What’s been happening around the country? | Issue 180

Aug 17, 2022

Winter this year has been particularly wet and cold with snow in many parts being a lot earlier and heavier than in previous seasons.  Fortunately for now winter grazing seems to be going well down south, where Otago and Southland flyovers are not showing any major environmental or animal welfare issues.

MPI Animal Welfare have had very little activity this season and recently requested a visit to a deer farm so that they could see deer winter grazing and understand more about the practice for deer.  Bruce Allan, Southland DFA Chair, obliged and hosted MPI. 

Bruce is one of the few deer farmers that have daily breaks for his hinds and weaners – more work for him, but it does mean that more of the feed is utilised and if conditions get rougher he moves to longer intervals between breaks. Here is Bruce and Hind #152 showing MPI what good in Southland looks like!

Just another terrible Southland day…

Hind #152 demonstrates how fodder beet is grazed. Bruce demonstrates how close you can get to a five-wire electric fence.

Moving up north, DINZ has been organising Rural Professional Workshops for regional councils in conjunction with local deer farmers. 

On 1 August Hawkes Bay Regional Council staff gathered near Ōtāne to get an overview of the deer industry and our environmental activities, followed by a quick farm visit to Evan and Linda Potter’s farm. The Potters are of course our 2019 Elworthy Award winners as well as 2020 Ballance Farm Environment Award winners for the East Coast and the national Gordon Stevenson Trophy. Evan is also the Hawkes Bay DFA Chair.

Evan Potter (on the left) with Hawkes Bay Regional Council staff discussing ephemeral waterways (the deer were in the next paddock!).

Back down south, the South Canterbury North Otago (SCNO) DFA branch helped DINZ put on a comprehensive Tech Expo in Fairlie on 3 August. 

Attended by some 80 visitors (not including exhibitors and DINZ staff), there were a range of deer farming presentations, workshops and exhibitor stands. A major culinary highlight was the pork belly pie offering for lunch from the Fairlie Bakehouse!

The winter grazing workshop run by Danette McKeown was packed out.

Behind the scenes, SCNO members (Abby France and Kiri Rupert) helped ensure the event ran smoothly and no one was short of a feed and a cuppa.

A major highlight event in the last month is the Next Generation Programme which was held last week in Ohakune and Taihape.  Please see the coverage of that in the next item.

If you have recently held any deer farming events, please feel free to contact us and we will publish them in the next DFA Stagline issue.

Continue reading DFA Stagline Issue 180, next: Next Generation 2022 Report>>

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