Tuesday, 13 October 2020 09:55

OAD arrives early in Southland

Written by  Peter Burke
Bernadette Hunt, Southland Federated Farmers. Bernadette Hunt, Southland Federated Farmers.

Some dairy farmers in Southland are already moving to once a day (OAD) milking because they don’t have sufficient good pasture on which to graze their stock.

Bernadette Hunt, Southland Federated Farmers, told Dairy News that in parts of the province, pastures have been very badly damaged by recent floods. She says the pastures are just so wet it’s impossible to graze animals on the land and there is insufficient grass for stock.

“It is obviously very early in the season to be thinking of OAD milking. A lot of dairy farmers had to take their stock off pasture because the paddocks were so waterlogged and the pasture damaged,” she says.

Hunt says while they were expecting rain, a huge amount fell in a twelve hour period and that caught people in some areas by surprise. She says flooding was localised, with small creeks and culverts overflowing, cutting off stock and making roads impassable. 

On some farms, effluent ponds filled up rapidly, but she says the flooding went down quickly, although there is still pasture damage.

Feed supplies in the region are said to be good, due in part to a mild winter. Ironically, Hunt says it feels like they are getting their winter weather in spring. But she says people do have surplus baleage, which will be available for farmers with damaged pastures. She says it’s now a matter of how long it takes for the sodden pastures to dry out.

“This is delaying contractors getting on to the land. Normally the first crops start going in during October with others following in November. 

“We have effectively lost a fortnight. There is a shortage of contractors due to Covid and the immigration challenges, and the rain has compressed the planting season, which is going to make it tough on contracting staff,” she says.

Hunt says with farmer morale already pretty low, this is just another blow that they really don’t want and adds to the challenges they face.

More like this

Burning hope for change

Federated Farmers is hoping for changes to the Department of Conservation's (DoC) high country grazing rules in the aftermath of two recent big wildfires in the Mackenzie Basin.

Parker refuses to bend

Southland Federated Farmers vice president Bernadette Hunt says she finds it “interesting” that Environment Minister David Parker continues to downplay the feedback on the Government’s freshwater regulations.

New Feds man keen to build

New Feds board member, William Beetham wants the organisation recognised for its significant contributions to NZ farming and society as a whole.



Govt link key to DairyNZ strategy

DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel says a constructive relationship with the Government is vital for the industry-good organisation.

Top student off to co-op

Massey University's top agricultural student for 2020 is off to join Fonterra and continue his interest and passion for the dairy industry.


Machinery & Products

Let aura feed the mob

In a move that appears to have been repeated by many equipment manufacturers, Kuhn confirms it currently working on several…

Battery charger range recharged

Projecta's popular ‘Charge N’ Maintain’ automatic battery charger range has now been recharged – with the introduction of new features…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Eyes have it

OPINION: Painting eyes on the backsides of cows could save their lives, according to new research by Australian scientists.

Walkers versus cows

OPINION: A North Yorkshire teacher has become at least the second member of the public to be trampled to death…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter