with Bill Webb
Bill Webb Feed Solutions
The grass is certainly growing now thanks to generous and frequent rainfall.
From July 1 – October 18 we have had 372mm of rain, compared with 284mm for the same period last year.
It took a while for things to warm up though. Everyone said ‘isn’t it a mild winter’ and ‘isn’t everything growing well’ and then we hit the spring and it didn’t warm up, it stayed cold. Now it’s finally getting going.
Only 34.5mm of rain fell in the month of September last year, compared with 121.5mm this year.
For the month of October – up to October 18 - there had already been 83mm of rain at the Bill Webb Feed Solutions yard in Paengaroa. The same period last year saw only 30mm.
Soil temperature was at about 16 degrees Celsius on October 18, which is on a par with last year.
Get your jab
On October 16 we had the big push for the covid jab with just over 130,000 people getting it done on Super Saturday.
It was a good outcome but I just want to make sure that farmers are helping to achieve the 90 per cent goal everyone is after so we can start moving around again.
Spring is a busy time of the year for farmers. Hopefully, as soon as they get time they should get in there and help achieve that 90 per cent.
Planting is just the start
By now we are well through our main planting although it has been a bit of a challenge with the weather – we seem to have had more wet days than dry ones. Trying to get 3-4 days of fine weather has been a challenge to get silage dry.
Everyone should be well underway with their maize and turnip plantings. Turnips should be in by October 20 and targeting late January for them to be fed off.
People need to be mindful they might be sown but they need to monitor them for insect damage, white butterfly and weeds. Six weeks after sowing they need to be putting a side dressing of nitrogen on – both turnips and maize. Do a weed spray at the same time. You need to be spending the money and checking for pests to protect yields.
Shut up and mow
Farmers should be shutting up paddocks that are getting away on them now and do a light cut. Don’t wait until it is a hay crop to cut it because they are losing quality. You want 10-15 per cent seed head maximum. Aim for that 10 per cent because by the time the contractor gets there it will be 15 per cent anyway.
Don’t just shut up paddocks for the sake of making silage otherwise you will run your milking herd short and with an $8-plus payout predicted, you don’t want to be doing that.
ANZ has raised its forecast to $8.20/kg and Westpac’s forecast is $8.50. Rabobank has lowered theirs a bit because they think China could be stockpiling.
It’s looking promising and farmers should be taking advantage of that by fully feeding the cows, crop buying and silage. Put orders in now because it is getting harder and harder to get land to grow maize on – houses and horticulture and environmental pressures. There is a real thrust backwards in availability of land.
The beef schedule is at a $6.50 high and there is also quite good money for stock in the yards – over $3/kg lightweight.