Spring Growth

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4 years 7 months ago #548780 by AGPS
Spring Growth was created by AGPS
Excess grass in spring is age old problem for small block holders....can anyone offer any new solutions?

We have 3 acres in South Waikato near Tirau, 2.5 acres grazeable, well subdivided into six paddocks, running four ewes, a ram and associated lambs through to weaning when the lambs are sold with the exception of one that we keep for the freezer.
From September through to the end of December we have more grass than we need and not enough stock to deal with it.

Our Dairy farming neighbour generally has a couple of weaners or cull cows that we are able to use to keep things in check during spring, but not always.
We buy in feed to carry us through winter but ideally we would like to make our own but we have been unable to find a contractor in the area that could make some silage/hay for us to help.

So what else can we do...any ideas would be appreciated?

Cheers :)

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4 years 7 months ago #548781 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Spring Growth
Fallowing pasture has soil health benefits... but beware of grass pollen allergies.

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4 years 7 months ago #548799 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Spring Growth
Fallowing pasture north of Canterbury is very, very dangerous, because the dead sward in the pasture is where the Facial Eczema grows in autumn, at exactly the time that you need that paddock to feed the animals. Also it can be a fire risk. Keep trying the contractors and see if any can do small balage for you sometime soon.

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4 years 7 months ago #548804 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Spring Growth
Again...ridiculous overstatement. I've been fallowing in Manawatu for over a decade...and never had facial eczema in my animals!

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4 years 7 months ago #548809 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Spring Growth
Your animals are extremely fortunate. I'm in an area that should not have it, and we have. It is horrible seeing what happens, but it happens so rarely that precautions are not worthwhile.

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4 years 7 months ago - 4 years 7 months ago #548810 by Jaybee
Replied by Jaybee on topic Spring Growth
There's a couple of papers on deferred grazing that suggest facial eczema spore counts are actually lower in saved pasture. In any case, if your property is eczema prone you need to be taking preventative measures, and not grazing down low in the pasture sward.

I always shut up surplus paddocks in late spring and graze them off during autumn. It's much cheaper than cutting hay or silage (although I do that also for winter), and saved pasture is a lifesaver in a drought.

www.grassland.org.nz/publications/nzgras..._publication_879.pdf

beeflambnz.com/news-views/deferred-grazing-under-spotlight
Last edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Jaybee.

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4 years 7 months ago #548875 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Spring Growth
This 'eczema prone property' thing seems to be very localised. Massey's large animal unit puts out data from several nearby sites. Some of them score high year after year, while other ones are consistently low.

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