Cows in top condition

21:00, Jun 13 2014

As the "down time" before calving starts and the new season's milk flow gets up and running, farmers will begin to review budgets and feed on hand, says Federated Farmers' regional head.

Manawatu/Rangitikei Federated Farmers president James Stewart said all farmers who milk seasonally (not year round) had dried off and most cows were expected to start calving in the middle of July.

It was quiet now, but the busy time for farmers was July and August.

He said cows were in good condition as before the past week weather had been mild and grass had kept growing.

Stewart said while it was wet and cold now, farmers had expected it and their cows were able to cope.

"Cows are in a good place. It hasn't been too wet. And although we've had rain the past week, it is not too wet underfoot."


Stewart said the two frosts in May had killed off many bugs, making farmers and gardeners happy.

But he said it was quiet with no milking now, and now was the time to look at the past season, plan and do budgets.

Sharemilker Richard McIntyre, from Halcombe, said cows were in good condition and some farmers had feed on hand. He said the dry spell in late summer forced some to feed out such things as silage and palm kernel to cows to keep them in milk.

McIntyre said unlike previous years, there had been surplus grass made into silage during spring, which took the pressure off. "Last year the spot price for palm kernel was $390 a tonne. This year it has fallen to $320."

Manawatu Standard