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No. 37 (December 1961)
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FARM WORK IN SUMMER

ON THE DAIRY FARM

Haymaking will be the main subject in the minds of most dairy farmers at this time of the year, so I will try and cover a few points in the storing and care of hay following the harvest of this crop. The harvesting of a good crop of grass is a very important task, for good hay is invaluable to the dairy farm in the winter time.

Today, most farmers have their crop baled and when travelling through the country I see hundreds of tons of baled hay which has been poorly stacked and poorly covered. This allows the rain to get in and the hard work of the farmer together with the cost of harvesting is literally wasted.

I cannot emphasise too strongly that it is fatal to feed out mouldy hay to dairy cows. It is even wiser to burn this poor quality feed and if no other hay is available on the farm, it would be prudent to buy some good quality hay rather than feed out this rubbish. But all this can be avoided if care is taken beforehand to have a hay barn or shed erected in which to store your baled hay.

There are various types of hay barns which can be erected in a short time and the cost of these barns is within reach of all farmers' pockets. In fact the value of the hay saved during the first year will almost pay for the cost of one of these barns, so be wise now and have one erected near or in your hay paddock and don't let this year's hay get wet and become useless.

Hay fires in stacks and hay sheds are numerous on farms every year and the cause is not often known and heavy losses usually result. Sometimes hay is stored in the same shed as farm machinery and tractors and this can be a most dangerous practice. A spark from the exhaust from a badly tuned tractor or truck engine can start a fire. Cigarette butts are another cause of hay fires and care should be taken not to allow smoking near any dry hay.

Topdressing is the next important task and the butterfat production from your farm for the next season will depend a good deal on the vigour and composition of the pasture during next spring and early summer. For best results, autumn topdressing should be done as early as possible to encourage the growth of clovers. All dairy farmers know that clover is essential in their pastures to feed and encourage the growth of other good grasses. If clovers are not evident in the pastures, a couple of pounds of clover seed per acre should be mixed with the Autumn topdressing, as otherwise a great deal of the benefit of this topdressing will be wasted. The fertilizer requirements of most soils are known by the farmer but if they are not known, the farmer should seek the advice of his local Department of Agriculture represenetative. This officer can advise him whether phosphate, potash, sulphur, lime, or one of the many other elements or a mixture of these is necessary to get the best results from manuring.

ON THE SHEEP FARM

The majority of the early and single lambs will have been sent to the works by now, so what is the best thing to do with those that are left? Tests have proved that it is advisable to shear these lambs and wean them early. Shorn lambs do better and fatten quicker than those unshorn. Other advantages of shearing early are the elimination of unnecessary losses through being caught up in blackberry or other rubbish and also the risk of fly strike. The weaned lambs should always be given the pick of the pastures and the ewes can be grazed on the rougher part of the farm until some weeks before being prepared for tupping. The preparation for tupping is most important.

The farmer will have by now culled his ewes for age but there will be still odd ewes in his flock which will need to be culled also. When fly crutching, care should be taken to examine each ewe carefully for defective udders. Management of the ewe flock just prior to and during mating will set the maximum lambing percentage of the flock.

Two-tooth ewes require special attention and treatment and if these sheep are carrying a heavy fleece they should be shorn some two weeks or more prior to being put out with the ram. These young ewes should be kept separate from the main flock and they should be mustered into a corner at every opportunity and held together for say a half an hour at a time. If this is done, it will enable the rams to work through the mob and catch any shy breeders. If this attention is given to the flock, a greater percentage of lambs should be the result.

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Among early life members of the Maori Education Foundation are the Maori King, Koroki Te Rata Mahuta and Mrs Puhi Ratahi, President of the Ratana Church, both of whom subscribed to the foundation last August.

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NEWS FROM WAIRARIKI

Bursaries and endowments totalling about £1,400 will be available to pupils of the three Rotorua secondary schools next year. The money comes from part of the income from land in the commercial area of Rotorua gifted by Ngati Whakaue many years ago for secondary education.

No school was ever built on the land donated by the tribe. The Ngati Whakaue appealed to the Hon. Mr Hanan last March to have the original purpose of the gift preserved and if the land could not be used for education, to see that the proceeds from it would be put towards that purpose.

It has now been decided that the money should be administered by the Rotorua High Schools Board of Governors. Most of it will go to building projects and providing extra amenities for the schools, but an appreciable amount will be distributed in bursaries which can be applied for by parents of pupils of any of the secondary schools at Rotorua.

One type of grant, to be known as the ‘Ngati Whakaue Endowment Bursary’, will be disbursed by the principal of each of the three schools to meet special needs of Maori scholars. Apart from these special Maori grants (probably about £85 each), a number of other grants are available to Maoris and Europeans on the same terms. These include grants to sixth formers who suffer hardship or want to pursue special courses outside Rotorua, bursaries for talented pupils proceeding to universities or other institutions of higher learning, substantial prizes for apprentices and study grants to college staff and old pupils.

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Vigorous Maori clubs have recently sprung up at Taupo and Opotiki. At both, the main activities are hakas and action songs. At Taupo, some performances have already been held at fund-raising functions. At Taupo the president is Mr G. Rameka, secretary Mr T. Hoskings; at Opotiki the president is Mr W. O. Taki and the secretary Mrs J. Walker.

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The Whakatane County Council has done a considerable service to the Maori people of its district by deciding to allow the subdivision of Maori land in the vicinity of Whakatane. The housing position of the Maori people there is distressing and the Department of Maori Affairs is now able to proceed with a major rehousing programme.

Although the Maori Land Court has power to make any partition orders it chooses, it cannot of course issue building permits and so the partitions are of no practical use unless the County allows the owners to build. Therefore agreement between Court and County is essential.

It must sometimes be difficult for the County to choose between its County Plan (which is very important for the development of the district) and progress in Maori housing. The Whakatane gesture has been popular with the Maori public.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
APPRECIATION

Sir,

I had to write to tell you how I love Te Ao Hou with all my heart. I have been receiving it for about three years through our local book store. I love collecting the names of the great people who have passed away and the wonderful knowledge I have received has given me a wonderful uplift in life. I loved the talk given by Rowley Habib very much. My children were thrilled when I read them the story of Wini Weka's joke. I am so grateful for this wonderful magazine. The story of Puhiwahine, Maori Poetess, is just wonderful. I am looking forward to learning about her whakapapa in the next issues. I never was interested in my own race. I was like the character in Rowley Habib's talk in No. 35. Now I am a Christian. I help to teach children, most of them Polynesian, all about the goodness of God, life and the beauty of the earth. I am proud of being a Maori and I shall always try to be worthy of belonging to one of the greatest races of people upon the earth. I have got so interested in the whakapapa of my people that the Te Ao Hou just thrills me to the core. I thank you very much for the wonderful Te Ao Hou and for what it has done for me.

Yours most sincerely.

Mrs Olive Ormsby, Panmure.

CONSOLIDATION

Sir,

I for one (and I believe I speak for many) am not prepared to accept the opinion of Kore Whenua, expressed in his article “The Improvement of Maori Land Titles”, that consolidation of fragmented titles is impracticable. That is to say, I would submit that it is not impracticable in essence, however futile it may have proved to be under the handling of our circumlocution office. Read A New Earth, by Elspeth Huxley, a study of land reform in Kenya, where native custom led to fragmentation very similar to that at present afflicting our Maoris, and see how 200,000 consolidations have been carried through in a very few years in the Kikuyu district.

Yours faithfully,

A. D. Mead, Auckland.