Rain, rain and more rain – where is spring farmers ask?

The fine break was a welcome respite for farmers wanting more fine weather to grow enough feed for stock and get delayed jobs completed.

Robert Ervine, a dairy farmer at Rangiotū said he was totally over the wet weather this spring, and it had put his schedule well behind where it usually was.

“Normally we have maize planted by now, silage made or about to, chicory and fodder beet in the ground and possibly we would be about ready to spray. I sprayed out with Roundup the first paddocks yesterday and didn’t get the spray truck stuck.”

But he said it was a close run thing and paddocks were so wet that getting a truck trapped in mud was a possibility

Farmers took advantage of the weekend’s fine weather to get chores done.

“Grass is coming away now but utilisation is poor and it’s impossible to properly graze to get good residuals so I am worried about what’s coming. We won’t force the cropping programme if we can’t get it in we won’t, but as to plan B still figuring that one out,” said Ervine.

DairyNZ’s regional manager, James Muwunganirwa said the weather had not been cold and the grass was growing reasonably well.

However, it had been difficult to graze as cows were tramping feed into mud, he said.

“We need some more full-on sunshine.”

Federated Farmers Manawatū/Rangitīkei president, Richard Morrison said he too was behind where he would normally be because of past wet weather.

“All farmers are in the same boat. I think even the town folk will be getting sick of not being able to get into shorts with the start of daylight saving. The calendar of events starts to get more and more condensed in the rush to Christmas. We have paddocks to cultivate, docking to finish, shearing and more.”

He said continual rain had been hampering all those jobs.

“But the sun will come out at some stage surely.”

Tararua Federated Farmers president, Neil Filer said farmers were tired of the heavy rain.

“We had thunderstorms, culverts were blown out, and we have had so much rain, there were lakes and flooding in the paddocks.

While they had plenty of grass for cows, using it was a problem, said Filer, a dairy farmer near Dannevirke.

“Cows are eating about half of it. Fifty per cent they are not eating but tramping it in. Luckily it has been a wet winter and spring, but not cold and the grass has kept growing.”

He said there had hardly been any fine days, and there had not been the usual wind to dry paddocks out

“It has been fine some days, but that was just a reprieve, and we were back to the rain again. It has rained on and off for a year now.”

Normally spring brought better weather, he said.

“The rain has been relentless. It’s hard on animals and staff.”




Link: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/97763758/rain-rain-and-more-rain–where-is-spring-farmers-ask

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