farming diary

Running the Farm : Farming diary

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

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May farming diaryMay is time for winter feed planning – and it’s always a concern at what may lie ahead in terms of rainfall.

April farming diaryAutumn and all its challenges is here, and the we have to face what winter brings. The rains from the tropical north were a mixed blessing - so welcome in some areas and cursed in others.

March farming diaryView March as the start of a new season with breeding activity starting for sheep and goats, and for cows timed for autumn calving. In ‘normal’ seasons, (whatever they used to be), an ‘autumn flush’ of ryegrass and clover would appear as the rains came, so there was a good chance of keeping stock in good body condition during the mating season. But don’t rely on this ‘flush’ this year.

February farming diaryPasture growth in February is all about soil moisture.

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.

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