Tuesday, 10 January 2012 15:29

Dairy dry summer events

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The dairy industry-good organisation DairyNZ is running seven dry summer events this week in Southland and South Otago.

DairyNZ consulting officer for Western Southland, Chris Crossley says that Southland and South Otago farmers have been affected by drier than normal conditions this summer with many already changing their milking frequency.

"A number of farmers have already moved to milking once-a-day or once every 16 hours," Crossley says. "With very little rain since November, pasture covers are low and there is a shortage of supplement feed within the region.

"This week has a small amount of rain forecast, but not enough to break the dry spell; to do so we need at least 50mm of sustained rainfall plus follow-up rain."

To help dairy farmers manage their way through this dry spell DairyNZ has organised the workshops.

"This is an opportunity to hear farmers and DairyNZ consulting officers giving practical advice on how to minimise the damage to this season," says Crossley.

Each workshop will cover dry summer topics such as finding the trigger points for once-a-day or 16 hour milkings, using supplement profitably and soil moisture deficit versus nitrogen use.

"We want to give farmers the opportunity to enjoy this summer without having to constantly worry about the farm," says Crossley.

"Attending these free workshops will be a great start."

More information on farming through a dry spell is available from the DairyNZ Farmer Information Service (0800 4 DAIRYNZ), from rural professionals, experienced fellow farmers and on the DairyNZ website: www.dairynz.co.nz.

Dry Summer events:

• Eastern Southland

Thursday, 12 January, 11am, Kevin and Debbra Hall's property, 130 Seaward Downs Gorge Rd, Edendale, Supply Number 31297

• Southland

Thursday, 12 January, 11am, Southland Development Farm, 105 Wallacetown Riverton Highway.

• Western Southland

Thursday, 12 January, 11am, Graeme McCaughey's property, Driffield Farm, 192 Hamlyn Road, Mossburn. Supply Number 13314.

• South Otago

Thursday, 12 January, 11am, Tony and Sue McDonnell's property, 30 Phosphate Rd, Clarendon, Supply Number 38262.

• Central Southland

Friday, 13 January, 11am, Shane and Eileen Walker's property, 459 Pinnacle Rd, Willowbank, Gore, Supply Number 38524.

• South Otago

Friday, 13 January, 11am, McCall family farm, Paradise Flat Rd, Kelso, Supply Number 33360

• Western Southland

Friday, 13 January, 11am, Johnathon and Marion Breach's property, 447 Boyle Rd, Heddon Bush, Winton, Supply Number 32654.

Each event will be followed by a BBQ lunch.

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