Tuesday, 13 October 2020 09:55

OAD arrives early in Southland

Written by  Peter Burke
Bernadette Hunt, Southland Federated Farmers. Bernadette Hunt, Southland Federated Farmers.

Some dairy farmers in Southland are already moving to once a day (OAD) milking because they don’t have sufficient good pasture on which to graze their stock.

Bernadette Hunt, Southland Federated Farmers, told Dairy News that in parts of the province, pastures have been very badly damaged by recent floods. She says the pastures are just so wet it’s impossible to graze animals on the land and there is insufficient grass for stock.

“It is obviously very early in the season to be thinking of OAD milking. A lot of dairy farmers had to take their stock off pasture because the paddocks were so waterlogged and the pasture damaged,” she says.

Hunt says while they were expecting rain, a huge amount fell in a twelve hour period and that caught people in some areas by surprise. She says flooding was localised, with small creeks and culverts overflowing, cutting off stock and making roads impassable. 

On some farms, effluent ponds filled up rapidly, but she says the flooding went down quickly, although there is still pasture damage.

Feed supplies in the region are said to be good, due in part to a mild winter. Ironically, Hunt says it feels like they are getting their winter weather in spring. But she says people do have surplus baleage, which will be available for farmers with damaged pastures. She says it’s now a matter of how long it takes for the sodden pastures to dry out.

“This is delaying contractors getting on to the land. Normally the first crops start going in during October with others following in November. 

“We have effectively lost a fortnight. There is a shortage of contractors due to Covid and the immigration challenges, and the rain has compressed the planting season, which is going to make it tough on contracting staff,” she says.

Hunt says with farmer morale already pretty low, this is just another blow that they really don’t want and adds to the challenges they face.

More like this

Friends?

OPINION: After years of fighting over farming, freshwater and sustainability Federated Farmers and Fish & Game are trying to kiss and make up.

Slow learners?

Our old mate does wonder about the financial acumen of brain’s trust running Federated Farmers these days!

Nice speech, but...

OPINION: Publisher Stuff and lobby group Federated Farmers both like to preach about their respective high-minded virtues – Stuff, about “funding journalism”, Feds about “supporting our farming communities”.

A dangerous precedent

A proposal by the Timaru District Council (TDC) to extend setbacks in rural areas is raising eyebrows.

National

Dry cow therapy minus antibiotics

Taranaki sharemilker Shaun Eichstaedt was the first New Zealander to replace traditional antibiotic dry cow therapy (DCT) with a high-strength…

Changes are afoot

There has been a mixed response by the agriculture sector to the recently released Climate Change Commission’s 2021 draft report. 

Machinery & Products

Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Oat milk sells

OPINION: Fake milk works for some. Fashionable Swedish alt-milk brand Oatly is seeking a US stock market listing that could…

Labour shortage

If you think labour shortage on New Zealand dairy farms is unique to our country, then think again.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter