3 im­por­tant things you need to know about

NZ Lifestyle Block - - NOTEBOOK -

1It’snot the cal­cium you want

Lime is ac­tu­ally cal­cium car­bon­ate, and most peo­ple think it’s the cal­cium that helps to bal­ance ph, but that’s not cor­rect says Doug.

“Our soils have got heaps of cal­cium (thanks to their young age and the high level of cal­cium in su­per phos­phate fer­tiliser). It’s the car­bon­ate that we add to the soil which re­acts with the acid and in­creases the ph, so the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent is the car­bon­ate con­tent – you should buy lime based on its car­bon­ate con­tent, not on its cal­cium con­tent.”

This colour means dan­ger

There are a few easy steps to take to pro­tect your live­stock from fa­cial eczema. These in­clude us­ing zinc bo­luses in stock through­out sum­mer, start­ing in early Jan­uary as zinc lev­els take time to in­crease and you need lev­els to be high to pre­vent dam­age from Fe­bru­ary on­wards. Al­ter­na­tive pas­tures do bet­ter than rye­grass (see top right), and not graz­ing rye­grass to its base, in­stead mov­ing stock on while the leaves are still tall (spores are eaten when grass is low to the ground).

But there’s one place where spores will be high­est and it’s easy to spot: any pas­ture that is dark green (due to urine patches) in con­trast to the dry, lighter­coloured pas­ture around it will gen­er­ally have very high spore loads.

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