Farmer Focus: We finally get a chance to crack on with fencing

The last of the winter lambs are up to weight, averaging 22kg on the hooks. It is good to see them away – 10,000 have come in here as stores and been loaded out prime.

We got the timing pretty well right this year, with all the grass seed crops closed at an even grazing level of 2in high to synchronise tiller development, but with sufficient high-quality feed ahead of the lambs to finish them all at target weight.

Stock are our focus here over winter, so with the crop in, the lambs gone, most of the fertiliser on and the spraying up to date, it is great to now have some time to make progress on maintenance and development projects.

See also: How to put up an effective electric fence for livestock

Jayne gets a bit spooked when I start talking of development “projects”, so best we start on maintenance first before my enthusiasm gets me in strife!

Therapeutic fencing

Today we got the post driver back on a tractor for the first time in many months and we have started redoing some gateways for better access or to accommodate crossing points for the centre pivots.

I find there is something very therapeutic about fencing and looking back down a row of posts at the end of a day. I used to be a contract fencer in the North Island in my early 20s, a job I loved.

After a dry winter and spring and an early start to the irrigation season, we have had some very timely and solid rains that have set the crops up well and should hold irrigation pressure off until late November.

The silage boys are having a cracking season with plenty of grass about, so I am very pleased we put all our grain to the market in early spring, as I wouldn’t want to be pricing feed grain into a dairy market flush with grass.

However, Canterbury can be a fickle and harsh place and feast can turn to famine rapidly.

But right now things are looking bonnie and I’m enjoying the chance to crack on with some tidy-up jobs.