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farming diary

Running the Farm : Farming diary

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

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Although December is the end of the calendar year and summer holiday time, it’s by no means the end of the farming year, and there’s much to do and plan for the next three months at least.

November is a critical month for pastures as the rain we get now dictates growth for early silage. If predictions are right about a dry summer, then early silage has never been more important.


A lot of folk are worried about the prediction of a summer drought, and in some parts it’s drying up already.

After the wet winter, farmers in most areas have been struggling to build up a feed surplus for calving and lambing as soil temperatures were slow to rise up into the teens which starts pastures to grow.

August farming diaryThe problem this year in most parts of the country is that soils are so waterlogged, and it’s going to take a most of the month for them to dry up so the 10cm soil temperature gets over 10-12°C for pastures to really grow.

July farming diaryThe shortest day is gone but don’t think it’s spring. Seeing early newborn calves and lambs can fool you but they could have been unplanned matings!

June farming diaryIt’s time to get into winter mode, after a very good warm autumn in most areas. Winter is really the planning time for next season, and surprisingly in these last few years, spring has arrived early with few frosts like we used to get.

May farming diaryMay is time for winter-feed planning – as it’s always a concern about what lies ahead in terms of rainfall and frosts.

The job now is to get feed built up for winter. The autumn rains have certainly grown more pasture but in many areas it has not been ryegrass and clover.

March farming diaryMarch is the start of the breeding season for many farm stock, and it has to be it needs plenty of good greed fresh feed in an ‘autumn flush’.

February farming diaryThe rain saved the day in some parts, but was too late to bring about total pasture recovery to save dairy farms from drying off, feeding out winter supplements and culling stock.

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. 

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