Warmer autumn could worsen feed deficits in some regions

// Feed Planning and Strategies

Despite recent rain in many areas, farmers in regions such as Northland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and South Canterbury are being urged to monitor their soil moisture levels closely.

cattle feed trough

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Eastern North Island Extension Manager Mark Harris says NIWA data has been showing a meteorological drought in these regions and while the recent rain offered some relief, it will be short-lived.

“NIWA has said that long dry periods and average or above average temperatures are likely to be a feature of our climate through until April, so I would encourage farmers in these dry regions to be proactive about monitoring their soil moisture levels and make use of the resources available to them to manage and monitor their feed resources.”

Mark says there are number of tools available to farmers, such as NIWA’s drought index and seasonal outlook to help inform decision making, as well as the of resources available through B+LNZ.

“Autumn feed budgets, Body Condition Scoring and the use of ram harnesses are just some of the levers farmers can pull to help make the most efficient and effective use of limited feed resources. There is a wealth of information on the B+LNZ website and I really encourage farmers to be proactive and make use of them early.”

Feed planning services are still available free to charge to farmers and this can help identify feed deficits, consolidate thinking and develop a plan to get through the next few months. To access this service phone 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 23 33 52).

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