Sunday, August 25, 2013

WHS 1st XV Score Premier Trophy

Having a couple of nephews do their secondary education through Wanganui High School, family involvement with college rugby has been a Saturday morning regular. Both have gone on to university but has continued a small sponsorship of the team.
Today the team pulled a thriller of a final match against Palmerston North Boys High to gain the Premier Trophy, a sort of 2nd division college comp, behind the Top 10, for the Manawatu area. Trailing at half time the supporters group were starting to get a bit anxious, but this is a well drilled and very fit group of young men and a couple of late tries equalised the scores 25-all at full time. Comp rules negate going to extra time and the boys won on number of tries count-back, 4 to 3!
A major contributor to Wanganui High's climb up the ranks of competition over the last few years has been Darryl's skilful and focussed coaching, the PGGW stock agent is also handles Waione farm's livestock trading.
Most of the teams sponsors are local oufits all doing business with each other in some way.
Well done Team!
Team and Coach embrace the Cup
The AB's securing the Bledisloe Cup after a second win over Australia topped off a great day.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Drought Aftermath - Back on Track

For many hill breeding farms the aftermath of last summer's extended dry has been a long climb out of, both physically and financially, and for many, the effects will linger for some time still.
Am personally pleased to see our ewes, now just a month off lambing, have regained a respectable liveweight, the 2ths, 48kg at mating April 1 are now 61kg, having gained 13kg in 4 months. Similarly, the MA ewes pictured are upward of 65kg.
Normally, they'd be shorn before lambing, but we had to can it halfway through after a couple went down in the yards with grass staggers, but a bit of quick thinking and a 50ml dose each of calmag avoided any losses.
The hills pastures, shaved bare of rough top and now rejuvenating with a fresh short young sward, are a prime candidate for mineral imbalance. The associated grass staggers, (hypomagnesaemia), is a problem you see more with cattle than sheep, so I'm a bit chuffed at having made the connection with the ewes off pasture for the short time in the yards and after a walk in from the hills.
As luck would have it, or rather by 6th sense, I felt back in Mar/Apr I'd need to make some extended provision for cattle feed should the drought extend right into and even maybe through winter, so I kept 30 acres of hill sidling in reserve. The cows are on this now, munching their way through 6000kg dm/ha nice mature feed, in their 6 week build-up to calving where they'll come down onto the flats to a controlled calving rotation.
Having sold off the hill block the beef herd used to run on 5km up the valley, its taking me some time to work out a suitable management system, but this latest find of summer reserved pasture on sidling country of limited use otherwise, is ace in the hole to get the cows through the critical winter pinch. Theyre not having to compete with the closer grazing ewes, they're not stressing my fences trying to push somewhere the grass might be greener, theyre not eating at the macrocarpa hedging round the place and risking aborting their foetii, and theyre not pugging great footmarks in wet winter ground, plus I dont have to feed out hay.
You never stop learning in this game.