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April Dairy Farming New Zealand Update

Thursday, 30 April 2015 at 11:59am

April saw the arrival of autumn weather and temperatures for most of the country.  There was mixed rainfall, with moisture levels improving in many areas and pastures starting to green-up in the drought regions. NIWA confirmed we are in an El Nino cycle, and some areas in the top of the South Island are still needing more rain. 

With most areas in New Zealand enjoying good autumn growth, many farmers are drying off or culling poor producing cows at good prices, as they prepare for winter. Most farm managers will calculate body condition scores of cows and time needed to return animals to calving condition.

Autumn cows are now supplying bobby calves to the sale yards, and Farm Managers are now planning feed, back from this year’s calving date, so this seasons production does not compromise next year’s.

There have been calls for a change to "Gypsy Day", which is coming up in June.  This is one of the biggest days of the calendar year for New Zealand dairy farmers when hundreds of dairy farms change ownership and herds of cows hit the road. The day usually creates chaos on the roads, farms, and lawyers offices every year.  Gypsy day also disrupts schools, families and small rural communities and the industry is in discussion about whether there is a better way.