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Winter delivers too much of a good thing

14 August 2012

Winter delivers too much of a good thing

Prolonged wet weather and surface flooding is causing concern on-farm during a very busy period in the farming calendar, with calving and in some pockets, lambing, underway.

“I know when we hit a long dry spell farmers will look back at the rain longingly. But what many need right now are days or weeks of fine settled weather to dry out,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Adverse Events spokesperson.

“The only way to describe much of rural New Zealand is sodden and there’ll be plenty of people in the towns and cities who’d probably agree. Farmers are hoping for a decent fine spell in order for saturated pasture to recover.

“With another front of wet weather upon Canterbury today and another in the pipeline for the weekend, respite is not quite here. That said, forecasters are saying weather patterns should start to improve hopefully giving us the settled period we are hanging out for.

“Our advice to livestock farmers, especially those with cattle, is to avoid pugging damage where they can. Heavy pugging can seriously knock back pasture growth rates and even moderate damage can put your farm behind the eight-ball.

“Being a West Coaster we know a bit about heavy rain. Experience tells us you can get away with one wet grazing but if you have to graze wet again, farmers need to either stand off cattle after three hours grazing or once they’ve eaten grass down to a desired residual.

“If you don't avoid pugging damage your farm pasture, your stock and your balance sheet will suffer ahead of our key growing season,” Katie Milne concluded.

For on-line advice and guidance in dealing with adverse weather:
Beef+Lamb NZ guides to adverse weather
DairyNZ guide to pasture & supplements and DairyNZ guide to farm flooding

ENDS

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