DairyNZ Northland regional leader Tafi Manjala says it's been a tough winter for farmers with the region experiencing its wettest winter in decades, all off the back of a drought.
"It's important farmers make these storm experiences a one year event and not a three year catch-up,” says Tafi.
To minimise the impact of the wet winter farmers should be focusing on minimising pugging damage, getting their cows and heifers in-calf and utilising all the help available from other farmers and rural professionals.
"It's important that farmers assess their pastures daily and avoid pugging damage that can reduce pasture production by up to 50 percent for six weeks or longer,” says Tafi.
"Using on-off grazing by standing cattle off-paddock is the most effective grazing strategy."
Tafi says getting cows and heifers in-calf should now be a priority.
"Many cows and heifers have lost excessive body condition during and after the adverse weather and this is placing dairy herd in-calf rates at risk," he says.
"Farmers should be assessing their herds and take proactive action with cows with a body condition score less than 4 to minimise the impact on their herds' in-calf rate."
"Farmers should also be exploring supplement options now," says Tafi.
Pre-mating heat detection is more important this year than ever to identify non-cycling cows and take action early.
For more information on how to minimise the impact of adverse weather on coming seasons, farmers are advised to take advantage of the advice available from their rural advisers, other farmers and attend a DairyNZ discussion group (dairynz.co.nz/events).
DairyNZ Northland regional leader
0274 999 021