Drought report from Milmore Downs
The drought conditions in North Canterbury are having an extreme effect on the farm, no wonder with the driest year by far since 1960 when records began.
Already in spring, hay production was down and the dry continued into summer depressing grain yields and halting grass growth completely.
Barley that was destined to be milled to high quality flour is being fed to young and capital stock. We have sourced certified organic molasses lick blocks to help digestion of the straw diets which is very high in fibre, and organic linseed press cake to help with energy requirements.
The cows have all left to Demeter grazing, and all stock that would normally have been finished to good slaughter weights have been sold at high discounts into the store stock market.
Other organic supplements are not available. We have gained dispensation from our certifiers to import uncertified grain to top up hungry animals. And we are still unsure how we manage to survive through the next 100days until lambing starts.
All this comes at high cost.
The financial consequences – what help can be offered. Read more.
The financial consequences will be far reaching for Milmore Downs. It seems at this stage that direct and opportunity costs will be around $50,000. If we experience reduced winter rain and little collection of irrigation water for next season as a consequence, it will be serious indeed.
How can you help?
We can really use your support. This could take the form of gift money to ensure that Biodynamic farming continues at Milmore Downs, or seed financing to get drought proofing projects off the ground. We are embarking on underground water mapping and hopefully trial bores to find a reliable source – both expensive at a time when survival itself is difficult.
However to do nothing is not an option. Please contact us with your ideas, with your enthusiasm for the continuation of Biodynamic farming, with your concrete support.
Drought report - concrete support:
ANZ:06-0851-0122 831 00
Reference: Drought North Canterbury, Milmore Downs
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For more information please read the report from the 14th June.