Cool ad­vice for hot sum­mers on the farm

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

While the jury is out on whether or not a drought is on the agenda, Waikato Times Farmer thought it timely to get some hot tips for hot times from top minds. re­ports. and have a plan in the top drawer in case your sunny out­look is re­flected in the weather.

The DairyNZ Dry Sum­mer Man­age­ment Guide is avail­able at dairynz.co.nz.

Be sun- smart and help your cows be sun-smart too. Score your pad­docks for heat risk. Go to cool­cows. com. au for help with this. Watch for signs of heat stress in your herd and take ac­tion.

North Is­land farm­ers alarmed at the reap­pear­ance of the dis­tinc­tive feed­ing notches of the adult clover root weevil and the num­ber of lar­vae in the soil can re­lax. The tiny Ir­ish wasp, the bio­con­trol agent in­tro­duced to con­trol the weevil, is up to the task and no more re­leases are re­quired in the North Is­land.

Farm­ers wish­ing to re­tain clovers and op­ti­mise the bio­con­trol agent in their pas­tures are ad­vised to do the fol­low­ing:

Take a ‘‘ lit­tle and of­ten’’ ap­proach to ni­tro­gen ap­pli­ca­tions Don’t let pas­tures be­come rank En­sure suf­fi­cient cover in sum­mer to pro­tect the vul­ner­a­ble clover shoots from the sun.

Farm­ers should be par­tic­u­larly cau­tious with water use over sum­mer. Make sure your ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem is de­signed for your par­tic­u­lar farm, and use the cor­rect op­er­at­ing prac­tices to en­sure ef­fi­cient water use.

Keep sun­block in the cow shed for your staff. Make sure you have shade for your an­i­mals. Main­tain your water pump.

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