It just gets drier…with only 14.5mm rain in April things are now looking desperate as we head towards winter.
Nights are noticeably cooler and there is a dew on the ground and a freshness in the morning but with no moisture in the soils things just simply do not grow. Grain and palm kernel has been purchased once more as supplementary feed and we have fed over 200 bales of balage already.
Our farming system that worked for the past 10 years is not working now. However, stock are doing well in the dry with hogget’s going to the ram at 56.6kg in mid-April and weaner deer still growing at 280 grams/day through March. This now puts them at 71.5kg live weight already, about 10 kg ahead of last year. However, we are 700 stock units down on previous years.
A venison supply contract put out by the Alliance group for early spring is a great boost to confidence and renews the intention to feed the weaners as well as possible to get animals to this specification. We have now put one mob of weaner deer on Kale and they have adapted readily to this.
April saw Puketira Deer host a Deer Industry Advance Party group (of which we are a member) to our property. It was a chance to show what we are trying to achieve and receive constructive feedback from the group as to how we could implement changes. It was a great afternoon and the enthusiasm of the group is infectious. Farmers learn from other farmers!
Lyndon Matthews is the farm manager and one of the directors of Puketira Deer.