Animal Health and Welfare
Shade is essential for stock and especially in a hot dry summer. Nick Page says with the number of trees taken out because of centre pivots, the problem has become a very serious one. He says stock need shade as much as we do.
Hot dry conditions can cause massive problems for bovine’s feet. Nick Page says the hard ground leads to the development of foot problems that in turn develops into blisters that need to be leeched. He says watch you'r cattle carefully to ensure you get to any problems early.
Small block holders are urged to check the condition of their stock this summer to ensure they are being fed enough. Nick says sheep with wool cover can make any visual check meaningless so a hand on their backs will determine if they are getting enough nutrients. He points out that what pasture there is in paddocks lacks all the needs sheep and other stock need to survive. (Watch Interview)
The dollar is helping wool producers, but it’s the lack of supply that is really making a difference. John Dawson from NZ Wool Services says the lack of numbers after farmers have destocked is part of the problem with supply, but he does expect the volumes to build after Christmas.(Watch Interview)
Horticulture and Cropping
The frost that hit on the 5th November has taken its toll. Jim Grierson says the damage is now showing up in vineyards and orchards. He says some producers will get no fruit this season and if the plants don’t recover soon, there will be a major shortfall next season as well.
Read the label. That’s the advice from Jim Grierson who says some chemical companies have very similar labels on their whole range of chemicals and it is very easy to use a herbicide when you thought it was an insecticide.
Buy local berries is the advice from Jim Grierson who says our producers are totally accountable and our local berries are very safe to eat. He says they may cost a little more than imported fruit but consumers can relax knowing that the fruit is grown under our conditions. (Watch Interview)
There’s concern that the pressures of making ends meet is behind bad stock management practises. Dr John O’Malley says while he certainly doesn’t condone animals cruelty and nor do any of the farmers that he knows, he says stress and emotional pressure can result in people losing their patience and doing things out of character. (Watch Interview)