Sunshine good for lambing
The lamb survival rate has been excellent so far this year, buoyed by the fine and warm weather of the past few days.
Federated Farmers meat and fibre chairman and Marton farmer Richard Morrison said ewes and lambs were enjoying the sunshine "just as people do".
"Farmers were well over the cold and wet period we got a few weeks ago. But they are enjoying the warm sunshine we're getting now and say as a result lambing has been good."
Feilding-based farm adviser John Stantiall said lambing had started on the lower country of Manawatu and Rangitikei in great conditions.
He said there were quite a few lambs on the lower country, while in the hill country, they were two or three weeks away from lambing.
When it had been cold and wet, it was not sustained. "So farmers are enjoying good conditions."
But he said feed had tightened up on the hills during the cold weather, and the demand for feed from stock would have risen as they coped with the colder temperatures.
"But beef cattle and ewes were in good condition. So they could cope."
Stantiall said beef cows usually calved in October.
"Some people are concerned this might be the year for a few issues with beef cows," Morrison said.
"There wasn't the rank [long] feed around for them. And some were about half a condition score [lighter] than they would want."
Stantiall said dairy operations were about three-quarters of the way through calving, and there was plenty of feed as a result of a milder and drier winter than expected.