New Zealand farm guide for July: Check paddocks, prepare for lambing and calving


The days are short, but it’s an important time to make plans for spring.

CHECK PADDOCKS

Check which paddocks are growing good feed (ryegrass and clover) and those that are growing mainly weeds. It’s too late to do anything about the weeds now, but plan action (eg, spraying out, reseeding) for spring.

MOW THE THISTLES

Mow off Californian thistles, which grow all winter. The optimum mowing strategy is to mow in the rain (which stirs up a fungus that infects cut stems), and repeat multiple times while the weed is in its young leafy stage heading into spring and summer. The more you hit it at this stage, the less feed gets to the roots, which is how it spreads. Do this several seasons in a row and you’ll have noticeably less thistle each time, no spraying required.

NEW LAMBS AND CALVES

Prepare now for lambing and calving, and check with your vet about an effective vaccination programme for mothers and their offspring.

CHECK FOR LICE

Check for lice if sheep are rubbing on fences – get vet advice on the best treatment.

HAY

Only feed enough hay to keep stock eating for an hour or so, so it doesn’t go to waste, but they get enough to keep them in a maintenance state. This is why it’s important to understand body condition scoring.

THE VET

Check with your vet before drenching scouring, unthrifty young stock for worms as there may be other problems, especially minerals. Drenching for worms needs to be based on a FEC, and the correct product used to avoid build-up of drench resistance.

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NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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