Fri, Apr 28, 2023 5:00 AM

The Sounds Challenges and Opportunities




Beef and LambNZ held a Field Day at Manaroa in the Marlborough Sounds on the 14th March, entitled Farming in the Marlborough Sounds Challenges and Opportunities.

The event was fully subscribed with more than 70 people travelling out to the property on the Mail boat. Agricultural consultant Greg Sheppard set the scene estimating the total stock units farmed in the Sounds to be 60,000. Josh Jamieson and his wife farm 450 hectares which they have leased for many years having been originally invited to manage the property by the owner.

Josh’s father farmed mussels in the Sounds from the seventies but Josh admits to being more interested in farming livestock. The 1750 ewes are from a Romney base and lamb at 145%, all the lambs are finished on farm averaging 19kgs.

A herd of Angus cattle calve in October and originate from 40 heifers purchased from Ellerton Station. The calves are weaned at 200kgs and also are finished on farm, killing out at 300kgs. Josh admits to not having weighing facilities for either sheep or cattle so only finds out weights when the killing sheets come in.

He maintains a simple operation with no feeding out required, due to the grass growing throughout winter owing to the benevolent climate.

The culling regime is hard with lighter animals being sent to the works. Deer velvet is produced from 120 stags showing an excellent return, although time constraints limit stock numbers. Outgoing freight expenses by barge are assisted by Alliance meats. The major limiting factor on the property is soil Ph at 5.2 on average and the cost of lime and its application prohibitive. Rainfall averages from 1000mm to 2000mm/year, although this year rainfall exceeded the average by 300mm. There is little competition from weeds the majority of them controlled with a knapsack sprayer two days a year.

Animal health presents few problems with faecal eczema beginning to appear in the district. Gross farm income comes in at $1500/ha compared to a class average of $1200 with expenses pared to a minimum. Josh maintains that the couple’s success is down to doing the basics well, keeping things simple and concentrating on the things that they are good at.

Marlborough App Logo
Marlborough App
Marlborough App is owned by Top South Media. a locally owned media company.