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  • Writer's pictureWayne

Kikuyu loves summer rain

As you know, kikuyu is my favourite grass species on the planet. When it receives some summer rain, it is almost as though it starts expanding the leaves before the drops even hit the ground. Just a few millimetres makes healthy kikuyu seem to be centimetres taller within in minutes, and greener.

We have had a hot and relatively dry summer for us, but because of the moisture from last year and the dribbles of rain this summer (11mm in January, 8mm in February and 25mm spread over 10 days so far in March to the 21st), the kikuyu has stayed green and has grown very nicely. Right now sheep are eating the green all off and leaving the paddocks brown, but it quickly regrows. If we had enough sheep, the pastures would need to be grazed every 3 weeks.

If we did not have kikuyu, 5-10mm of summer rain does nothing to ryegrass and clovers because they have not germinated yet, and it rots away the dry pasture residue. However, the kikuyu laps it up and turns it into significant volumes of green feed for the livestock. The photos below were taken over the past few days.

On another matter, as mentioned in the previous blog, we have been financially supported by the NAB bank and so we have been able to buy some more ewes and start spreading some phosphate based fertiliser. There is no need to be applying nitrogen at the moment because we don't have enough sheep to utilise it, plus it is scarce as common sense and extremely expensive if you can obtain some. Even if it were only $400/t, I would not need to apply any at the moment as you can see from the photos below.

The new ewes we bought last week, plus the older dry ewes, plus the biggest of the ewe lambs born late last year will be joined with rams starting today (21st March 2022). The ewes already in lamb are due to start lambing on 4th April 2022, but I think we might have lambs a week early going on the size of the udders forming on some of the girls. When those ewes have finished lambing (~9th May 2022), the rams will be going straight back into those girls.

20th March 2022. The paddock of late born ewe lambs from last year are in Delta paddock about to come into Charlie paddock (foreground).

20th March 2022

19th March 2022. Hotel paddock, the back paddock on our farm. Due to be grazed this week (21st March).

19th March 2022. Romeo 1, a ram paddock. Rams are in the background in Romeo 4. The paddock to the right is Echo that was recently grazed. The next paddock to the right is Delta that is being grazed by our weaner ewe lambs.

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