Meat & Livestock News

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Offers Guidance for Farm Management in Extreme Dry Conditions

Beef + Lamb New Zealand has released a comprehensive fact sheet titled ‘Guidance on extreme dry management’, outlining key strategies for farmers to cope with severe dry weather. The document emphasises four critical areas: business management, feed supply, stock management, and land management, with a strong focus on the importance of early decision-making.

Business Management

The fact sheet advises farmers to create a detailed plan, including key decision-making dates, which should be communicated across the farm team. This collaborative approach can provide much-needed support during challenging times. If dry conditions persist, it’s crucial to consider the financial impact on cash flow and maintain open communication with accountants and bank managers.

Feed Supply

A thorough stocktake of all available feed is essential, considering forecasted grass growth and creating a simple feed budget. Regular review of this budget is recommended, especially in correlation with cash flow, to aid decisions about purchasing additional feed or seeking off-farm grazing. Early decision-making in this regard is beneficial. The fact sheet also highlights the importance of water availability, as water stress can significantly affect animal performance and welfare.

Stock Management

Early decisions to sell stock can reduce feed demand and may prove less costly in the long run. The fact sheet suggests balancing the benefits of improved cash flow and reduced feed demand against the disadvantages of reducing capital stock. Setting destocking priorities and establishing trigger dates can be valuable.

Land Management

Assessing water supply adequacy and shaded areas for stock is crucial. Planning for long-term improvements in these areas is advised. Farmers are encouraged to manage their land to minimise the impact of dry conditions on the next season’s performance, which may involve sacrificing lower-performing paddocks to prevent overgrazing in other areas.