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The Sheep Deer and Cattle report: Minimise the stress should be the goal in calf and fawn weaning

The Sheep Deer and Cattle report: Minimise the stress should be the goal in calf and fawn weaning


More quiet easing of lamb schedules as processors look to harvest the bulk of the crop at rates $20 ahead of last year.

However a shortage of global supplies could see price increases later in the season.

New Zealand’s tastiest lamb this year comes from Gisborne as Beef+LambNZ’s ‘glammie event’ at the Wanaka show looks to rebuild the confidence in the sheep sector.

The bid by the MIE group to get their independent candidate on the Alliance board has failed, and they now are calling on Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy to hold an industry summit and address this sector’s woes in a more unified approach.

Managers will be lifting feeding levels and supplying quailty pastures to the main breeding flock as mating approaches over the next 6 weeks.

Saleyard prices for prime ewes and lamb have been steady in both islands as local trade prices hold firm.

The latest combined island wool sale saw prices firm in spite of the strengthening currency as a shortage of wool stimulates reasonable demand.

The Central Plains Water irrigation scheme in Canterbury is finally underway and more land use changes away from sheep are likely unless profitability improves markedly in this sector.

More small autumn easings in beef schedules this week, as Beef +LambNZ’s Mike Petersen reports herd rebuilding has started in the US, opening more room for our beef in that country, and less competition in global markets.

Prices for prime saleyard steers are easing in both islands as more animals hit marketable weights and local trade schedules fall back in line with export rates.

March is the month of calf weaning and more farmers are using the yard method to reeducate animals without their mothers in a much less stressful procedure.

Rumours of a huge restructure at Lincoln University are disappointing to hear, as increased investment in agricultural education is needed, not cut backs, if the national growth targets are to be met.


Farms For Sale: the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of working farms in New Zealand, here »


Venison schedules eased again as industry leaders urged farmers to look optimistically to the future with all chilled product sold this year, the European economies emerging from recession, and the Chinese market as yet untapped.  

They are sticking by their predictions that the Passion2Profit project would add $2/kg onto venison returns on top of any market upturn.

Weaning will be in full swing and managers should be using all the new techniques to ensure this creates as little stress as possible and the new crop of fawns adjusts quickly and takes advantage of potential high growth rates before winter.

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