A survey of 30 Wairarapa hill country farmers during 1983 investigated how management practices influenced sheep performance. Lamb growth rates between birth and weaning which ranged from 153 to 300 g/d, were most affected by lambing date and the use of N fertiliser. Pasture cover/SU at lambing was more often a limitation to high lamb growth rates on early lambing farms, but even on later lambing properties insufficient feed at lambing was common. Pasture cover/SU at lambing was most affected by ewe winter rotation length, the use of N fertiliser, stocking rate and stock policies which enabled winter stocking rates to be progressively reduced. Weighing of sheep was associated with the attainment of higher autumn live weights. A high proportion of farmers weighted (63%), but their knowledge of acceptable live weights was poor.

DG, McCall, DC Smeaton, ML Gibbison, FJ McKay, and H-UP Hockey

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 46, , 121-124, 1986
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