14 Win­ter pas­ture tips

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature Country Calendar: Winter -

• Check the state of pas­tures af­ter drought to de­cide on ac­tion needed.

• Do a feed bud­get to see if feed sup­ply will meet feed de­mand over win­ter and into spring. Get help if needed.

• If you are clearly over­stocked, get rid of stock now.

• Don’t buy hay with­out check­ing for qual­ity, and weed con­tent.

• If you have to buy silage, open a sam­ple bale to en­sure it smells sweet and has no moulds.

• Check ‘baleage’ care­fully, as it may have been hay that was baled when slightly wet and could be mouldy.

• Don’t rely on Ni­tro­gen fer­tiliser to grow any ex­tra feed you need in win­ter as re­sponse to N de­pends on soil tem­per­a­ture.

• Make sure hay and silage is not wasted and that stock clean up what they are fed.

• Big silage bales left in one spot will burn pas­ture and cause pug­ging.

• Feed racks, which can be moved reg­u­larly, are a good idea.

• Avoid pug­ging pas­tures at all costs. Feed and stand­off pads must meet en­vi­ron­men­tal drainage stan­dards. Use a back fence when graz­ing.

• Keep on eye on weeds like this­tles - attack them next spring when growth ac­cel­er­ates again.

• Re­view a win­ter tree plant­ing pro­gramme for shade, fod­der and ero­sion con­trol.

• Fence off all drains for ri­par­ian pro­tec­tion.

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