We have had an amazing Autumn and are flush with grass up to our knees. Literally. The summer rains and continued warmer soil temperatures have created a very lush green landscape. Our native Kikuyu grass of course thrived too. But such growth conditions bring with it plenty of other problems such as weeds and fly strike for the sheep. You can't win. Weeds like Californian thistles and Alligator weed have been prolific. Weeds and pest control continue to occupy plenty of our time and resource. With time recently spent on regular Autumn maintenance of drains and removing dangerous trees and branches around buildings and fences we were reasonably fortunate with the lower level of damage caused by the recent cyclone. Some of the strongest winds we have felt in our time here. Whilst another big clean up for that event it could have been worse.
Plenty of tractor work as large areas that have been cropped with summer rape and also for maize silage are being direct drilled with either annual rye grasses or permanent pastures (predominantly cocksfoot and clover mixed in). All part of the pasture management and annual rotation plan to improve pastures.
We continue to bait 48 possum stations across the property and feral deer contribute to tree damage jumping into fenced off native bush areas. They have killed several young Rimu trees rubbing their antlers on them.
Shearing this week and hopefully not too many delays with weather.
Pests - Paper Wasps & Magpies
Paper wasps remain vicious and invasive. Richard carries a special can of spray regularly on his bike to eradicate nests when he sees them. They are quite distinctive from the german wasps and when disturbed will attack. They seem to like to build on wood and nests are often on the sunny side of gates and fence posts. Best to spray the nests earlier in the morning or early evening when the wasps are all in the nest. Now we know where to generally look for them we are finding them out over the farm.
A big effort trapping magpies 2 years ago has certainly provided some long term benefit with a noticeable decline in their numbers over the farm these days. Alas, we now have a new comer. Ring necked doves have settled in the last 2 years and are successfully breeding here. I'm tired of their incessant cooing in the mornings so am on their case now too. Have to make room for our beautiful native birds. We enjoy a nesting pair of Kaka, and several beautiful native birds frequent our farm including Kereru, Ruru, Kotare.