Checking lambs this month? Check the state of your paddocks at the same time, and you’ll be well on your way to a better season.
Autumn took a toll on many pastures in the lower South Island. If you suspect some of yours won’t grow like they should this season, now’s the perfect chance to start working out how best to bring them back up to speed.
That way, you’ll be able to get the best out of those new lambs – and all your other animals – in the months ahead. What’s more, you’ll have the reassurance of being super organised for spring sowing.
You may already know which paddocks took a hiding in autumn, and need to be restored. But sometimes the true cost of a hard season can sneak up on you, especially as the days begin to warm and lengthen.
Suddenly you have a lot more weeds than you had last year, or there’s just not as much grass as you expected. Maybe your clover seems to be missing in action.
The beauty of checking paddocks now is you’ll find out where these issues might emerge before they cause headaches later on. This time of year, you’re probably getting round much of the farm on a regular basis; once you know what to look for, it only takes a few minutes to scout for potential problems.
Look closely for areas of bare ground, weeds, and reduced ryegrass plant numbers. Don’t be fooled by what looks like ‘good’ cover – you’ll probably have to get on hands and knees to see what’s really growing at ground level.
Some paddocks will have come through autumn still capable of growing reasonably well for you this season, given the chance.
Others will have their hands up, crying out to be cropped in spring, and renewed into pasture in 12 months. In between are paddocks that can be coaxed back to production without having to be fully renovated just yet.
The good news is that lots of options are available to help you restore feed growth across the farm. You may even end up with a more resilient, productive system than you had before.
Success lies in planning ahead, so when conditions are right for sowing you – or your contractor - can jump straight in.
We know it’s not always easy to work out exactly what’s right for your farm in terms of rebuilding your productive base. For personal advice, book your free Pasture Health Check today at https://www.barenbrug.co.nz/book-a-visit