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farming diary

Running the Farm : Farming diary

Note: South Island farms will be about one month behind North Island farms

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In most parts of the country you’ll be lucky to have anything you can call a pasture after the many months of little or no rain, hot sun and high evaporation rates.

The effect of the dry weather in February is now starting to bite, and many areas are facing tough feed situations ahead, as it will be well into winter before ground water levels are anywhere back to being satisfactory to meet stock needs.

It’s warming up alright and the rain we got in December was gold! So hopefully if the predicted drought arrives – the effects won’t be too bad.

Although December is the end of the calendar year and summer holiday time, it’s by no means the end of the farming year, and there’s much to do and plan for the next three months at least.

November is a critical month for pastures as the rain we get now dictates growth for early silage. If predictions are right about a dry summer, then early silage has never been more important.

 

A lot of folk are worried about the prediction of a summer drought, and in some parts it’s drying up already.

After the wet winter, farmers in most areas have been struggling to build up a feed surplus for calving and lambing as soil temperatures were slow to rise up into the teens which starts pastures to grow.

August farming diaryThe problem this year in most parts of the country is that soils are so waterlogged, and it’s going to take a most of the month for them to dry up so the 10cm soil temperature gets over 10-12°C for pastures to really grow.

July farming diaryThe shortest day is gone but don’t think it’s spring. Seeing early newborn calves and lambs can fool you but they could have been unplanned matings!

June farming diaryIt’s time to get into winter mode, after a very good warm autumn in most areas. Winter is really the planning time for next season, and surprisingly in these last few years, spring has arrived early with few frosts like we used to get.

May farming diaryMay is time for winter-feed planning – as it’s always a concern about what lies ahead in terms of rainfall and frosts.

We wait to see if the summer drought predictions are going to kick in. January rain saved a lot of areas thankfully, and silage and hay contractors must be exhausted – some running six weeks late trying to catch up.

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