“It's been a wet challenging early spring in Taranaki. September is often a wet month but usually comes with days of sunshine in between. Unfortunately, we haven't had this sunshine, grass growth is low and usually about now we have reached a balance date (where the grass we grow is what the cows need daily) and are looking to shut up paddocks to cut silage. Because of this, lots of supplement is still having to be fed, and cow milk production is not building to peak in October as we would want. This will all change as soon as we get some sun, but with mixed days in the forecast we hope that October will be more settled. Taranaki has established 14 catchment community groups, where community areas are coming together with farming, environmental, business and community goals. For example, an area called Awatuna is looking at stream water quality, predator/pest eradication, financial literacy, power generation on farms and wellbeing/safety initiatives. This is a great way to bring farmers together with their rural communities to ensure everyone is supported and part of solutions to challenges being faced. Fonterra's annual result was promising, farmers will be pleased to have a 20c dividend and a strong farmgate milk price. Farmers I speak to are pleased to see Fonterra's revised capital structure plans and strategy and looking forward to the season ahead.”
-Trish Rankin, Taranaki
“The expected boost in growth from early nitrogen applications hasn't materialized with many Canterbury farmers struggling to grow enough grass. September has been an expensive month with tonnes of supplements being fed, this farm has a demand of 70kg/ha/day but is only growing 40kg. Having said that, the cows are milking well and producing a respectable 2kgMS per cow per day. How long that continues depends entirely on when the spring flush of grass growth starts. Many farms are also struggling with mastitis after a very wet winter, which will also be having an impact on total production
-Craig Hickman, Canterbury
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