.nz/

www.kiwifertiliser.co.nz/articles-blog/i...lture-for-the-better (there are a lot of other NZ businesses who support the albrecht kinsey method, but I thought this article a good introduction

Then of course all the fertiliser companies have their own blurbs to read and you can find those companies easily enough.

LR mentioned about minerals and its an absolute must when testing the soil. It always seems to me to be an extra test than the ''normal'' soil ones, so please ensure you request a mineral test.

And I fully support the concept you need to test your soils to learn what they are deficient in. It's an ongoing journey and we do a selection every year here. Each paddock is completely different!

I hope this helps open up some lines of interest. Welcome!
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3 years 2 months ago #553876 by Moome
Replied by Moome on topic Newbie questions
Does everyone receive an ASD when buying stock? (Animal status declaration)

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3 years 2 months ago #553877 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Newbie questions
Should do, supposed to. It's a legal requirement that it is sent with stock.

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3 years 2 months ago #553878 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Newbie questions
No only when buying stock but also when selling stock. Alliance Meat Co-operative is where I send most of my livestock to become meat, so I use their forms when I'm sending animals elsewhere.
Remember when you raise livestock you are not permitted to sell meat, under any circumstances. Only direct family may be given meat. And unless you care for an animal of the same kind, you are not permitted to get it home killed for your own use unless you have owned it for 28 days.
Remember that plants "eat" chemicals. They do not use proteins, carbohydrates or fats to grow. Mainly plants eat water (a chemical), oxygen, carbon dioxide, phosphate, sulphate, nitrate, potassium, calcium in their chemical forms. For the plants to get these the microbes in the soil have to convert the organic and waste materials into something that the plant can eat. During this conversion, some nasty chemicals can also be produced by the soil microbes. Thus applying "artificial" fertilisers can be hugely beneficial, as has been shown by a trial near Ashburton that has been running for about 120 years. NZ soils are not like the huge grasslands of North and South America, Europe, Australia and Africa. Don't be scared of "artificial" chemicals - they have been proven to be safe by far more science than natural chemicals.
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3 years 2 months ago #553879 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Newbie questions
if you have time, also read this article about soil minerals, it's a classic!

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
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