Week one down on the farm.

45 mls of rain fell over night on the Hauraki Plains to go with the 50 mls of rain last week. Jobs on the farm increase 10 fold in the wet weather as farmers try to reduce any risk of pugging. This week dry cows will spend just 3-4 hours on the paddock then be pulled off and stood off on yards and standoff pads.

The main aim is to keep cow feed intakes up while making sure paddocks are not damaged. This is easier said than done when 50% of the grass is pushed into wet ground before the cows can eat it. Low utilisation now means underfeeding is a big risk especially as energy demands rise with the wet and cold weather.

Meal breaks will become a luxury for some as they trudge through sodden ground putting up fences and picking up muddy calves.

Tips

Don’t leave cows on the paddock longer than they need to be. 15 minutes too long on wet soils can damage the paddock for the rest of the season.

Pick up calves twice daily and tube feed with warm fresh colostrum.

Milk colostrum cows OAD until they can eat enough to meet their energy demands.

Use Homeopathics to help with calving ailments, stress, and infections.

Use yards to feed supplements to hold rotation length out and prevent pugging.

Feed hay to all stock if you have enough or to milkers and Colostrums to keep them settled.

Above all else stay ahead of the game.

Best wishes Ian

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About Ian Handcock

Founder Fit 4 Farming initiative Promoting Farmer wellbeing. Performance coach.
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