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INTENSIVE SHEEP FARMING

A New Zealand farmer lately do.'jibed to a meeting of farmers how a brother of his earns £7OO a year from 40 acres; devoted to sheep. Lucerne and rape are tho mainstay—iivo acres of the former and three of rape—with the whole farm, which is not the very best of land, divided into 10 paddocks. "The lucerne is made into hay. Naturally there is an element of “deeding'’ in the operations as carried out in this case, for it would not do to keen a permanent flock on such a circumscribed area. The following account of tho transactions for one year indicates the course pursued Bought 430 ewes in the autumn, had a 127 per cent, lambing; sold all the first lot fat to tho butchers for 21s, 21s 6:1; in December all the ewes went off fat, and a line of wethers was purchased to bo also fattened before it was necessa-y to obtain tho breeding ewes for the com ing winter. This, may be regarded ns a typical example of the possibility for advanced intensive sheep-farming. It is in no means a singular one. It seems as ’? about five acres of lucerne, favorably established and not necessarily irrigated, and made into hay, and five acres of mangolds ate capable of providing feed for 1,000 full-grown sheep during six months of the year, and this is relatively equivalent to e0 sneep per acre for tho full year. It is a basis that gives groat in.iucemenl to a consideration of intensive .sheep-farm-ing. Regard must be given, however, to the associated points of the undertaking in other respects. It does not do to closefeed and close-herd sheep for a lengthened period; there must be range for exercise for tho breeding flock, unless with buying and selling opportunities favorable such is not kept. Necessary care and attention must be devoted, particularly to that of treating the cropped areas well, and it must be seen that the land and tho dimate are adapted. If, in addition to the above fodder and root areas, a further area o; 200 acres of fair grass land, or 400 acres of inferior, goes along with it, there is tin* opportunity of successfully running 1,000 sheep on a property of such dimensions, suitably fenced and grazed, particularly if aa extra paddock of lucerne is available for groan-leading and sometimes grr/.ing, or some other cognate feed grown, for tiic range of fodders and roots need not necessarily be confined to those named. That, the sheep themselves could ho availed of as an excellent means of keeping the cultivated _parts in a high state of fertility, and. indeed, improving the •whole farm if skill in grazing is used, there is no doubt, for the animal exercises a powerful influence in the direction of fertility, which, however, is often nullified through faulty grazing. If the special crops grown get a send-off with a- suitable artificial fertiliser, tho sheep will speed up tho transition of an ordinary cropping paddock into superior land. A certain amount of labor is involved in undertaking such a method of sheepfarming, but it is insignificant in comparison to onerous dairying. As a matter of fact, most dairy farmers in Nets- Zealand who see a, bare possibility of using their land for sheep look forward to the day when monthly returns from the butter factory' can be done without, and the cow farm made into a sheep one. Financial considerations, however (price of the

land), will preclude many from doing this. When the intensive sheep farm n small and the soil good, a system of “ flying stock” farming may only be pursued. Market must be close, which it invariably is in such a case, and the soil must be light enough to withstand impaction under constant heavy grazing, fences secure, and each lot of ewes must go before health Is affected by prolonged close folding. Where a breeding stock is to bo kept, and this gives additional interest to any system of sheep-farming, it seems ns if the more satisfactory size of farm for the practice is one of from 200 acres upwards, not necessarily of first-class land, and it should be in a fairly humid district, for reliable crop growth is essential. Carried out under whatever conditions, it should at any rate bo seen that the area devoted to lucerne is carefully treated and sown to ensure a successful establishing of tit if valuable fodder. Large cuttings from small areas economise labor. Thorough treatment and working of the cropping paddocks require to be undertaken, together with a judicious subdivision of lie whole farm into well-arranged paddocks.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141114.2.94

Bibliographic details

INTENSIVE SHEEP FARMING, Issue 15650, 14 November 1914

Word Count
772

INTENSIVE SHEEP FARMING Issue 15650, 14 November 1914

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