As you drive around our beautiful country you can see cattle of all sizes and shapes. Delicate, doe-eyed Jerseys; rangy, angular Friesians; placid red and white Herefords with their tightly curling facial hair. You don't have to travel far afield before you spot a few shaggy-coated Highlands, two-tone Belted Galloways or even pint-sized Dexters.
March is the month for mulch. Pine needles (my mulch of choice) go thickly around the Asian vegetables sown in February.
The yellow and black bullets of evil seem to be everywhere. But not all wasps are equal. Knowing what wasp is what helps deal to these flying menaces. Annette Taylor takes a closer look.
There is an old saying that you put a $1 tree in a $10 hole. Inflation may adjust the figures but it still holds true. Put tenfold the effort into planting and you set your tree up for life. A good root zone means it will grow a lot faster, fruit a lot earlier, be more productive and suffer from less pests and disease. The ramifications last for years.
Watch out for nitrate poisoning when the autumn rains come. This is when stock eat the fresh new “autumn flush” pasture that grows after a long dry period. It is usually worst with new grass, but can happen on old pasture too. Nitrates are broken down in the animal's rumen and cause death through reducing the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. The animal actually dies from oxygen starvation, and it can be very rapid.
In late pregnancy and early lactation, ewes and cows are under great metabolic stress. Their foetuses grow fast in late pregnancy, and after giving birth they have to produce a lot of milk.
You might well have heard of Johne’s disease, because it’s a common problem in ruminants. But even if you’ve heard of it, you may not know much about it.