PASTURE MANAGEMENT ON A SOUTHLAND FAT LAMB FARM
AbstractWhen I took over the ownership and management of my farm of 285 acres of terrace land 29 years ago, there were four 50 acre paddocks and two 47+ acre paddocks, six in all, a stable with a lean-to on it, plenty of open, unfenced ditches, and in a lot of cases gorse hedges used as subdividing fences. However, under the old system of farming then in vogue when grain growing was the chief source of revenue, these paddocks were not unduly large. It was then carrying 450 ewes and a five-horse team. It took 25 acres of turnips to winter the ewes. The lambing percentage was much lower than today, and very few lambs were drafted fat off their mothers, and had anyone then suggested that in 28 years' time one would start lambing with 1275 ewes, that 1500 lambs would be tailed, and that 70 per cent. of these would go away off the mothers, such a statement would have appeared fantastic, yet that was the capacity of the farm in the 1948-49 season.