Lambing off to a good start

SPRING IS NEAR: The district’s farmers will look for extra sunshine and warmth, and a bit less rain, as spring rapidly approaches. For the early lamb farmers spring arrived 5-6 weeks ago and so far lambing appears to have been pretty successful. These new arrivals were orphans on Mokairau Station at Whangara and they get the personal touch from Carlos Land (10), Kaitlyn Land (2), their mum Sophie Land, Cory Land (7), Natalie Land (9). The calf’s name is Tahi and the lambs are Lamington, Puddles and Bear. Picture by Liam Clayton

PERSISTENT wet weather in the past two months has brought a damp start to life for the early arrival lambs around the district but AgFirst has not had any reports of significant losses.

Early-lambing farmers on the front country, places like The Flats, Whangara and the front end of Ngatapa, have had lambs arrive since late June.

“The early mobs have been lambing for five to six weeks now,” said AgFirst consultant Stephen Thomson.

“Farmers have probably been leaving the mums alone to let them do their thing, so we will not have a decent handle on how lambing has gone until docking.”

It had been quite wet and no doubt the new arrivals would have struggled a bit because of it.

“But on the positive side it has not been as cold as we have experienced in previous winters here.

“We have not heard of any significant losses related to weather.

“The main lamb drop starts happening in about three to four weeks, so farmers will be hoping for a bit of sunshine, some warmth and a bit less rain to help their youngsters along.”

Mr Thomson said there was plenty of feed out there for most farmers.

“Some are a bit short because of the wet weather, because a lot of grass has been wasted because of poor utilisation.

“There is still a bit of time until spring starts to arrive in the back country.

“But the last couple of days, with warmer temperatures, have been a sign that spring is just around the corner for the front country.”

The team at Mokairau Station at Whangara, for example, have had lambs on the ground since early July.

“We have not had too many orphans and those we have encountered we have taken into care,” said station spokeswoman Sophie Land.

“They are all from our sheep milking flock.

“Our children have one each and they are feeding them up for the pet lamb competition at the A and P Show.”

They have also had a twin calf from the Hereford stud come into their care.

“Our daughter Natalie is looking after him and he will grow up to be a stud bull.”

Mrs Land said lambing had been successful on the station so far.

“There have been lots of twins and triplets, so we have been pretty lucky.”

PERSISTENT wet weather in the past two months has brought a damp start to life for the early arrival lambs around the district but AgFirst has not had any reports of significant losses.

Early-lambing farmers on the front country, places like The Flats, Whangara and the front end of Ngatapa, have had lambs arrive since late June.

“The early mobs have been lambing for five to six weeks now,” said AgFirst consultant Stephen Thomson.

“Farmers have probably been leaving the mums alone to let them do their thing, so we will not have a decent handle on how lambing has gone until docking.”

It had been quite wet and no doubt the new arrivals would have struggled a bit because of it.

“But on the positive side it has not been as cold as we have experienced in previous winters here.

“We have not heard of any significant losses related to weather.

“The main lamb drop starts happening in about three to four weeks, so farmers will be hoping for a bit of sunshine, some warmth and a bit less rain to help their youngsters along.”

Mr Thomson said there was plenty of feed out there for most farmers.

“Some are a bit short because of the wet weather, because a lot of grass has been wasted because of poor utilisation.

“There is still a bit of time until spring starts to arrive in the back country.

“But the last couple of days, with warmer temperatures, have been a sign that spring is just around the corner for the front country.”

The team at Mokairau Station at Whangara, for example, have had lambs on the ground since early July.

“We have not had too many orphans and those we have encountered we have taken into care,” said station spokeswoman Sophie Land.

“They are all from our sheep milking flock.

“Our children have one each and they are feeding them up for the pet lamb competition at the A and P Show.”

They have also had a twin calf from the Hereford stud come into their care.

“Our daughter Natalie is looking after him and he will grow up to be a stud bull.”

Mrs Land said lambing had been successful on the station so far.

“There have been lots of twins and triplets, so we have been pretty lucky.”

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