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No. 18 (May 1957)
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SEASONAL WORK ON THE FARM

WINTER-SAVED GRASS ON NORTH ISLAND DAIRY FARMS

On North Island dairy farms paddocks may be closed for winter-saved grass up to about the middle of June; for subsequent feed fields may be closed from then on after concentrated grazing of dry stock which have been heavily fed with hay and silage.

Application of nitrogenous fertilisers in July on these later-closed fields may be worth while to increase early spring grass growth, the Department of Agriculture considers.

The effect of close winter grazing and winter spelling on sward composition should be carefully watched, for hard grazing subsequently encourages white clover growth and spelling encourages grasses, particularly Yorkshire fog. Adverse changes in sward composition should be avoided by not subjecting pastures to the same management each winter; fields which were winter spelled last year should normally be hard grazed this winter and vice versa. Wintering on the same fields year after year weakens the grasses and allows clovers to become dominant; they come away very quickly when spring growth starts, producing a flush of immature feed which is very liable to cause bloat.

WORMS IN LAMBS AND CALVES

Worms are sometimes still troublesome in May and June, and if lambs or calves are not doing well, they should be drenched with phenothiazine at the full dosage rates recommended by the manufacturers. Information about worms and drenching will be found in Department of Agriculture Bulletin No. 171, which is obtainable free from offices of the Department.

GRAZING MANAGEMENT OF YOUNG PASTURES

Autumn-sown pastures in their first year should be grazed closely to keep the vigorous winter growth of ryegrass in check and to allow clover to become established. In their second and third seasons young pastures are often clover dominant and spelling during late autumn and winter helps to thicken up the grasses.

MILKING MACHINE OVERHAUL

As soon as the cows have been dried off arrangements should be made for the milking machine to be overhauled by an expert. The Department of Agriculture warns farmers against installing complicated gadgets and suggests that they simply make sure that all parts of the machine are working efficiently. This will not only ensure rapid, trouble-free milking, but is likely to increase production and will help to reduce mastitis.

TREATMENT OF RED WORMS IN HORSES

Red worms can seriously reduce the efficiency of horses and are responsible for many deaths in foals. Phenothiazine is a very effective remedy, but the Department of Agriculture recommends that with horses it should be administered under veterinary supervision. In certain conditions it may prove dangerous. Treatment should be given before winter.

Maori people of South Taranaki are playing big part in celebrations at Hawera for the 75th birthday of the town.

Maori floats took part in a parade through the town and one of them included an ancient canoe as the main exhibit.

Group and massed items of Maori song and dance were performed, and the meanings of the hakas, pois and ceremonials were explained to the public.

In charge of the Maori part of the celebrations is Mr Tini Whareaitu.

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The Maori Land Court at Rotorua has decided not to allow any sub-dividing of Mokoia Island into lakeside sections unless a majority of the members of the Arawa tribe wish it so.

The future of the Island was reviewed by the Court when it heard members of the trust committee which administers Mokoia on behalf of the 1600 tribal owners speak unfavourably of an application to have the land partitioned.

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