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  • Writer's pictureWayne

21st Nov 2020 update - spring continues

With 80mm of rain in the first 10 days of November, our pastures have continued to stay green, and even send out new ryegrass tillers. The kikuyu is growing in height and length of leaves now and will bit by bit over the coming weeks, start becoming more of the diet for the sheep. It is likely we will have oodles of green pasture at least up to Christmas. Temperatures continue to be mild, though the rains have ceased for awhile. Flies are thick and sticky. Not a good time of year to take deep breaths.

All sheep on the property have or are about to be drenched to help them cope with the immense barbers pole worm risk that is happening at the moment. We are continuing with a long acting moxidectin injection and then a rotation of 2-4 other modes of action down the throat. The aim is to have worm resistant Katahdins one day, but in the mean time, we'll go a little longer with this multi-mode drenching strategy and then lengthen out the times between drenches when we can. If we did not drench them, we could lose hundreds of sheep within a few weeks.

The photos below are of Alpha paddock today. ~212 green tag ewes, the latest lambers we have this year, have just had their lambs marked. They're abit hard to spot in the grass at the moment. The rest of the ewes are the main mob of green tag ewes (born 2019) that started lambing in August. There are ~2,000 in the mob now. Our elite Ultrawhite ram, Cassius, has 9 more days to complete one cycle with them. We will then take him out for a 10-day break before bringing in our new SheepMaster ram for one cycle. It will be interesting to see how many lambs one ram can produce. All the rams will go in later with all of our ewe mobs. We are just trying to use the elite rams to create a new mob of ewe lambs for our future genetic growth.

~2,000 ewes and lambs just arrived in Alpha paddock. The brown strip on the left in the neighbouring paddock (Bravo) is where I experimented with propaquizafop to see if it would kill the bromegrass without killing what should have been FOP resistant ryegrass. Sadly, it killed a fair whack of ryegrass too. At least the patch of bromegrass is dead. Kikuyu is coming through OK.

Ewes and lambs entering Alpha paddock.

Some of these ewes will be on the cull list because they are too wooly for our aims. They might even be in-lamb when we sell them after the lambs are weaned off them. Fortunately prices are very hot right now for young ewes and especially if they are in-lamb.

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