Spring pas­ture tips

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature -

• Feed should have been saved for stock mov­ing to­wards peak lac­ta­tion.

• Get down and have a close look at your ‘pas­ture’. There should be plenty of grass species (es­pe­cially rye­grass) and clover, but there will also be weeds and bare ground. Plan to man­age the weeds be­fore they get big, and to re­sow bare ar­eas.

• As soils will still be wet, large stock like cat­tle can do a lot of pug­ging dam­age. Plan for a spe­cial stand-off area cov­ered in bark where they can be fed hay and silage in racks.

• Don’t graze down to soil level, as leav­ing a good ‘pas­ture resid­ual’ has­tens re­growth.

• En­sure elec­tric fences are giv­ing full power to avoid break­outs and pas­ture dam­age.

• Use a back fence and mo­bile wa­ter troughs to keep stock off grazed ar­eas so you avoid dam­age to soil and pas­ture re­growth.

• Use a small N fer­tiliser ap­pli­ca­tion (25kgn/ha) for a pas­ture boost, but avoid drains and streams when spread­ing.

• Have a man­age­ment plan for when pas­ture re­ally takes off and will need con­trol­ling.

• Fence off all drains and streams to keep stock (es­pe­cially cat­tle) out of wa­ter­ways on your prop­erty, and plant ri­par­ian strips along the sides. If your stream wa­ter is dirty, find out why and get help to fix the prob­lem from the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­ity.

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