farming diary

Running the Farm : Farming diary

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

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January farming diaryJanuary can be a crazy month and is supposed to be a time to holiday and get rid of the past year’s stress. 

december farming diaryThe end of the calendar year can be pandemonium with end of school, pre-Christmas preparations and family holidays.

November farming diaryGrass and clover should be bursting out of the ground in most parts, certainly where regular fertiliser applications have been applied, which is not the case in hill country these days. Already silage bales are appearing which is the ideal way to preserve the highly nutritious spring pasture.


October farming diaryGrowth should have taken off this month as soil temperatures rise.


September farming diaryIn many areas, especially in the North Island, autumn growth seemed to be put on hold in the last part of August, so it was not possible to build up a feed surplus before calving and lambing. So many folk were concerned about thin ewes.

August farming diaryPastures should be starting to grow in the North Island as the 10cm soil temperature gets at least 10-12°C but soils won’t warm up if they are waterlogged.

July farming diaryThe shortest day is history and we have the rest of winter to face so stock get through to spring in good order.

June farming diaryThe long warm autumn days have been good for urban folk, but rural folk have been hoping for a decent rain (not so-called showers) to fill tanks, ponds and restore ground water.

May farming diaryMay is all about having enough feed available for the different classes of stock on the farm, and make sure they are well fed and have reached their required Body Condition Score and target weights.

April farming diaryAutumn is always a challenge, as you never know what kind of winter is on the way. Long-term weather forecasts can be anybody’s guess. Rain has been so variable that in some areas it will take all winter to get soil moisture levels back to normal.

March farming diaryAfter another dry summer, and serious drought down the east coast of the South Island, substantial autumn rain cannot come soon enough. The main worry in March is how much will we get, and what will grow afterwards. Hopefully it will be a nice autumn flush of ryegrass and clover but it could be a mass of weeds as well.

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