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Topic-icon The big dry...

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1 month 1 week ago #544981 by kate

Last summer when Sue was struggling with drought we had more rain that we wanted or needed. This year...not so much.

This paddock was cut for balage on 10th December. We put goats in for a week or so to eat the long grass at the edges of the paddock and nothing since. No grass growth at all.



We were hoping to cut hay but obviously that's not happened. The rest of the farm is looking almost as bad and we're feeding out as if it were winter.

Last January we got 223mm of rain, this January 12mm. The great news is that we have rain forecast for the coming week B) B) the bad news is it looks as if it will coincide with shearing :(

The next person who tells me what a great summer we're having may live to regret it :evil:


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1 month 1 week ago #544983 by jeannielea

Someone needs to tell Dan the weather man that 'more sun, wonderful day tomorrow etc is not exactly what those not living in cities want!

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1 month 1 week ago #544984 by Geba

Amen to that.

Bringing sheep nuts to the paddock has become a life threatening activity (for me) - *I* could get trampled in the rush.

Ground is very dry, and no rain to be seen. Luckily our sheep like eating 'standing hay' but it won't last for ever.

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1 month 1 week ago #544986 by Ruth

Kate, I thought you had a whole lot of rain when I was getting only drizzle?

4 Feb you wrote: "we've had nearly 30mls in the last couple of days". I'd have thought you'd have had a bit of growth from that?

We've had 25.5mm since New Year, half in each month. We're crispy and lots of the Feb part of that total fell in skiffy little bits up to 3mm max, which barely does anything if the sun comes out soon afterwards.

Last Edit: 1 month 1 week ago by Ruth.

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1 month 1 week ago #544987 by kate

We did get around 30mm and very exciting it was too...but it was followed by hot, windy weather and we got virtually nothing in the way of growth from it. There are huge cracks in the ground and even the weeds are giving up....


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1 month 1 week ago #544988 by Ruth

Right: naked rain dancing must commence immediately.

The Vanuatu cyclone is being predicted to bring some by the end of next week. What's the bet there's an almighty flood or only a bit of drizzle?

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1 month 1 week ago #544990 by kate

Not only are we shearing on Thursday and Friday, we also have a pest control update for some locals at our place on Saturday and the Country Calendar crew will be here filming for most of the week. So I'm imagining it will probably be a flood of biblical proportions....


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1 month 1 week ago #544992 by Ruth

... it'll take out the road for months...

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1 month 1 week ago #544993 by kate

Fine by me as long as everyone gets away first B)


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1 month 1 week ago #544995 by max2

Those down our way (Nth Waikato) who made excess silage have since stopped bragging/being proud of it as its become a necessity.

This time last year I had stopped feeding out and was solely relying on the pasture. Having said that, the weaner fairs were done and dusted so there were lesser numbers to carry through. This year the fairs are not until the beginning of March in our neck of the woods and prices for weaners have plummeted.

I just found a tennis ball that was lost that we use to play tennis with the dog. it was the only thing green in the house paddock apart from the leaves of the purple Royal thingo weed that the bees love.

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1 month 1 week ago #545004 by Stikkibeek

kate wrote: The next person who tells me what a great summer we're having may live to regret it :evil:


Oh no, that ought to read "the next person who tells me what a great summer we're having will not live to regret it"! :whistle:

We are the same. The lead-up to mowing our hay had two floods through the first hay paddock, which caused us to fork out the patches of "muddy" hay so it didn't go in the baler. OH almost got the baler stuck (They are pretty heavy) in one part of the paddock our neighbour now spills water into (after filling his wet paddock with topsoil) so it was very very wet in that corner. The grass did start to grow well, but 6 weeks later it is crackling as we walk over it and big cracks are now showing which will make great homes for the cricket invasion we will get and they will eat whatever grass does make it past the dry. Only thing in our favour at present is the heavy dews we are having.
We started feeding out hay a few days ago. I may have to wean the calves for the sake of the cows


Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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1 month 1 week ago #545008 by LongRidge

We have had 13.5 mm since 21 December. Fortunately the springs are still flowing so we are not as badly off as some in the Tasman area, especially those in the fire areas who have got melted polythene pipe so if they had any saved water it will be gone now..
We will look forward to Country Calendar reporting on the strange rituals that rural people go through to encourage rain :-).

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1 month 1 week ago #545013 by Stikkibeek

LongRidge wrote:
We will look forward to Country Calendar reporting on the strange rituals that rural people go through to encourage rain :-).

Especially those rural folk in the far North! :woohoo: :evil:


Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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1 month 6 days ago #545019 by Sue

Oh, I do so feel for all those suffering with the drought and feeding out your precious reserves!

Hard to believe now that we were in the same awful position this time last year and now have grass everywhere, including having cut half the 50 acres for hay and baleage and the 39 remaining cattle still have more than they need!

We have had 88mm since 1st Jan.
18 Jan 2019



7 Jan 2018


Heres hoping the promised rain comes your way, but not the day you are shearing!


Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.
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1 month 5 days ago #545049 by VioletFarmer

It seems we had our summer allocation of rain in Oct /Nov /Dec last year, close to 200 mls over that time and barely more than an inch since new year. This time last year we could not get our hay dry- we did two cuts of baleage instead & sold the lot as we did not need it. We managed to get 44 bales of hay off our paddock 4 wks ago- bit of a let down from the 132 we got 2 summers ago when we had good regular rain and good drying. 4 weeks after cutting our paddock last year we had nearly knee high re growth- im looking out the window at the paddock atm, and the re growth is barely ankle depth & starting to burst into full flower (paddock is 75% red clover- remainder a mix of plantain/ rye). So last week I was scrambling to find some grazing on friends property's, to save the big paddock for winter grazing & now the sheep are staying to graze the paddock off in the hopes of good autumn rain & good growing conditions. Im glad the sheep are staying here... for now... as the potential grazing is a 32km round trip.... hardly worth it when we only have 12 sheep... but needs may in fact must if it continues to be dry :(

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