DRY TIMES: Farmers are also advised to provide supplementary feeding.
DRY TIMES: Farmers are also advised to provide supplementary feeding. Contributed

Ideal time to market stock

URGENT attention is needed by the region's livestock farmers to ensure they are taking sufficient risk-mitigation measures during the unusually dry season being experienced.

The North Coast Local Land Services district veterinarian team has given vital information to farmers to help them during this trying time, while there is uncertainty about when the hot weather will end.

A lack of early planning for extended dry periods is one of the biggest contributors to landholder stress, production loss and livestock death, according to the NCLLS.

To avoid this, it's suggested farmers implement basic principles, including managing pastures, reducing stock numbers, weaning calves early and providing supplementary feeding where possible.

These measures should be taken regardless of whether running an extensive property or simply hobby farming.

NCLLS said reducing stock was essential, otherwise high stock levels could cause significant damage to the health and future growth of pastures.

Reducing stock also ensured greater amounts of food were available and made supplementary feeding more affordable.

District veterinarian Dr Cassie Maria said now was the prime time to be selling stock.

"At this time on the north coast, we are lucky to be experiencing greater than average cattle prices,” she said.

"It's therefore the perfect time to take advantage of prices and reduce on-farm stocking rates, but it's important to note that this does not require selling whole herds.

"Rather, it's a targeted approach to selling vulnerable stock such as aged and cull cows,” Dr Maria advised.



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