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No. 28 (September 1959)
– 55 –

ON THE FARM

GRAZING MANAGEMENT OF DAIRY PASTURES

During the season of maximum grass growth the problem on dairy farms is to control pastures at their most leafy, nutritious stage. This is best achieved, says the Department of Agriculture, by conserving all growth surplus to requirements as silage and hay.

Later in the season it is important to maintain sufficient pasture cover to ensure growth during the dry, summer period. As grass growth declines the period in which paddocks are spelled between grazings should gradually be increased and as much silage as the cows will clean up should be fed out.

COCCIDIOSIS IN CALVES

Scouring in calves under 6 months of age is seldom due to worms; it is much more likely to be due to coccidiosis, especially if blood is present in the droppings, says the Department of Agriculture. Effective drugs are available for treatment, but these can be obtained only on the prescription of a veterinary surgeon, who should be consulted.

CROPS FOR WINTER FEEDING OF PIGS

A combination of maize and fodder beet fed out in breaks with the aid of an electric fence is an ideal way of providing feed for pigs in the 3 months of winter, states “The New Zealand Journal of Agriculture.”

Farmers who have had to buy meal for feeding to their pigs during the past winter will well remember what this cost. It is much cheaper and not really very difficult to grow the necessary feed on the farm, and as a crop to reduce the meal costs maize deserves far more attention than it receives.

Maize can be grown satisfactorily as a crop for pigs over a very wide area of the North Island, and its yield per acre is such that it shows a very good return of food produced. The area to be grown need not be large, and nearly all dairy farms with pigs have paddocks that have been used for them for a considerable period and that have a high latent fertility built up by the pigs themselves. One such paddock will be entirely suitable for a maize crop and the labour of putting the crop in will not be very great.

An electric fence can be used to allow the pigs to harvest the crop themselves without waste. If a root crop such as fodder beet is grown as well alongside the maize, the electric fence can be used to give the pigs a portion of each crop simultaneously.

Pigs should not be allowed free access to the crop for 24 hours a day, but should be allowed on it for 4 to 6 hours daily. The area used in each break depends on the number of pigs to be fed and on how often the farmer moves the electric fence. The smaller the area the more efficiently the pigs will clean up the maize.

The use of double-hybrid varieties of maize has greatly increased the yield, and a crop of 80 to 100 bushels per acre can confidently be expected. The varieties Pfister 360 and Wisconsin 643 are recommended because their yield and resistance to bad weather are superior to those of all other varieties.

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The Wellington Diocesan Synod of the Church of England has appointed a ‘Maori Vocational and Placement Committee’, chiefly designed to help young Maoris coming to Wellington. Among the members are the Rev. K. M. Ihaka, and Mr W. T. Ngata.